Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, who's also the
mother of a child in the California public school system, has written to the administrator
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service asking
that the service pull all beef and cow's milk from school lunches after mad cow disease was discovered in an animal at a California rendering plant.
A group of parents who are "DAM MAD" (Dads Against
Meat and Mothers Against Dairy) also converged on the Sacramento headquarters
of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to urge it to protect
children by pulling meat and dairy products from school lunches.
What's truly mad is continuing to feed beef and cow's milk
to students, especially because "spent" cows, whose milk supply is exhausted by the dairy industry, are the primary concern
when it comes to mad cow disease and
are likely to end up as the kind of cheap ground beef that is fed to schoolchildren.
Given that the USDA has expanded its quarantine to a second
dairy farm, that it still has not located the infected cow's mother or siblings
(who may also have the disease), and that it doesn't even know what the California dairy industry is feeding its
cows (because that's considered a "trade secret"), the USDA must
stop risking our children's health and remove beef and cow's milk from school
cafeterias right away.
Tracy's letter and the demonstration by the DAM MAD parents coincided
with another PETA appeal to the USDA urging Secretary
Tom Vilsack to correct misleading statements that he made regarding the
detection of the disease—also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)—that created a false and dangerous sense of security by erroneously
claiming that the nation's human and animal food supply is safe.
In the letter to Vilsack, PETA points out that there is no way
to know how many other animals are infected with mad cow disease because only a
tiny fraction—about 0.1 percent of the nearly 34 million cows who are
slaughtered every year—are tested for BSE. It's also likely that milk from the
cow who tested positive entered the food chain, and contrary to the USDA's
assurances about the safety of milk, studies have already shown that another
form of the disease can be spread from mother to baby through milk.
Worried that tainted milk or meat may be on your child's
lunch tray? Don't wait for the USDA to act. Protect your kids (and yourself) by
packing healthy and humane vegan
lunches—and keep it up at breakfast, dinner, and snacktime, too!
Written by PETA
"I have been in many lunchrooms during lunch period and can attest to the food that is frequently lacking from a nutritional perspective and very high in saturated fats. … What our bill will do is provide some lower-fat and lower-cholesterol ways for kids to get the nutrition that they need to be healthy." —U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) on the Healthy School Meals Act, which would start a $4 million pilot program to incorporate vegetarian food and drinks into school districts' lunch programs over a two-year period.
We'll cheer for that! Considering that vegetarian diets have been proven to curb childhood obesity, which remains a crisis in the U.S., Polis's proposed legislation would save kids and animals.
Many schools across the nation have already successfully adopted humane menus. Encourage your local schools to do the same.
Written by Logan Scherer
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.