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Group Says Caring for the Earth Must Include Leaving Animals off One's Plate
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2010
Contact:Kristina Addington 757-622-7382
Winsted, Conn. -- Today, TeachKind, PETA's humane-education division, sent a letter to Clinton A. Montgomery, superintendent of Northwestern Regional School District No. 7, congratulating him on the district's installation of solar panels and asking him to augment the environmentally friendly accomplishment by implementing TeachKind's Meat-Free Monday program. In the letter, PETA points out that by serving vegetarian food on Mondays, the school district would reduce its contribution to climate change, water pollution, deforestation, and many other environmental harms.
"It's not possible to be a meat-eating environmentalist," says TeachKind coordinator Elizabeth Graffeo. "So when you go to the trouble and expense of making your district as environmentally friendly as possible, you don't want to undo all that good work by preparing and serving environmentally damaging meat-based meals in your newly green school."
PETA also points out that according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans are less prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity than meat-eaters are. The association has also stated that a vegan diet is appropriate for children of all ages. Researchers have found that children as young as 3 years old can show signs of coronary heart disease (hardening of the arteries), and a vegan diet has been shown to reverse the symptoms of heart disease. The Meat-Free Monday program has been gaining popularity in schools worldwide because it is one of the best ways to help children combat obesity. All public schools in Baltimore and five schools in London have eliminated meat from their cafeterias on Mondays, and nearly 50 other schools are currently exploring the idea. TeachKind has also offered to provide a free party--complete with veggie burgers and veggie dogs--for the students of Northwestern Regional School District No. 7 if their superintendent accepts the offer.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Clinton A. Montgomery, superintendent of Northwestern Regional School District No. 7, follows.
May 12, 2010
Clinton A. MontgomerySuperintendentNorthwestern Regional School District No. 7
Dear Mr. Montgomery,
On behalf of TeachKind, the humane-education division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), I want to commend you for installing solar panels on your school facility’s roof in order to reduce Northwestern Regional School District No. 7’s carbon footprint. We'd like to invite you to join our Meat-Free Monday program, which offers an exciting way for the district to further reduce its contributions to climate change as well as to reduce water pollution and deforestation.
Participating in Meat-Free Monday is a highly effective way for students to help protect the environment; in fact, the United Nations Environment Programme recommends going vegan once a week to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions produced by raising animals for food. Of course, many kids are picky eaters and aren't familiar with fruits and vegetables--so it's important to make the program fun! Taking part in the program is free of charge; all we ask is that you provide completely vegetarian meals at school each Monday. If you join the Meat-Free Monday program, we will do the following:
* Host a Meat-Free Monday kick-off event for all the students in your district during which we will offer free veggie burgers and veggie dogs
* Send you posters to hang up in classrooms in order to promote Meat-Free Monday
* Provide a speaker to come talk to students about the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of vegetarian meals
* Provide educators with engaging lesson plans about why it's important for students to eat their veggies (as well as their fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains!)
* Liaise with your cafeteria staff to help alter Monday menus, if you would like us to do so
* Give your district TeachKind's Compassionate School Award
As you may know, Baltimore City Public Schools recently implemented a meatless Monday program and have experienced tremendous success. Meat-Free Monday also saves animals from the cruelty of factory farms and slaughterhouses and improves student health. Meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than vegetarians are, and researchers have found that children as young as 3 years old can show signs of coronary heart disease (hardening of the arteries). A vegan diet has been shown to reverse the symptoms of heart disease.
We hope that Northwestern Regional School District No. 7 will agree to participate in Meat-Free Monday. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Elizabeth GraffeoTeachKind Program Coordinator
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