Keolu Elementary Could Get a New Roof—If Its Cafeteria Goes Vegan

PETA Will Pitch In for Repairs if School Agrees to Help Animals, Kids' Health, and the Environment

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2015

Contact:
Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Honolulu – After high winds reportedly caused a portion of Keolu Elementary’s roof to collapse on Monday, PETA sent a letter to the Kailua school’s principal offering to help pay for the repairs—if the school cafeteria agrees to switch from serving meat and dairy products to offering vegan meals, something the group thinks is an all-around winner for kids’ health, animal protection, and the school.

As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out in the letter, vegan meals would spare animals immense suffering and would help kids learn the invaluable lesson of empathy to others by seeing how easy it is to extend compassion to those around them. And as the United Nations report on global climate change points out, vegan meals also help the environment. For example, the fishing industry has devastated the world’s oceans. That’s why PETA has also offered a supply of kid-friendly, whimsical posters that show free-swimming fish next to the words “Save Our Schools. Go Vegan.”

“PETA’s offer is a win-win situation—Keolu Elementary could get a new roof, and its students could enjoy healthy, humane, environmentally friendly vegan meals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Serving vegan food is a great way to keep kids healthy and teach them that it’s important to show kindness to everyone, regardless of what race, religion, gender, or species they are.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Keolu Elementary Principal Gay Kong follows.

February 13, 2015

Gay Kong
Principal
Keolu Elementary

Dear Ms. Kong,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters to make an offer that would benefit your students and the entire community: We’d like to contribute to the repair of Keolu Elementary’s damaged roof in exchange for a commitment that the school cafeteria will begin promoting and serving healthy vegan meals to students and faculty. We would also supply whimsical posters featuring fish swimming below a chalkboard bearing the message “Save our schools.”

If you provided animal-friendly food choices, students would easily grasp important lessons about extending compassion to others around them. Also, as you may know, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have even found that mercury contamination in fish can cause heart damage and irreversible impairment to brain function in children as they grow. Furthermore, imparting a message of tolerance and respect for all, regardless of species, is a fantastic way to promote positive interpersonal reactions between students and help combat bullying.

Keolu Elementary would follow in the footsteps of other schools by making the compassionate, health-oriented, and environmentally responsible choice to cut out meat and dairy products. The Active Learning Elementary School in Queens, New York, made headlines when it became the first public school in the country to offer all vegetarian meals, and just last year, MUSE School in California announced that it had established a goal to go completely vegan in 2015. Also, just this week, The Peck Slip School in Manhattan announced that it has taken meat off the menu “because of the health benefits of a diet including more legumes, vegetables and whole grains and our concerns about the environmental impact of meat production.” I would be happy to place you in touch with chefs who could help create complete, nutritious plant-based meal plans that would benefit animals, students, and the local environment. I look forward to discussing our offer with you further.

Sincerely,

Marta Holmberg
Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind