Teenage Dream! Calabasas High Schoolers Behind Cafeteria’s Vegan Menu Nab National Award

For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Calabasas, Calif.

After noticing that their school’s cafeteria didn’t offer a single vegan option, Calabasas High School 10th graders Noelle McMorris and Tomer Fine successfully petitioned for animal-free meals, including Vegan Pasta and Cali Bean bowls and a Quinoa and Garbanzo salad—and even helped the school’s chef create a delicious Chinese vegan bowl that frequently sells out—earning them a Hero to Animals Award from peta2, part of PETA’s youth division.

Founding members of their school’s Students Opposing Speciesism hub, McMorris and Fine both went vegetarian in elementary school and vegan a couple years later after realizing that meat and dairy represent “killing the animals we love.” They never miss an opportunity to encourage their peers to also ditch animal-derived foods to stop cruelty, protect the environment, and encourage lasting healthy eating habits. Their peers are eating it up—the new vegan meals are being snapped up by students who share their concerns about factory farming; animals’ inevitable slaughter in the meat, egg, and dairy industries; and animal agriculture’s contribution to the climate catastrophe. As McMorris and Fine say, “A vegan menu at our high school cafeteria might not save the world, but it’s allowing all students to experience the power of plant-based eating, and that’s incredible.”

“Noelle McMorris and Tomer Fine’s success in adding vegan options to their school menu is a shining example of young people’s commitment to being kinder and more aware of important issues,” says Senior Director of peta2 Rachelle Owen. “peta2 is ready to support students across the country who would like to follow their lead, stand up for animals in their own schools, and help build a better world for all.”

Each person who goes vegan spares nearly 200 animals a year, dramatically shrinks their carbon footprint, and reduces their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. peta2 offers a free guide to going vegan for those ready to make the switch.

peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit peta2.org or follow the group on TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram.

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