MFA's GUIDE TO
CREATING VEG-FRIENDLY CAFETERIAS

Getting more veg options in your school cafeteria or dining hall is one of the best things you can do to help animals. It makes it easier for others to start, or continue, eating cruelty-free.

STEP
ONE
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT

Instead of complaining about what you don't like about the food at your cafeteria, think about what you want to ask for. The following are some things you might request:

A vegan main dish option at every meal.

Labeling of all vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Adoption of Meatless Mondays, a program many school districts around the country have already implemented. For tips on getting Meatless Mondays to happen at your school, email ksmith@humanesociety.org.

STEP
TWO
SHOW THAT THERE IS DEMAND

No school will make changes if it doesn't think students want them. Make requests on the school's Facebook page, fill out comment cards, email the cafeteria asking for more veg options (or for Meatless Mondays), and encourage your friends to do the same.

STEP
THREE
SET UP A MEETING

Find out who runs your cafeteria and ask them to meet with you about the issue. They will probably be happy to do so. Here are some things you might want to mention in the meeting:

Schools around the country are responding to student demand and health recommendations by incorporating more veg options. Entire public KE2 school districts in Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Buffalo, and other cities have implemented Meatless Mondays.

Vegan options are inclusive; they suit people with many different dietary restrictions: people with varied religious and ethical beliefs, allergies, lactose intolerance, or a desire to slim down.

Adding veg options is a good way to promote healthy eating among students, and is also more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

If you are required to purchase a meal plan at school, you are essentially being forced to buy food that you cannot eat.

Keep in mind that changing your school cafeteria may take time and effort. Your dining director is probably extremely busy, so offer to help out. That could mean suggesting meal ideas, promoting the changes to other students, or anything else that might be needed.

STEP
FOUR
WHEN A MEETING ISN'T ENOUGH

If dining directors are dragging their feet, they may need more convincing. Ask your parents if they would call or email the school's dining director and administration to ask for improvements. Write an article for your school paper like this one. Create a friendly petition and ask your classmates to sign it. You can also reach out to other school groups, such as the PTA, Student Council, or environmental or health clubs, to ask for their support.

Friendly persistence is often the key to winning change. Your dining director needs to know that this issue is not going away.

STEP
FIVE
GET THE WORD OUT

Once you succeed at bringing change to your cafeteria, be sure to get the word out to other students. Ask the dining director if you can help put up signs in the cafeteria about the new veg offerings. Perhaps you could request that announcements be made during homeroom, or submit a letter to your school paper. Now that veg eating has gotten easier at your school, you want to make sure that everyone knows!

Thanks for making your cafeteria a more compassionate one!


    

 
 
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