DOCTORS, NUTRITIONISTS CALL FOR NATIONWIDE MIDDAY MEAL MAKEOVER

New Delhi – On behalf of a consortium of 15 doctors and nutritionists, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent letters and informative brochures detailing the health dangers of meat, egg, and dairy consumption to state and union territory education ministries across the nation. The group calls on them to ensure that schools’ midday meal programs consist of only healthy, humane, plant-based foods. The health advocacy group Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature also sent a similar appeal.

The consortium points to modern research linking numerous health concerns – including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers – with the consumption of animal-derived foods. It explains that eggs and cows’ milk is among the biggest allergens for children, that antibiotic residue can be found in such foods, and that meat, eggs, and cows’ milk are common causes of foodborne illnesses. In contrast, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses are packed with fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in saturated fat. The brochure also provides a chart showing that readily available and affordable vegan foods often contain more protein or calcium than eggs or cows’ milk.

“Wholly plant-powered lunches would keep kids well-fed and energized – while also preventing countless sensitive animals from suffering and being easier on the environment,” says PETA India Vegan Outreach Coordinator Dr. Kiran Ahuja. “PETA India is encouraging educators to set children on a positive path in life by offering them protein- and calcium-packed vegan meals from a young age.”

The brochure also cites the World Health Organization’s statement that half of all cases of malnutrition are linked to diarrhea and intestinal parasites, often stemming from unsanitary conditions, and that the key to addressing malnutrition lies in ensuring hygienic conditions – not in giving kids foods like eggs and cows’ milk, which can make them even sicker.

The consortium also notes that many children and parents object to the mass torment and slaughter of animals used in the food industry – and explains that raising animals for food is a major contributor to climate change, a leading concern for today’s younger generation.

PETA India opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

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