A vegan Navy hopeful has had his application to join New Zealand’s Defence Force rejected due to his ‘specific dietary requirements’.
Jack Burns, who formerly trained as a volunteer firefighter before applying to be in the Navy – said he was ‘very disappointed’ the NZDF couldn’t cater for him.
‘I’m fit and strong’
“I thought it was quite strange that they didn’t look at my personality or my skills. They just looked at what I ate,” Burns said to Newshub.
“I have heaps more energy, I’m fit and strong… I am fit and healthy and it is proven through academic literature and vegan athletes that someone can not only be healthy on a vegan diet but can thrive.”
A spokesperson for the Defence Force told Newshub it couldn’t guarantee adequate food in training and on deployments – and therefore doesn’t accept any applications from ‘strict vegans’.
“Members of the NZDF are required to be capable of deploying into austere environments without easy access to catering for specific dietary requirements,” they said.
“Those who have specific dietary choices must be willing to eat alternative options (i.e. animal products) if their diet can’t be catered for. We do however provide as many options as possible for vegetarians on bases and camps, and in some field ration packs.”