Reading Time: 2 minutes Omari McQueen says we need foods that are kind to the planet, and don't hurt animals (Photo: Instagram/Omari McQueen)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A 12-year-old award-winning vegan chef is calling on the U.K government to remove the requirement for servings of fish, meat, and dairy from the School Food Standards

Omari McQueen, CEO and founder of Dipalicious dips as well as author of upcoming Omari McQueen’s Best Bites Cookbook, has joined a number of organizations and individuals – including PETA, Greenpeace UK, and Meat Free Monday (founded by Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney) – to write to the secretary of state for education.

The letter notes that ‘the current animal-derived food mandates limit schools’ capacity to serve children climate-friendly vegan foods and are out of step with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which allows for nutritional needs to be met without meat and dairy’.

‘We don’t need meat or dairy’

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, McQueen said: “It’s so important to eat tasty foods that keep us healthy and energized during the day, are kind to the planet, and don’t hurt animals.

“Because we don’t need meat or dairy, schools should be able to choose if they want to serve them.”

PETA adds that a 2019 poll by Linda McCartney Foods in 2019 revealed that ’70 percent of British children want more vegan meals on their school menus. As the world faces dual health and climate crises, going vegan is one of the best things young people can do for animals, the planet, and their own health’.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.