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Petition for the right not to eat animals in French schools

All those who believe in freedom of thought and in the freedom of expression and observance of all personal convictions should sign this petition, whatever their personal stance may be concerning vegetarianism and animal rights.

A governmental order published on October 2, 2011 has outlawed vegetarianism in all French schools, whether public or private(1). All meals served in school canteens must contain animal products generally, and meat and fish at a certain minimum frequency.

For many children, eating at home is not possible, and bringing their own lunch to school is disallowed. This means that six million schoolchildren are now forced to eat meat, whether they like it or not.

Following a law voted last year by the French Parliament(2), similar decrees will be taken shortly regarding almost all forms of catering from kindergarten to hospital, prisons and retirement homes. Vegetarianism will then have effectively been banned for a large part of the population.

These measures ostensibly aim at improving the quality of the meals served in schools. The French public health authorities hold, in opposition to the findings of most medical authorities in the world, that a balanced diet is impossible without animal products.

No practical considerations warrant a blanket prohibition of vegetarianism even in those canteens where the management would be willing to offer vegetarian or vegan alternatives. These decrees are thus an arbitrary violation of the rights of the vegetarian citizens in France.

The public debate regarding animal rights and the moral status of animals is active in France as it is in many other countries. People are free to choose where they stand on these issues, and those who believe that they cannot, in conscience, continue to eat animals must not be discriminated against.

The French agriculture minister, Bruno Lemaire, declared in January 2010 that the government's aim in determining its public nutritional policy was to defend the French agricultural model and specifically to counter initiatives such as those of Paul McCartney calling for a reduced consumption of meat.(3) However, a government cannot settle a philosophical, ethical and political debate by restricting the rights of those who disagree with its own positions.

For these reasons, I demand that the French government rescind these unacceptable decrees.


1. Décret n° 2011-1227 du 30 septembre 2011; arrêté du 30 septembre 2011, published in the Journal Officiel on October 2, 2011 (http://tinyurl.com/DecretCantines).

2. "Law for the modernization of agriculture and fisheries", published on July 27, 2010.

3. http://tinyurl.com/FlashLeFigaro


Source: Petition for the right not to eat animals in French schools
Author: Petition

Link: France Bans Vegetarian Meals at School Cafeterias - Words fail me.....
Link: The legal texts banning vegetarianism in school canteens in France

Date: 2011-10-19

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