In 2016 a petition was launched by concerned citizen Judith Ward to have vegan options put on the menus at schools, hospitals, prisons, universities and colleges in the UK.
The petition is now closed, but 19,012 people have signed it… and although the signatures didn't reach 100,000 (the amount needed for the topic to be considered for debate in parliament), at 10,000, the government are still required to respond. To see what the govenment's response was, click on this link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/167888
As Ms Ward observes: “Over five per cent of the population is vegan and growing. A vegan diet is healthier, it conserves resources and protects the planet, above all it's cruelty free. United Nations has called upon us to consume more plant based foods. Animal products are linked to the increase in cancer and heart disease.”
This is certainly not a new idea and it seems as though it is gaining traction, if the signatories on this petition are anything to go by. The Vegan Prisoners Support Group, for example, has long been campaigning for vegan diets to be catered for by the prison system, while The Vegan Society encourages parents to exercise their rights to ask for inclusive catering in schools.
Basically, the more people change their diet to a vegan (or a Flexitarian style food plan), the more demand there'll be for vegan food, and far more pressure to provide proper options on the menu and to be taken seriously, instead of having things made specially (or not at all) or often having to suffer the headache of sifting through canteen options for "accidentally vegan" food not containing dairy, egg or lumps of meat etc. If the long held belief and general consensus of opinion with the status quo that considers you need to eat meat to stay healthy can be changed to a more enlightened viewpoint, it will no longer be an uphill battle when trying to ensure our young ones get properly catered for.