This food at my school, I started something I’ve been wanting to get going for the past couple years — Meatless Mondays. After inviting classes to study World Food Day and the ways a plant-based diet can reduce world hunger, students were so engaged they came up with the idea of a meatless day at school on their own! After they presented their World Food Day findings to the rest of the school, I invited each class to take on a Meatless Mondays challenge. In November and December, our school of just over 300 kids had about 300 meatless Monday lunches.
Those participating have looked forward to Meatless Mondays and have embraced the idea on other days of the week, too. Kids would shout, “Hey, Ms. Ahier, I have a meatless lunch today, and it’s Wednesday!” “Right on!” I would say.
I was also very proud to see that some of the classes explored other reasons for eating less meat: climate change, feeding more people, reducing suffering of animals and health. Sometimes, even staff members would let me know they brought a meat-free lunch! Our announcements every Monday include a clip played over the PA system of a famous athlete, musician or celebrity who is vegetarian. We ask what that famous person has in common with our school that day: We are all having a meat-free lunch!
Taunya Ahier is a teacher in the Toronto District School Board and a longtime supporter of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals.