Four school districts in Brazilian cities Serrinha, Barroca, Teofilândia, and Biritinga in the northeastern state of Bahia have committed to replacing all cafeteria meals with plant-based foods by 2019. The decision is part of the Escola Sustentável (Sustainable School) project launched by animal-rights organization Humane Society International (HSI) to reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture in the region, combat Brazil’s growing obesity rates, and educate students about the plight of animals raised for food. In place of animal products, meals served at these schools will consist of peanut butter, soy, plant-based milk, vegetables, grains, and whole-wheat bread. “Providing our school districts with plant-based meals will help save environmental and public financial resources, allow for a future of healthy adults, and build a fair world for the animals,” program leader Leticia Baird said. HSI is working with the schools and local nutritionists to ensure the success of the two-year experimental program—the long-term implementation of which depends on student health, which will be monitored by health professionals. Similarly, the Latin American branch of animal-rights organization Mercy For Animals launched Come Consciente (Conscious Eating), an initiative that will result in schools in Veracruz (the second largest state in Mexico) serving students 925,000 vegan meals annually—a commitment that replaces 20 percent of the schools’ animal products with plant-based foods.
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