The Swan School in Oxford in the UK only serves vegetarian lunches to its students. It’s one of the growing number of learning institutions implementing a ban on meat for the sake of the planet.
The Swan opened its doors in Summertown earlier this month and currently teaches around 100 students. The school will welcome more than 1,200 pupils when it reaches capacity.
The Swan is said to be the first Oxford state school to have an all-vegetarian canteen. Students are served meals like minted pea and feta frittatas, lentil lasagne, and Quorn sausage and potato bake.
Students also have access to free bowls of porridge of a morning, and they can purchase meat-based snacks during break time.
Headteacher Kay Wood said in a statement that the meat-free lunch policy will benefit the school in three key ways.
“Firstly, it allows us to serve better quality meals for the same money,” Wood said. “Secondly, there are huge environmental and sustainability benefits.”
“Most importantly, it allows students of all faiths and different dietary requirements to eat together,” she added.
Students are not permitted to bring packed lunches to school in a bid to encourage children and staff to “eat together and engage” during lunch breaks. The Swan promotes “family dining” by having pupils and teachers eat together at the same tables. All diners are encouraged to help lay the table, serve food, and pack up after the meal. Lunch services include daily reflection and weekly gratitude moments whereby students explain what they are thankful for.
Schools Shunning Meat
The Swan is not the first learning institution in the UK to lean away from meat. Goldsmiths, University of London announced last month that it was banning beef in a bid to combat climate change. The ban is part of the university’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.
Cambridge University has not offered beef or lamb since 2016, instead “promoting the consumption of more vegetarian and vegan foods.”