Vegetarian and Vegan Meals Banned in France!
|Nicolas Sarkozy- Nil Point|
If you needed any more proof that President of the Republic of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, is not fit for purpose then here it is. At a time when for health and sustainability reasons it's even more important we adopt a plant based lifestyle the French President has made it effectively illegal to live as a vegetarian in France. It's thought to be a move to counteract Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday initiative that had French Farmers up in arms.
After a law voted last year by the French Parliament(1), similar decrees will be taken soon regarding 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.
A French government order issued on October 2, 2011(2) has decreed that all meals served in school canteens in France must contain animal products, and that meat and fish will be served at a certain minimum frequency. This implies that by law from now on no vegetarian can eat at any public or private school in France.
The European Vegetarian Union EVU say
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is binding on member states including France, holds that: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.(4)Footnotes:
The public debate regarding animal rights and the moral status of animals is active in France as in many other countries. Citizens are entitled to choose freely where they stand on these issues, and those who believe that they cannot, in conscience, accept to eat animals must not be discriminated against.
A government cannot settle a philosophical, ethical and political debate by restricting the rights of those who disagree with its own positions. For years, the official policy of the French government has been openly hostile to vegetarianism.(5) 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.(6)
1. "Law for the modernization of agriculture and fisheries", published on July 27, 2010.
2. Décret n° 2011-1227 du 30 septembre 2011; arrêté du 30 septembre 2011.
3. Position statement of the American Dietetic Association
4. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, article 10.1
5.An example is the site mangerbouger.fr, where the only nutritional advice given to a teenager contemplating becoming a vegan is "By all means, do not follow that diet!" (www.mangerbouger.fr/pro/IMG/pdf/guide_adolescents-2.pdf, page 11).
Hopefully now the public will take French Veggie Pride a little more seriously as it seems French vegetarians and vegans really are an oppressed and persecuted minority in France.