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Should all school lunches be vegetarian?

Debate Information

Should all lunches served at schools (primary and secondary) be vegetarian?
  1. Live Poll

    Should all school lunches be vegetarian?

    7 votes
    1. Yes
      14.29%
    2. No
      85.71%



Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win
Predicted 2nd Place
44%
Margin

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    Arguments


  • Luigi7255Luigi7255 565 Pts   -  
    Why would that even be the case for it to be a completely vegetarian meal everywhere, every day? Most schools offer things like salads and secondary parts of meals that contain vegetarian-friendly items with the main meal.
    xlJ_dolphin_473
    "I will never change who I am just because you do not approve."
  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1690 Pts   -  
    @Luigi7255
    The debate is whether all school lunches should be vegetarian, not whether there should be vegetarian options. I'm not saying I agree or disagree, but here are a few potential arguments I can think of:
    • Vegetarian meals are, on the whole, healthier than those that contain meat
    • Eating meat is bad for the climate, and so it is good for children to form good habits early on
    • It gets around religious restrictions, creating equality
    So, there are other reasons for wanting all meals to be vegetarian, besides wanting to cater to vegetarians. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with these reasons, but I hope this can clarify.
    OakTownA
  • Luigi7255Luigi7255 565 Pts   -   edited December 2021
    @xlJ_dolphin_473

    It's still a bad idea to have all meals be vegetarian. Meat contains a special compound called "heme iron", that compound helps your blood cells and helps your body absorb iron quicker than plants, which do not contain heme iron, and it doesn't do good for the body, hence why you get bad stomach aches when you eat salads a lot. Sure, there are things like the Impossible Burger, but no school can afford to get those things over and over. There's also cultured meat, which is made in a lab without killing an animal, but that's heavily restricted in many states.

    My points are that:
    1. A vegetarian meal is actually worse than a meal that contains meat.
    2. It costs more to buy and cook everything every day.
    3. States don't want any other alternative to killing an animal as meat anyway.
    Plus, we all know no young kid will want to eat vegetables and fruits.
    "I will never change who I am just because you do not approve."
  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1690 Pts   -  
    @Luigi7255
    Just to play devil's advocate here (again, not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing), I will provide rebuttals to some of your points.
    Luigi7255 said:
     It costs more to buy and cook everything every day.
    In fact, a recent study showed that plant-based meals are in fact 40% cheaper than meat-based ones. Meat is expensive, and vegetarian staples such as pasta, rice, tofu, and beans are much cheaper than meat.

    Not only this, but with the right recipes, the same amount of protein. For example, lentils have 9% protein, while also providing over half of your recommended daily fibre intake. Combine this with the benefits to the climate, and you can clearly see why all school meals being vegetarian would be a good idea.
    Luigi7255 said:
    A vegetarian meal is actually worse than a meal that contains meat.
    In what way is it worse? There is strong evidence to suggest that processed meats like ham, sausages, and bacon increase risk of cancer - they are class 1 carcinogens. Also, red meat is a class 2 carcinogen, meaning it is likely to cause cancer in humans. 
    Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have lower BMI as well as lower rates of cancer when compared to omnivores. While it is possible that this results from other lifestyle changes, isn't it a good idea for schoolchildren to develop these habits early on?
    Luigi7255 said:
    Plus, we all know no young kid will want to eat vegetables and fruits.
    Vegetarianism allows animal products like dairy and eggs, unlike veganism, which only allows plant-based foods. Furthermore, in the UK, one-fifth of schoolchildren are vegetarian, and a further one-fifth would prefer to be vegetarian than their current diet. After all, this change will only affect one meal a day, and so it's no bad thing for this one meal to be a little bit healthier.

    To summarise, there are three main reasons to support a vegetarian diet for school meals.
    1: Cost. The vegetarian meals are cheaper, which means the school can focus more on other priorities, such as better education for their students.
    2: Health. While being cheaper, vegetarian meals are also healthier, as shown by the studies I have cited.
    3: Environment. Meat accounts for over half of all greenhouse gas emissions from the food production industry, and so by switching away from this, schools can be more environmentally friendly.

    Just to reiterate - I don't necessarily agree or disagree with these points, I am just trying to find out more about this debate.
    OakTownA
  • BlastcatBlastcat 409 Pts   -   edited December 2021
    Argument Topic: Not every parent is a vegitarian


    If a parent only wants a vegetarian meal, they should arrange that with the school. Sometimes, we have to pay a little more for what we want.

    I think that school cafeterias already serve veggies.
    I don't know of any school that prohibits kids from bringing a lunch or that forces meat on their kids.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4521 Pts   -  
    It is a strange idea to force the same (and pretty unhealthy, at that) diet on everyone. And why the vegetarian diet specifically? Why not the Kosher diet, or the Atkins diet, or the torturous Keto diet?

    No, if anything, I believe that the school meals should be fully privatized and offered by whatever companies can negotiate mutually beneficial terms with the schools. Let multiple big food chains compete for this, and let the kids and their teachers do the diet choosing.
  • Luigi7255Luigi7255 565 Pts   -  
    @xlJ_dolphin_473

    "The vegetarian meals are cheaper, which means the school can focus more on other priorities, such as better education for their students."

    They may be cheaper, but they are still going to have to put a large chunk of money into paying farmers and/or corporations, shipping, storage, and the fact that, unless the vegetables are very chilled or frozen, they expire quicker, making the last few things harder to do, since it has to be done within days.

    "
    While being cheaper, vegetarian meals are also healthier, as shown by the studies I have cited.

    Besides the point that I have shown above, I concede this point.

    "
    Meat accounts for over half of all greenhouse gas emissions from the food production industry, and so by switching away from this, schools can be more environmentally friendly."

    Nothing can happen here, as it will just result in the same thing, and actually make more wasted food than before, with the new abundance of meat products if all schools go vegetarian. There are also other ways to be environmentally friendly like my old Junior High school has a solar panel at the back and actually won an award from Energy Star for it. Schools can run on sustainable energy, like water, nuclear, and solar, as I mentioned.

    Also, I appreciate your willingness to actually learn more about this topic.
    "I will never change who I am just because you do not approve."
  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1690 Pts   -  
    @MayCaesar
    You make good points on the whole, though I would push back on your claim that the vegetarian diet is ‘pretty unhealthy’. Many studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart disease, as well as cancer.
    Furthermore, a study from the American Dietetic Association shows that vegetarians typically have lower BMI as well as lower rates of type 2 diabetes when compared to omnivores. While other lifestyle changes may account for some of the differences, the effect is statistically significant enough not to ignore. For these reasons, it is false to suggest that the vegetarian diet is unhealthy.
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5326 Pts   -  
    @MayCaesar ;
    It is a strange idea to force the same (and pretty unhealthy, at that) diet on everyone. 
    cannibal diet 
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • BlastcatBlastcat 409 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: cannibalism isn't about meat, it's about eating humans

    @MayCaesar ;
    It is a strange idea to force the same (and pretty unhealthy, at that) diet on everyone. 
    cannibal diet 
    I'm supposing you just made a little joke.


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