Director James Cameron’s wife opened first all-vegan school as he filmed Avatar
It needs to start somewhere, there always needs to be one that shows by example, so other schools can follow. In the case of school lunches and what they are feeding our children there is a school in Calabasas, CA that is serving healthy plant based food and is the brainchild of Suzy Amis Cameron.
A school in the US has become the first in the country to serve only vegan food to its students.
MUSE School in Calabasas – which champions sustainability – has made the switch to plant-based food primarily for environmental reasons.
‘We teach our students how much more land and water are needed to produce a pound of beef versus grain, and we couldn’t truly call ourselves sustainable without eating this way,’ says head of the private school Jeff King.
The school, which takes students from elementary to high school (ages 3-18), was founded by film director James Cameron’s wife Suzy Amis Cameron in 2006.
In June 2014 Amis announced that they would make the vegan transition within 18 months, and November 2015 celebrates two months of a 100 per cent plant-based menu.
‘You can’t really call yourself an environmentalist if you’re still consuming animals. You just can’t,’ said Amis, who, along with her Avatar-director husband, went vegan in 2012 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives.
A staggering 51 per cent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.
And the United Nations says a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
While pupils at MUSE have been lapping up food that they helped road-test – including burritos, vegetarian chilli and lemon garlic pasta – it took a while for the community to get on board.
A substantial 40% of the students were withdrawn by concerned parents after the changes were first announced, according to the Guardian, though King says numbers recovered and are now the highest on record.
‘We teach our students how much more land and water are needed to produce a pound of beef versus grain, and we couldn’t truly call ourselves sustainable without eating this way,’ King told the newspaper.
Adding: ‘[Food at MUSE is now] a non-issue.’
The head of the school is full of plans and optimism for the future, but acknowledges that blazing a trail doesn’t mean others – however admiring – will follow in MUSE’s footsteps.