Teachers from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will receive free vegan turkey sandwiches as they strike over issues such as wages and education budget cuts.
Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) will hand out sandwiches – made with vegan meat by Tofurky – to educators who are striking this Monday. To make sure they’re easily spotted, activists will hold signs with messages such as “Tofurky for Teachers” and “No Mystery Meat Here – Free Vegan Sandwiches!”
According to the organization, the teachers of the unified school district are key figures of the community in Los Angeles, encouraging their students to show empathy and compassion. The district promotes veganism and sustainable eating through its lunch program, which offers plant-based meals every day.
The program – which provoked fear and disapproval from Farm Journal’s “PORK” magazine last year – has resulted in students taking a keen interest in meat-free living.
At the end of 2017 – following a trial period at the beginning of the school year that saw 31,204 vegan lunches sold – students requested more vegan meal options. “I’ve needed two times [the amount of plant-based food] we had, they are asking for vegan now. Students are paying more attention to what they eat,” said Kiki Tarrant, the cafeteria manager at Roosevelt High School, back in 2017.
Through its Share the World curriculum kit, Teachkind – PETA’s humane education division – aims to help educators from all over the U.S. teach their students about compassionate living, by suggesting lesson plans and providing resources.
In Los Angeles, a compassionate school system is especially important to one member of the organization in particular. PETA’s executive vice president Tracy Reiman lives in South Pasadena with her 15-year-old son, where she serves on the board of a parent-teacher association.
“The classroom is an important place to learn empathy, so PETA is eager to help fuel educators’ fight for their and their students’ rights,” Reiman said in a statement. “Many LAUSD students can enjoy delicious vegan meals, and PETA wants to offer that same benefit to their brave and hungry teachers.”
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