The Department of Education of the Government of Basque Country still does not plan to include a vegan menu in public schools in the Basque Country despite the request of the families of vegan students that have had the support of all parties in the Basque Parliament.

In the canteens of Basque public schools, there are five types of menus: the basic menu, the menu without pigs, the lacto-ovo vegetarian, the Lacto-ovo vegetarian with fish, and those adapted to diets with special nutritional needs, such as intolerances, allergies, or diets for pathologies with specific dietary treatment. However, there are no vegan menus, which has raised criticism from a group of families who are part of the FEUMVE association (Families United for a Vegan School Menu) that demands that vegan menus be included in public schools in the Basque Country.

Iñigo, a father of three children who study in a public school in Vitoria, told El Diario, We feel discriminated against by the Basque Government and by the school as well because having a lacto-ovo vegetarian menu for us is not a solution since we consider that they are attacking the ethics and morals of some families trying to impose their way of thinking … The management of our school decided to discriminate against them when there is a party and there is a special lunch, and they do not offer anything that is not of animal origin for them. That annoys them a lot because they don’t understand, considering how simple it is to give them something similar without animals.” Referring to the school administrators, he adds, “They throw balls out saying that the vegan menu does not have all the necessary nutrients for a good diet, which is totally false since Osakidetza has produced a guide saying that a vegetarian or vegan diet is suitable for any stage of life, well planned like any other diet, whether vegan or not.”

The Osakidetza guide is a document approved in March 2022 and produced by the paediatrician of the Hospital de Mendaro Pablo Oliver Goicolea, with the collaboration of other health professionals from the Hospital de Basurto, the Public Health Agency of Catalonia and the Department of Pediatrics of the Imperial College NHS Trus Healthcare in London. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.