12th February 2008
School offered the truth about factory farming after piglets? visit
A BERKSHIRE primary school has been contacted by Europe?s largest vegetarian campaigning organisation Viva!, after pupils were introduced to free range piglets brought into the school, before being served a bacon sandwich.
Newbury Today recently reported details of the visit to Brightwalton Primary School, organised as part of a campaign to encourage people to eat breakfast and held during Farmhouse Breakfast Week.
Following on from this, Viva! has written to the school inviting them to offer children a different perspective on where the majority of pork they consume at home comes from, and highlight more healthy vegetarian alternatives for breakfast, than a bacon sandwich.
Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager, said: ?Although we believe people should know where their food has come from, introducing children to free-range piglets does not represent the truth about the meat they consume at home. In this country, 70 per cent of sows give birth in horrific farrowing crates. Sows are shut into these tiny cages a week before they give birth ? and remain imprisoned until their piglets are three to four weeks old. Then most piglets are moved indoors. Almost all the pork, bacon, ham, pepperoni and pork sausages sold in Britain come from pigs kept in factory farms, who are reared in doors and never see sunshine.?
It is unlikely the bacon children consume ? especially if purchased from a supermarket ? will come from piglets raised on a free range farm.
The school has also been asked to consider the fact that a meat-based breakfast is not the healthiest choice. A bacon sandwich on white bread is laden with artery-clogging saturated fats, contains too much protein, no fibre, lacks starchy carbohydrates, and very little vitamins C, E or beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A).
Amanda Woodwine, nutritionist with Viva!?s sister charity, the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation, said: ?A lack of these antioxidant vitamins, low fibre, and high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol are risk factors for some cancers, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and several other diseases. A varied, vegetarian breakfast based on fresh fruit and wholegrain cereal, with a sprinkling of nuts or seeds is bursting with all the ingredients known to be health promoting and health protecting.?
Last autumn the VVF organised a health promotion day at a community centre in Carmarthenshire, Wales, attended by 120 primary school children. Pupils had fun identifying the contents of mystery food boxes supplied by a local organic health store and played ?Veggie Ready, Steady (Non) Cook? with the contents. They also played with an interactive health animation and enjoyed healthy cookery demonstrations. The charity has offered to organise a similar project in the Brightwalton area.
The VVF will be in Chieveley Village Hall on Wednesday 12 May from 7pm as part of a Women?s Health Evening. Healthy food samples will be available, and Amanda Woodvine will be giving a talk on how to cut your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more through simple dietary changes.
Please contact us, or the organizer, Liz Barnes on 01635 33007 if you would like to attend.
For more information, facts and advice about becoming vegetarian ? or better still, vegan, visit www.viva.org.uk. To learn more about the shocking truth about factory farmed pigs, visit www.piggles.org.uk
For more information about this Media Release or to speak to Justin Kerwell or Amanda Woodvine, contact Viva! press officer, Helen Rossiter by calling 0117 9704637 or email email@example.com or Justin Kerswell on 0117 9704632.