05/12/22 Students eager for vegan meals
Animals Friends Croatia asks for organic, quality, and delicious food for students
May 18th - signing of the petition and tasting vegan food at the stand in front of the Student Centre restaurant
Every day there are more students who are vegans and a number of those who, for various reasons, reduce the consumption of meat, egg, and milk. They will, regardless of their eating habits, choose a healthier, vegan meal whenever they can. But the fact is that vegan students are often left hungry because there are no options for them in student restaurants, and they can't live only on side dishes, salads, and soups.
"The current offer is bad because the meals are not tasty enough or, despite the good intention, potentially vegan dishes are made in a non-vegan way. For example, soy steaks are prepared with eggs, bacon is added to vegetable stews, etc. Today on the market you can find really tasty and quality plant products such as steaks, cheeses, sausages but we would also be satisfied with breaded champignons with grated potatoes, pasta with lentil sauce, and other traditional and healthy plant dishes“ says Hana Dručak, the student of Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb.
For that reason, Animal Friends activists set up a stand in front of the restaurant of the Zagreb Student Centre on May 11th, 2022 where students had the opportunity to taste healthy vegan dishes and sign a petition for the introduction of vegan meals in public institutions in Croatia. The interest of the students was remarkably high, both in support of the petition and in tasting the vegan food, which everyone said they would love to see on the restaurant's menu. Due to great interest, the stand will be set on again on May 18th, 2022.
„Unfortunately, vegan students are seen as second-class students. Shouldn’t they have the same right to a meal? In Berlin, for example, student restaurants are becoming completely vegan to point out to students the need to change their diet due to climate change. In Croatia, it is the complete opposite. Although the Croatian Parliament adopted a ‘Low-Carbon Strategy’ and it is clear to everyone that a mixed diet does not mean every meal must be with meat, students have almost no choice and often must navigate and find other places outside student restaurants, which is not right. Doctors also recommend that due to health, animal products should be eaten less often " Animal Friends Croatia explains.
A commission was formed at the start of 2021 to work on the revised Student Nutrition Rulebook, but the entire procedure is suspended. Animal Friends Croatia included themselves by sending tips for cookbooks, recipes, and other useful materials to the Student Centre and the Ministry of Science and Education, asking them to include both them and vegan students in planning and creating new menus.
Lack of vegan meals is also present in other public institutions, including kindergartens and primary and secondary schools where children often are hungry.