The MUSE school in Calabasas, CA will be the first school in the United States to offer a 100% vegan diet to it’s students!!! Currently, MUSE has one lunch per week that is totally vegan, and purportedly offers a wide range of veggies which are enjoyed by the students even during non-vegan meals, but plans to be totally vegan by fall of 2015.
The MUSE school was founded by Suzy Amis Cameron (James Cameron’s wife) and her sister Rebecca Amis in 2006. Settled in Calabasas, CA, MUSE is a private elementary school whose focus is to raise young people to “live consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet.” MUSE is expanding to welcome middle-school and high-school aged students in the fall.
MUSE has an on-site garden (with 50 garden beds on campus!) and a seed-to-table program which allows the kids to have their hands in the dirt, growing produce that they then eat. Creating a totally vegan menu for the kids is a natural progression for the school, particularly with it’s focus on sustainability. By the fall, the kids will be eating a diet completely comprised of the foods that they themselves have grown!
The focus for the school is not to push veganism on the kids, but to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and encourage the students to be cognoscente of, and concerned about, their impact on the planet. MUSE encourages a love of animals, and empowers kids to feel that they can be leaders and makers of change. First and foremost, MUSE is an environmental school, so all education stems from environmental awareness.
The students seem to be on-board. Even one student who admitted that they would miss meat also claimed to think that the vegan menu was better because it’s “better to eat healthy.”
I’m encouraged, and can only hope that the school has great successes which are then copied by other schools. The MUSE model won’t work for most public schools, sadly, at least in our current system, but hopefully they can pave a path to better education and nutrition for our kids. Education that creates conscious, concerned and compassionate citizens!