These Teens Are Sharing Advice on Getting Vegan Options at School

After a semester of hard work, the Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS) Calabasas hub in California made progress in getting vegan dishes added to the cafeteria menu at Calabasas High School. After corresponding with their cafeteria manager, SOS organizers Noelle McMorris and Tomer Fine—along with their hub members—now have daily vegan options in the lunch line and are in the process of campaigning to make more vegan meals available to other students. 🎉

SOS Calabasas vegan lunch items

“We both stopped eating meat in elementary school after realizing that meat [comes from] animals. Since then, we’ve learned so much about the power of vegan eating, which made us disturbed to see nothing but burgers and hot dogs in the school cafeteria.”

Noelle McMorris and Tomer Fine of the SOS Calabasas hub
SOS Calabasas Bake Sale
SOS Calabasas hub members hosted a vegan bake sale and raised nearly $300 for an animal sanctuary. They handed out vegan guides along with decorated bags of vegan baked goods that included animal rights stickers.

When asked why getting vegan options added at their school was important to them, Noelle and Tomer shared these thoughts:

After looking into it a little more, we found out that the one salad they served had dairy in it—meaning that there wasn’t a single fully animal-free option at all. Given all that we knew about the horrific abuse animals endure for these foods, in addition to the severity of the ongoing climate catastrophe, we realized that we needed to do something. A vegan menu at our high school cafeteria might not save the world, but it’s allowing all students to experience the power of animal-free eating, and that’s fantastic.

Tomer and Noelle SOS Calabasas
Tomer Fine (left) and Noelle McMorris hold the new vegan bean-and-rice burrito during school lunch.

We couldn’t agree more. 🙌 By offering vegan options in its cafeteria, Calabasas High School will help save animals’ lives. This move reflects a commitment to compassion and empathy—values that resonate with many young people today.

“The best part of the process was working with the chef at our school to brainstorm and test out new vegan options. It was a challenge to figure out meals that could be made from the food available, would meet the nutrition requirements, and would please the student population, but it was so worth it. In fact, the chef had to start making more of the vegan Chinese bowls because they sold out in the blink of an eye! Getting to witness this has been an amazing experience.”

Noelle McMorris and Tomer Fine

Noelle and Tomer are true heroes to animals, so peta2 is giving them each a Hero to Animals Award to honor them for their dedication to spreading compassion. We’re also thanking Calabasas High School for embracing healthy and kind vegan options.

Hero to Animals Award Calabasas High

You Can Be a Hero to Animals, Too

Any student can take a page out of the SOS Calabasas hub’s book by starting an animal rights club or campaigning to get vegan options added in their school’s cafeteria.

When asked what advice Noelle and Tomer would give other high school students who want to get vegan options added to their cafeteria menus, they offered the following:

Be persistent, be kind, and be helpful. Chances are your school won’t immediately respond enthusiastically after just one e-mail or one meeting! But by continuing to share your ideas, the message will eventually get across to them. It may be angering at first to see your school opposed to vegan food, but try to keep an open mind and meet them where they’re at. Figure out their hesitations. [Are they worried] that students won’t want to eat a vegan option? [Are they concerned] that the school doesn’t have access to vegan food or that [procuring it] will be too much work? With that in mind, you should be able to come up with a vegan menu that best suits your school.

What great advice! Animals and the planet are lucky to have Noelle and Tomer on their side. 🌎🐷

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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