By News Group (Originally in English)
The Portuguese parliament approved a law in March 2017 requiring all public canteens, including universities, prisons, hospitals and schools, to provide at least one balanced vegan meal on their menus within six months. Qualified nutritionists will prepare the menus to ensure the meals are healthy and nutritionally balanced.
The Portuguese Vegetarian Society facilitated the passage of the law by organizing a petition in 2015, which quickly collected 15,000 signatures, ensuring a debate in Parliament in early 2016. André Silva, the first Member of Parliament for the Portuguese Party for People-Animals-Nature (PAN) sponsored the bill, which was passed into law with the support of four other parties. He explained that the law would not increase food costs, as plant-based meals tend to be less expensive than those with animal products.
Nuno Alvim, a representative of the Portuguese Vegetarian Society, lauded the passage of the law, stating, “It will promote diversity of eating habits and encourage more people to choose the veggie option as it becomes more widely available. This of course is predicted to have a significant impact on the population’s health foremost, but also on animals and the environment in the long run.”
Bravo, Portugal! We express our deepest appreciation for the efforts of the Portuguese Vegetarian Society, the Party for Animals and Nature, and all the others who have worked to pass the first vegan law in Portugal!
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture-20111019-FNS-RBN-1743-19October2011-(edited)-Wikicommons-Public Domain