Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Activism Unleashed
By Heather Moore

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits

Other activists are working to get meatless meals and other healthy vegan options served in schools. When Jackie Domac, a former teacher and health department chairwomen at Venice High School in California, informed a school administrator that a few of her students had requested juice in addition to soda in the school vending machines, she was told that selling juice would conflict with the school's soda contract. Outraged that money from Coca-Cola sales was more important than giving students healthy beverage choices, Jackie, a vegan for nearly 20 years, and her students circulated petitions, met with parents, attended school board meetings, and more, in an effort to get healthier food and beverages in the school.

Not only did they convince school officials to replace the sodas in the school vending machine with bottled water, sports drinks, and juices, they also succeeded in getting the school to add a fruit and vegetable bar to the school cafeteria and serve vegetarian-chili potato boats twice a week–a vegan option that meets the National School Lunch Program's requirements. According to Jackie, Venice High School was also the first high school in the nation to get an organic soy milk vending machine.

But that wasn't enough for Jackie. She wanted all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)–the second largest school district in the nation with 1,030 schools–to have access to healthy vegan food. Jackie rallied students, parents, teachers, and school board members to support the LAUSD Obesity Prevention Resolution, which encourages schools to provide kids with healthy snacks instead of candy bars, eliminate contracts with fast-food companies, offer students at least one vegetarian option at lunchtime, and pilot soy milk in five area schools. Thanks to Jackie's hard work, the resolution will take effect in July 2004.

PETA was so impressed with Jackie's efforts that they hired her as their new education manager. Part of her job duties will be to convince other schools around the nation to offer healthy, humane vegetarian options.

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