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Farmers protest meat-free menus in French schools

Farmers protest meat-free menus in French schools
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Farmers in France are protesting after schools in Lyon had to eliminate meat from their students' lunches and instead feature meatless meals.

The farmers held signs up saying “meat from our fields = a healthy child” and “Stopping meat is a guarantee of weakness against coronaviruses to come”, ABC News reported.

The decision was made by Lyon City Hall and its mayor, Gregory Doucet, who is a member Green Party. 

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Lyon City Hall claims the meals were switched because it is easier to serve the meatless meals while students have to be socially distanced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

City Hall says they only have two hours to feed 29,000 students so making a meal that all students could eat, regardless of religious or dietary restrictions, saves time for the schools while trying to follow social distancing protocols.

The city says meat options will be returned when social distancing measures are gone, according to ABC News.

The decision to eliminate meat from the menu did not only draw backlash from farmers but government officials as well. 

“From a nutritional point of view, it is absurd to stop serving meat,” Julien Denormandie, France’s agriculture minister, said Tuesday on RTL radio. “From a social point of view, it is shameful.”

The school is keeping students socially distanced as France has seen over 3.5 million confirmed cases and over 85,000 deaths from the virus.