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David Attenborough's A Life on our Planet inspires Canterbury pupil to call for Kent schools to serve less meat

A six-year-old is calling for schools in Kent to serve less meat in a bid to help the environment.

Bruno Serrano, from Canterbury, was inspired by new documentary A Life on Our Planet, in which David Attenborough makes troubling predictions about Earth's future if meat consumption continues at current rates.

Bruno Serrano, six, with his letter. Picture: Ruth Linklater
Bruno Serrano, six, with his letter. Picture: Ruth Linklater

The naturalist warns: "(We must) change our diet. Whenever we choose a piece of meat, we too are unwittingly demanding a huge expanse of space.

"The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters."

Six-year-old Bruno has taken his stark message on board, and is now calling for changes to be made within schools.

Inspired by both the documentary and a recent Blue Peter episode about veganism, the youngster penned a letter calling for schools to cut down the amount of meat they serve, and introduce a weekly meat-free day.

Addressing Kent County Council, he writes: "We the children want to have a meat free day because we want to help wildlife. Because wildlife is dying. Humans are taking over the world!"

Bruno's letter. Picture: Ruth Linklater
Bruno's letter. Picture: Ruth Linklater

Bruno also gathered quotes from fellow pupils at Bridge and Patrixbourne CofE Primary School, who support his idea.

His classmate Ella, six, said: "Save wildlife and don’t eat too much meat." While another named Louis added: "We should be kind".

At Bruno's request, his mum, Ruth Linklater, sent his letter to Kent County Council and school meals provider Caterlink, as well as Blue Peter, Bridge Parish Council, MP Rosie Duffield and David Attenborough.

She said: "Bruno's school is very positive and supportive about Bruno's letter.

"He started doing the maths of how many schools there might be in Kent, and how many people might get involved with this, and asked me to help spread it as far as possible."

Famous vegetarians Paul and Stella McCartney run non-profit campaign Meat Free Monday, which encourages people to avoid meat once a week, but only two schools from Kent are signed up to the initiative.

"Bruno would love to see his school and others become part of this," said his mum. "He's a meat eater, but he's most definitely up for having less to do his bit."

Bridge and Patrixbourne Primary headteacher, James Tibbles said the school has recently reviewed its menu and introduced a regular "meat-free" day,

"Should this prove popular then it’s something that we will consider making a regular feature of our menu," he added.

Richard Long, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, responded to Bruno's letter by thanking him for raising the issue, but added the authority does not have control over school meals.

He said: “I would like to say thank you and well done to Bruno for bringing this matter to our attention. It is always encouraging to see young people engaging with important issues, and environmental causes are particularly relevant right now.

“The responsibility for ensuring school meals are available to pupils lies with each school’s governing body and not with Kent County Council.

"When providing school meals, governing bodies must ensure they offer healthy and nutritious options, which meet the Government’s standards. Meat and non-meat options are available in schools so it is already possible for an individual to choose to not eat meat as part of their school meals.

"Additionally, the 200 schools that buy in to the county’s catering framework are already able to access ‘Meat Free Monday’ menu cycles.

“Children and young people learn about the importance of healthy eating and exercise, as well about things they can do to protect the environment, as part of their lessons in school.”

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