top of page
  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Veganism at Japanese Schools

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

(Japanese translation below)

By Yuki Yoshiike

In recent years, the vegan boom has been expanding under the influence of Hollywood stars and health awareness in Japan. The biggest event where vegan cuisine was served was at the Academy Awards ceremony in 2021. In Japan, vegan cuisine was first served as a school lunch in December 2021. Given this fact, let’s take a look at veganism in Japanese schools.

But before going into that, what is veganism? Some people tend to confuse vegetarianism with veganism. However, this is a serious mistake. Vegetarians absolutely cannot eat meat or fish, but they can have eggs and dairy products. Also, there are various types of vegetarians.

Fruitarians, for example, are said to be stricter vegetarians than vegans. Fruitarians refers to people who eat fruits (fruits = apples and oranges) and nuts that are not related to the life of the plant itself even if harvested. Lacto vegetarians can consume milk and dairy products, but they don't eat meat or fish. It is often practiced for religious reasons and is a diet that is mainly widespread in India. As you can see, this means that veganism is included in vegetarianism.

On December 20, 2021, Asahi Shimbun GLOBE+ published an article titled "Vegan School Lunches'' and it became a hot topic. Some Public Elementary Schools adopted vegan school lunches regularly as an extension of school lunches corresponding to allergies.

However, it was criticized by a lot of doctors for two significant reasons. The first is the issue related to nutrition for growing children. They claim that vegan school lunches, which are poorly planned, tend to lack the necessary nutrients and also there is no evidence that a vegan diet is better for your health, but that all of the above nutrients from meat are important for growing children, especially iron, vitamin D, calcium, and protein.

What’s more, during the important growth period when the body is being built, it is necessary to take sufficient amounts of calcium and protein, which are the basis of bones and muscles. For those reasons the school attempt was criticized by a lot of experts.

In conclusion, most Japanese people claim that veganism should not be incorporated into schools in Japan. And some people tend to strongly assume that veganism has a religious connection in Japan, so they think they are forcing religion onto children. In any case, it is still impossible to distribute veganism meals to school organizations, and almost all Japanese tend to be skeptical towards vegetarianism.


吉池 優樹


しかし、その前に、ビーガン主義とは何なのか? ビーガン主義と菜食主義を混同しがちな人もいます。しかし、これは重大な間違いです。菜食主義者は肉や魚は絶対に食べませんが、卵や乳製品は食べることができます。また、さまざまなタイプのベジタリアンがいます。例えば、ビーガンよりも厳しいベジタリアンと言われるフルータリアン。収穫しても植物自体の生命に関係のない果物(果物=りんごやみかん)や木の実を食べる人のことを指します。ラクト・ベジタリアンは牛乳や乳製品を摂取できますが、肉や魚は食べません。宗教上の理由から行われることが多く、主にインドで広く普及している食事です。見てのとおり、これは菜食主義にヴィーガニズムが含まれていることを意味します。

2021年12月20日、朝日新聞GLOBE+に「ビーガン給食」と題する記事が掲載され、話題となりました。一部の公立小学校では、アレルギー対応給食の延長としてビーガン給食を定期的に採用しています。しかしながら、それは多くの医師たちに批判されました。1つ目は、成長する子供たちの栄養に関連する問題です。 彼らは、ビーガンの学校給食は十分に計画されておらず、必要な栄養素が不足する傾向があり、また、ビーガン食が人の健康に良いという確かな証拠もなく、それどころか、前述の栄養素の全てが、成長期の子供にとって、特に、鉄、ビタミンD、カルシウム、そしてたんぱく質の不足に対して重要である、と主張している。




Recent Posts

See All

How to Compose Your Own Music

(Japanese Translation below) By Daichi Sakurai To begin, let me explain about the author. I'm an avid lover of music. I've loved listening to music since I was a little kid, and I can recall listening


bottom of page