Proving the old adage that all roads lead to Meat Free Monday, a school in Rome has become the second in the Italian capital to bring the project into the classroom, with a series of lessons related to all things MFM.
In May, pupils at Rosario Livatino secondary school, in Ladispoli, a town on the coastal outskirts of the city, were not only given five hour-long classes about the benefits of eating with people and planet in mind, but got to practise their language and singing skills, courtesy of a singalong with MFM founder Paul McCartney – or with one of his tunes, at least.
The project was the brain child of Michela Carissimi, who teaches English at Rosario Livatino and two years ago was responsible for introducing MFM to another school she worked at in the city, IISS Luca Paciolo. She has been a Meat Free Monday supporter since 2010.
Carissimi joined forces with science teacher Angela Trinetti to educate 13-year-old pupils in classes 3A and 3B about all things MFM, from the global effect of eating too much meat to the personal benefits of increasing our consumption of fruit and vegetables. Trinetti discussed global warming, highlighting the extent to which the meat and livestock industry is a major producer of harmful greenhouse gases, while with Carissimi, they watched MFM’s One Day a Week film and listened – and sang along – to the Meat Free Monday song, before analysing its lyrics.
To help the schoolchildren appreciate the relevance of meat free eating to their daily lives and community, a local star was brought into the classroom: the artichoke. Packed with protein and antioxidants, this edible member of the thistle family is farmed around Ladispoli and celebrated every May in La Sagra del Carciofo, a festival about all things artichoke that has been running since 1951.
“The students were amazed about discovering how much meat consumption influences on the environment and they enjoyed a lot taking part to the project,” said Carissimi, who said she set up the project in order to make her pupils more aware of what they were eating. She added that about half of those who took part in the lessons said they had been encouraged to eat less meat or planned to join MFM.
Take a look at our schools section if you’d be interested in bringing MFM to your educational establishment.