Sir Paul McCartney calls for an end to mandatory meat in England’s school meals

NHS tribute book

Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters have backed calls to scrap guidance that says pupils in England should be served meat, fish and dairy at school.

The former Beatle was joined by his children Mary and Stella in asking for students to be given more plant-based options, saying it is kinder to the environment and fairer to animals.

They added their names to a letter organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and sent to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

The letter was written as part of a consultation process for a review of Britain's food system, including the guidance for what is served in schools.

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Sir Paul McCartney
FILE - In this Wednesday, July 15, 2009 file photo Paul McCartney peeks through the curtains during rehearsals for a performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee during a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman" in New York. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Former member of The Beatles Paul McCartney poses with his book 'Hey Grandude!' at a launch event in London, Britain, September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has sent the world's media on a marital mystery tour after rumors about his plans to marry former model Heather Mills reached fever pitch. The time and place of the show business wedding of the year has been shrouded in secrecy to prevent a media circus from hijacking the couple's big day. McCartney arrives with Mills at the preview of his art exhibition in the Walker Gallery in Liverpool, May 23, 2002. REUTERS/Darren Staples-Files BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE DS/MC/WS/HB
After nearly 40 years of hits, it is no secret that Paul McCartney has a way with a song. Now he is showing he has a touch with a brush and canvas too. Although he has been painting for some 18 years, the former Beatle has only recently gone public. After an exhibition in Germany in 1999, he has published a collection, "Paintings," and has staged shows in London and New York. Paul McCartney poses in front of his painting named "big mountain face" before an exhibition opening in the western German town of Siegen April 30, 1999. ME
FILE PHOTO 8APR93 - British pop star Paul McCartney and his wife Linda greet fans before a 1993 press conference in London to discuss a showbusiness school he planned to build in Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles. Linda McCartney, 56, died in Santa Barbara, California April 17, a statement from the pop star's press office said April 19. She had been suffering from breast cancer which had spread to her liver, the statement said. REUTERS
FILE PHOTO 15OCT97 - Former Beatle Paul McCartney gives a thumbs-up as he sits between his son James (L) and wife Linda during a 1997 fashion show in Paris. Linda McCartney died in Santa Barbara, California April 17, a statement from the pop star's press office said April 19. She had been suffering from breast cancer which had spread to her liver, the statement said. REUTERS
Paul McCartney performs on day one of the Austin City Limits Music Festival's second weekend on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell pose for the media following an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, Friday May 4, 2018, where he was made a Companion of Honour. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)
Foto tomada el 26 de octubre de 1965 de los Beatles -- de izq a der: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney y George Harrison -- tras ser condecorados en el Palacio de Buckingham en Londres. (AP Photo, File)
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr arrive at the Stella McCartney Autumn 2018 Presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 file photo, singer/songwriter Paul McCartney performs on stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Former Beatle McCartney has told a British newspaper he believes he once saw God during a psychedelic trip. The 76-year-old music legend told The Sunday Times he was “humbled” by the experience. The music legend is promoting a new album and a fall tour, it was reported on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)
Musicians and members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, right, and Ringo Starr pose for photographers upon arrival at the World premiere of the Beatles movie, Ron Howard's 'Eight days a week-the touring years' in London, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 1964, file photo, the Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, take a fake blow from Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) while visiting the heavyweight contender at his training camp in Miami Beach, Fla. Ali, the magnificent heavyweight champion whose fast fists and irrepressible personality transcended sports and captivated the world, has died according to a statement released by his family Friday, June 3, 2016. He was 74. (AP Photo/File)
FILE- In this file photo dated Sunday April 19, 2015, Paul McCartney introduces Ringo Starr at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, in Cleveland, USA. The former member of British rock band The Beatles, McCartney says he has given up smoking marijuana after many years of indulgence, according to an interview published Saturday May 30, 2015, in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "the last time I smoked was a long time ago." said McCartney who declares he now prefers wine or "a nice margarita." (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, FILE)
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2014 file photo, Paul McCartney performs at The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, in Los Angeles. McCartney has been treated for a virus that led him to cancel his tour in Japan. Publicist Perri Cohen says in a statement Thursday, May 22, that McCartney “has received successful medical treatment at a hospital in Tokyo.” Cohen adds that the icon is expected to make a complete recovery and will be taking time to rest. McCartney cancelled his entire "Out There Japan Tour 2014" this week because of the illness. (Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this June 8, 2013 file photo, Paul McCartney performs during a concert at the Barclays Center in New York. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and Willie Nelson are among the artists performing McCartney songs in a massive tribute to the former Beatle due out in November. (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this May 3, 1988 file photo, Paul McCartney, right, tries out a custom-made left handed "Les Paul Lite" guitar presented to him by designer, Les Paul, left, in New York. Les Paul was a renown musician also known for his innovations on the solid body electric guitar and multitrack recording. The man who helped pave the way for rock 'n' roll is finally getting a permanent exhibit on June 9, 2013 at the Waukesha County Museum in his Wisconsin hometown. (AP Photo, file)
FILE - In this Monday, June 4, 2012 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, 2nd from left, is joined on stage by performers Sir Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John at the conclusion of the Queen's Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, London. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
FILE - This April 13, 2012 file photo shows Paul McCartney, right, and his wife Nancy Shevell at the world premiere of the music video for McCartney's song, "My Valentine", in West Hollywood, Calif. Local media outlets report that the former Beatle accompanied his wife, Nancy Shevell, during her visit to the Syracuse, N.Y. area Wednesday, Sept. 5, for a business meeting at New England Motor Freight’s operations in suburban DeWitt. Shevell is the vice president of administration for the company owned by her father, Myron Shevell. The reports say McCartney and Nancy Shevell flew into Syracuse on a private jet and spent several hours in the area, including having lunch with company employees. Photos of McCartney with groups of workers have been posted on Facebook pages and Syracuse media websites. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2011 file photo, former Beatle Paul McCartney gestures as he and American heiress Nancy Shevell leave Marylebone Town Hall, London, after their wedding. McCartney is going to help restore an 1877 Steinway grand piano used by Motown greats. On Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, the piano will be picked up from the Detroit museum and shipped to Steinway & Sons in New York for restoration. The work is expected to take up to five months. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, File)
FILE - In this 1965 file photo, two of the Beatles, Ringo Starr, left, and Paul McCartney, appear at a news conference after the announcement that the Honours Award of the M.B.E was awarded to them, in London. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo)
FILE- In this March 8, 2010 file photo, Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell watch the presentation of British fashion designer Stella McCartney's fall-winter 2010-2011 ready-to-wear collection in Paris. Shevell, who married McCartney in October 2011, announced her resignation from the board of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority at its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/JThibault Camus, File)
Paul McCartney toca en el Festival de la Música y las Artes de Coachella Valley, en Indio, California, el 17 de abril del 2009. (AP Foto/Chris Pizzello, Archivo)
** FILE ** British musician Paul McCartney holds up a copy of his new album 'Electric Arguments', re-issued under the name of The Fireman, at a store in central London, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan) ** zu unserem KORR **
**FILE** British musician Sir Paul McCartney is seen in Tel Aviv, Israel, in a Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008 file photo. McCartney claims that he was the real politicized figure in The Beatles, not John Lennon, according to an interview published Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 in the The Sunday Times of London. The newspaper said McCartney was interviewed in Britain's Prospect magazine. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)
FILE -This Monday March 17, 2008 file photo shows Paul McCartney, 65, leaving the central London's Royal Courts of Justice, following the announcement of the judgment of his divorce with Heather Mills. On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, British prosecutors announced charges against eight people alleged to have been involved in a phone hacking scheme with more than 600 targets. Some of the prominent alleged victims of the phone hacking are thought to have included, Paul McCartney, Heather Mills, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sienna Miller, Wayne Rooney, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Lord Frederick Windsor, John Prescott, as well as murdered 13-year old school girl who was abducted in 2002 Amanda "Milly" Dowler. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)
Sir Paul McCartney performs at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in downtown St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, June 20, 2004. McCartney capped a day of music and rain at the Glastonbury music festival Saturday, taking the stage to cheers from tens of thousands of damp but enthusiastic fans. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)
** FILE ** In a file photo Paul McCartney stands in front of one of his paintings at the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, Nov. 1, 2000. McCartney is releasing a classical album, "Ecce Cor Meum," which means "Behold My Heart," a choral and orchestral work in both English and Latin. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)
FILE - April 1991 file photo of former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda. McCartney spoke out Tuesday Sept. 3, 1996 saying that Linda has made a full recovery after undergoing breast cancer surgery in December. Since the operation to remove a lump from Linda McCartney's breast the 54-year-old ex-Beatle had stayed silent on the subject but decided to break his silence following British news reports this week suggesting his wife was still seriously ill. (AP Photo/PA) *UNITED KINGDOM OUT*
Former Beatle Paul McCartney and wife Linda on the opening night of his three sold-out concerts at London's Empire Pool, Wembley on October 19, 1976. (AP Photo/John Glanville)
Singer Paul McCartney and his American-born wife Linda enter a police station in Goteborg, Sweden for questioning, Aug. 10, 1972, after police intercepted a half-pound of marijuana addressed to a member of their group, Wings, now on tour in Sweden. Police said a decision would be made Aug. 11 on whether charges would be filed. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this 1971 file photo, former Beatles singer and guitarist Paul McCartney arrives with his wife, Linda, at function in London. The draft of a two-page typed letter with handwritten annotations from John Lennon to Paul and Linda McCartney, thought to have been written in 1971 shortly after the Beatles' breakup, was sold by RR Auction, of Boston, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, for nearly $30,000. (AP Photo, File)
El beatle Paul McCartney en el London Pavilion de Londres en una fotografía del 25 de septiembre de 1969. Un telegrama enviado por Miles Davis y Jimi Hendrix a Paul McCartney invitaba al beatle a participar con ellos en un disco. El telegrama fue enviado hace más de 40 años pero había permanecido en el olvido hasta el lanzamiento en 2013 de "People, Hell & Angels", un CD con material inédito de Hendrix. (Foto AP, archivo )
En esta foto del 28 de febrero del 1968, de izquierda a derecha, los Beatles: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr y George Harrison. Los Beatles lanzaron un nuevo video musical en Apple Music para su canción de 1968 "Glass Onion". El video, estrenado el martes 30 de octubre del 2018, incluye raras fotografías y rodaje de actuaciones del cuarteto. La canción formó parte de su noveno disco, a menudo llamado el "Álbum Blanco", que está cumpliendo sus 50 años. (AP Foto, Archivo)
Beatle Paul McCartney and actress Jane Asher are seen at the Mayfair Suite, Hanover Grand Hotel, London, Jan. 18, 1968, at a launchparty. (AP Photo/Staff/Bob Dear)
ARCHIVO Paul McCartney, de izquierda, George Harrison, Ringo Starr y John Lennon de The Beatles tras bambalinas durante un ensayo de la transmisión en vivo del programa "Our World" en los estudios EMI en Londres en una fotografía de archivo de junio de 1967. Medio siglo después de lanzado el emblemático álbum psicodélico de los Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" se mantiene como una de las múltiples maravillas musicales de 1967 que dieron forma a lo que escuchamos ahora. (Foto AP, archivo)
En esta foto del 23 de agosto de 1966, los Beatles _ de izquierda a derecha Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon y George Harrison _ durante una conferencia de prensa en Nueva York. (AP Foto, Archivo)
FILE - In this June 30, 1966 file photo, the Beatles perform at Budokan Hall in Tokyo for the first time. From left: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. McCartney turned 70 years of age Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - This 1966 file photo shows The Beatles, from left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as they leave London Airport on their trip to the U.S. and Canada. Hundreds of books have been written about the band, but none with such care and authority as those by the 58-year-old British author Mark Lewisohn. Lewisohn is in the midst of a 3-volume biography of the Beatles and most recently contributed text for a coffee table book about their landmark film “A Hard Day’s Night.” (AP Photo/File)
**FILE** This Oct. 26, 1965 file photo shows John Lennon, left, and Paul McCartney as they smile during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. The British Broadcasting Corp. will air a long lost Beatles interview featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney talking about the day they met and their songwriting partnership. The precious film sat forgotten for 44 years in a garage in south London until film fan Richard Jeffs realized a piece of pop history was contained inside. (AP Photo, FILE)
The Beatles arrive at Speke airport, Liverpool on July 10, 1964, for the Liverpool premiere of their movie "A Hard Day's Night." From left: John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this March 2, 1964 file photo, Britain's pop group The Beatles, from top left John Lennon, George Harrison and from bottom left, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney pose in the window of train at Paddington Station in London. Two new children’s books will add pictures to the words of Lennon and McCartney. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing announced Thursday, July 19, that the series will begin with “All You Need Is Love,” featuring illustrations by Marc Rosenthal. It comes out in January through the imprint Little Simon. The second book will be announced at a future date. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)
The British rock and roll group The Beatles are seen during their first U.S. tour in this 1964 file photo. The band members, from left to right, are George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. The Beatles' Apple Corps company has settled a royalties dispute with record label EMI, the two companies said Thursday, April 12, 2007, raising hopes that Beatles recordings may soon be legally available online. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 1964 file photo, The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York. They love us, yeah! yeah! yeah! At 12:01 a.m. local time on Dec. 24, 2015, around the world, the Beatles' music will be available for streaming from a wide range of outlets, a representative announced Wednesday, Dec. 23. (AP Photo, File)

Sir Paul and his daughters said: "No one needs to eat meat, so it shouldn't be mandatory to serve it in schools.

"It's time to revise the school food standards to help the planet, spare the animals and promote healthy eating."

As well as the McCartneys, the letter was also backed by Green MP Caroline Lucas, Greenpeace and the Veganuary organisation.

It states: "The school food standards are unnecessarily restrictive. So long as nutritional needs are met, individual school caterers should have the freedom to decide whether they wish to include meat and dairy in their menus."

Current rules stipulate that children should be served a portion of meat or poultry three times times a week, oily fish at least once every three weeks and dairy from Monday to Friday.

Sir Paul, who last week celebrated his 78th birthday, is a long-time and passionate supporter of vegetarianism.

He and his first wife, the late Linda McCartney, were vegetarians for most of their 29-year marriage.

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