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In effort to accommodate the diets of their vegan service members, The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has announced that they will be including some completely plant-based dining options in their mess halls and providing leather-free boots and wool-free berets. The move comes after a protest sparked in October brought to light that vegan service members were not having their dietary needs met under current policies. The plant-based soldier in question previously had to assert that they were vegan in the physical presence of a lawyer and then were given a monthly allowance of 350-550 shekels ($74.50-$140) for food.

That might sound all well and good, but according to an open letter on the matter, “The allowance given to vegan soldiers is intended to allow equality between a vegan soldier and a ‘regular’ soldier, but it is clear to everyone that 15–25 shekels is enough for one meal a day at the most. The average vegan soldier has to order food to the base every day, which is not possible with bases that are inaccessible,” This allowance meant that the onus of responsibility for meeting the soldier’s nutritional needs fell squarely on their own shoulders, which proved problematic when a service member was away for long stretches of time and unable to prepare food while they were stationed away. Kosher stipulations for the mess halls themselves also made it difficult to bring food from outside, often preventing the soldier from doing so at all.

Hey, Domino’s! We want a vegan pizza option here too!

Israeli Army to Start Serving Vegan Food in All Mess Halls.PSU

Given the popularity of veganism in Israel, it stands to reason that policies would need to be made in order to accommodate the growing number of plant-based eaters in the army. Three percent of Israel’s total population are vegan. That number may not seem very high, but when compared to the U.S number of .5 percent it’s pretty impressive. The way of life has become so popular in the country that Domino’s Pizza launched it’s first ever vegan pizza offering there (with soy based cheese) and a vegan congress was held in the spring of 2014. It was also the site of the world’s largest vegan festival the same year, with more than 15,000 people in attendance! The country has completely banned cosmetics that were tested on animals and the use of animals in the classroom as well. The army heard the complaint and adjusted their practices accordingly, vowing to begin offering more satisfying options such as soy-based fare as well as lentil and corn cakes. They will still allow soldiers to bring food from home, but will ensure that it’s actually easy to do so by allotting specified space in mess hall refrigerators. There will also no longer be a need to have a lawyer present during a home visit when a soldier declares that they are vegan. A simple phone call in front of the unit commander will suffice going forward.

Hi, yeah, I don’t do the whole meat, eggs and dairy thing so Imma need to order up some lentil patties. K, thanks.

Israeli Army to Start Serving Vegan Food in All Mess Halls.KRRB

The change is being met with reserved optimism. While the solidiers applaud the IDF’s willingness to make accommodations, they are waiting to see how it plays out before declaring their formal protest a victory. Omer Yuval, a reservist who served in Operation Protective Edge and initiated the protest, said, “The decision is definitely encouraging, and we thank the IDF and appreciate the willingness to make such a significant logistical change.” He goes on to say, however, “There is room for optimism, but at this stage I prefer to exercise restraint and to wait for results in the field.” We applaud the IDF, the service members and the country of Israel for their continued movement toward plant-based eating a more sustainable world. They continue to serve as an example to the global community of how well we can thrive as individuals and as a nation when we move away from a wasteful, cruel and unhealthy dependence on animal products.  

Image Credit: JPost



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0 comments on “Israeli Army to Start Serving Vegan Food in All Mess Halls”

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Barbara Paz
1 Years Ago


Dear One Green Planet,
I am quite surprised that you allow these anti-Semites to spew their hatred towards Jews on your site. I am hoping that you are an organization which has zero tolerance for racism and hatred towards people or animals. I ask on behalf of all people promoting compassion towards people and animals to delete them immediately.
Because it is becoming quite fashionable to bash Jews and anything Israeli, I would like to state the following for those who do not live in Israel. I am an American- Israeli living in Israel for the past 40 years.
1. Israel is anything but an apartheid state.
2. There are Arab parliament members. (not one Arab country has Jewish parliament members)
3. There are Arab judges and supreme court members (not one Arab country has even one Jewish judges)
4. Arabs and Druze hold very high positions in the Israeli army. (who knows, maybe they will enjoy from the vegan menu?)
5. Israel opens its hospitals to Palestinians who need to be treated in Israel because the Hamas used the millions it received to build a society and instead built terror tunnels into Israel, weapons to destroy Israel and sent the rest to private bank accounts in Switzerland. (Most of the Arab world is trying in one way or the other to kill Jews, the leader of the hatred comes from the Palestinian people who teach their children in schools as part of their educational curriculum to kill Jews)
6. Israel is the ONLY country in the entire world who has a bone marrow bank for Arabs. Not one Arab country has that even for their own people. This is apartheid?
7. Arabs and Jews work together and live together in Israel. If you come to Israel you will see it for yourself. Many tourists who have heard that Israel is an apartheid country and actually come here and see for themselves are shocked to see that it is exactly the opposite.

So for all of you anti-Semites who believe the horror stories you have heard about Israel, come to Israel and see for yourself! Or you can go to any of the dozens of Arab countries surrounding Israel and see what real apartheid is. But then we both know that since you are from a western country, there is a good chance you would not come back with your head intact.


Reply
Barbara Paz
1 Years Ago


Dear One Green Planet,
I am quite surprised that you allow these anti-Semites to spew their hatred towards Jews on your site. I hope that you are an organization which has zero tolerance for racism and hatred towards people or animals. I ask on behalf of all people promoting compassion towards people and animals to delete them immediately.
Because it is becoming quite fashionable to bash Jews and anything Israeli, I would like to state the following for those who do not live in Israel. I am an American- Israeli living in Israel for the past 40 years.
1. Israel is anything but an apartheid state.
2. There are Arab parliament members. (not one Arab country has Jewish parliament members)
3. There are Arab judges and supreme court members (not one Arab country has even one Jewish judges)
4. Arabs and Druze hold very high positions in the Israeli army. (who knows, maybe they will enjoy from the vegan menu?)
5. Israel opens its hospitals to Palestinians who need to be treated in Israel because the Hamas used the millions it received to build a society and instead built terror tunnels into Israel, weapons to destroy Israel and sent the rest to private bank accounts in Switzerland. (Most of the Arab world is trying in one way or the other to kill Jews, the leader of the hatred comes from the Palestinian people who teach their children in schools as part of their educational curriculum to kill Jews)
6. Israel is the ONLY country in the entire world who has a bone marrow bank for Arabs. Not one Arab country has that even for their own people. This is apartheid?
7. Arabs and Jews work together and live together in Israel. If you come to Israel you will see it for yourself. Many tourists who have heard that Israel is an apartheid country and actually come here and see for themselves are shocked to see that it is exactly the opposite.

So for all of you anti-Semites who believe the horror stories you have heard about Israel, come to Israel and see for yourself! Or you can go to any of the dozens of Arab countries surrounding Israel and see what real apartheid is. But then we both know that since you are from a western country, there is a good chance you would not come back with your head intact.


Reply
Bonny
1 Years Ago

I write this as an Israeli-born Jewish American. One Green Planet\'s emails are the only mass emails i subscribe to and actually read. i share your values around plant-based eating, animal rights and environmentalism and the amount of relevant content you put up is incredible. The article above, however, isn\'t about your mission but part of Israel\'s calculated PR campaign of "greenwashing" its brutal occupation behind a facade of environmentalism. So Israeli soldiers can now eat vegan food, but how about the millions of Palestinians under their control? How is THEIR occupation diet? Some insights: 1. Israel strictly controls the food supply into the besieged Gaza strip, having calculated the minimum number of calories required to keep the Gazan people from starving to death. "We\'re not \'starving\' the Gazans," jokes a senior advisor to Israel\'s prime minister, \'we\'re just putting them on a \'strict diet\'" (http://imeu.org/article/putting-palestinians-on-a-diet-israels-siege-blockade-of-gaza). No word if there\'s a vegan option there. 2. In the West Bank, government sponsored illegal settlements located on stolen Palestinian land direct their waste water into the Palestinian water supply. While displaced Palestinian children suffer and crops die, settlers receive a generous allocation of clean Israeli water to fill their swimming pools and fountains (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/water.html). To make room for more Israeli settlements, the "security" wall (a 24-foot high concrete barrier with guard towers that holds Palestinians prisoner), and air-conditioned grocery stores (which certainly carry vegan foods for Jewish citizens), Palestinian homes, farmlands, pastures and many hundreds of thousands of ancient olive trees on which the Palestinian people depend on for their own survival have been destroyed (http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/2481224/bethlehem_no_matter_how_many_olive_trees_they_destroy_will_will_plant_more.html) . These olive trees took hundreds or over a thousand years to grow, but it takes a lot of space to build segregated Jews-only roads so settlers can quickly skirt around the often broken down, blockaded, checkpoint riddled Palestinian-only roads at which people have died for lack of access to medical care located on the other side (http://annainthemiddleeast.com/photos/roadblocks/).http://annainthemiddleeast.com/photos/roadblocks/).
Apartheid is NOT a green value, and greenwashing is not real environmentalism, it\'s propaganda. On the other hand, taking action to help end the very real humanitarian crisis in Palestine is action toward peace, freedom and democracy where all people are free to drink clean water, grow indigenous crops, and choose a vegan diet.


Reply
Kevin
1 Years Ago

Hopefully this will stop those monsters from shooting the Children.


Reply
Kevin
1 Years Ago

Will this stop those BIG BRAVE MEN from shooting Palestinian children?


Reply
Malika
30 Dec 2014

Right, this is unbelievable. You are faced with a collective mentality in which children are reared into a supremacist Islamic domination ideal. Being taught that murdering Jews is the highest honor, their greatest aspiration. Not a successful career, not raising a family, not getting an education. Just killing Jews and other non-Muslims.
and *Israel* is the bad guy??
What planet are you living on, man?



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