A French public school has stopped offering alternatives to pork in its cafeteria for its Jewish and Muslim pupils, and official said their solution is to be vegetarians.

The alternative meats were removed last week to lower the overhead of running the cafeteria of the elementary school of Arveyres, a small town near Bordeaux in southern France, according to the local radio station France Bleu Gironde.

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Like many other French municipalities, Arveyres public schools began offering alternative meats to Jewish and Muslim pupils in the 1990s.

The school’s management said that out of a total of 180 pupils, 28 do not eat pork. The school said the students who don’t eat pork may switch to a vegetarian menu. “They have enough things to eat at the cafeteria, including proteins,” the school management is quoted as telling the radio station.

Southern France is home to France’s second largest Jewish community, as well as hundreds of thousands of French Muslims.

Laëtitia Rekaïka, the mother of one of the 28 children who do not eat pork, told Radio Monte-Carlo: “I don’t understand the decision: We’re not asking for halal or kosher meat; we only want a protein-based substitute.”

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I heard a French sociologist lecture about the role of pork in French society. On the face of the issue, from our perspective, it seems weird, but apparently pork holds a near mystical place in French culture. My own experience speaking with French Jews about their place in French society leads me to suspect that this is a serious part of the barrier they feel between themselves and full acceptance.

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