HACKNEY COUNCIL WORKERS queueing for breakfast in the staff canteen yesterday were shocked to find meat and fish off the menu.
Cooks told hungry would-be diners that a scheme to wean them off meat, fish and dairy was being trialled.
The experiment will not end there. Loving Dalston can reveal exclusively that Hackney aims to be the world’s first vegan local authority.
The next step will be for primary schools to forsake meat and dairy dishes and eventually fish. Secondaries and colleges will not be asked to switch until next year.
Lise Awattido, of Mayor Philip Glanville’s directorate, told Loving Dalston: “The vegan revolution could be said to have taken off in Hackney with the help of non-meat, non-dairy fairs and cafés such as Temple of Hackney, which has customers lining up every day, and the restaurant Mildreds.” Asked whether the council wasn’t just following a hipster fad Awattido said: “It’s true that veganism’s popularity has been boosted by the affluent young — call them hipsters if you must — but Hackney can learn from all communities.
“The borough has a massive obesity problem, which the council has been tackling since last year, so the health benefits of encouraging good dietary behaviours are obvious.
“We do not have the planning power to diminish the preponderance of fried chicken shops but we have the right to ask them to offer some of the convincing chicken copies being developed in the borough.
“We are taking the cock out of Cockney because we believe the carnivore is over.
“Of course, we are not going to make the change overnight, we’ll do it in stages. ‘Meat us halfway’ is the theme we’ll be promoting to traders in Ridley Road, Hackney’s great fruit-and-vegetable market, and later in the year to small local supermarkets, before we tackle Tesco and other multinationals.”
Mayor Glanville’s assistant said the campaign’s soft launch today 1 April 2018 would be followed by “You won’t taste the difference” sessions to explain to community and religious leaders the health and economic benefits of veganism and the availability of non-meat, non-dairy, non-fish options.
Loving Dalston asked Diane T’wete, a Hackney council cleansing-lorry operative, to try a cheatburger. “Bloody awful!” she said, as she spat it out.
David Altheer 010418
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