Oscar-winning directors probably aren’t the first people you think of when you hear about a vegan grade school, but James Cameron is good at surprising people. The director of Titanic and Avatar is intimately connected with a remarkable private grade school in southern California, and that school is making history as the first vegan school in the United States. MUSE School CA was founded by Cameron’s wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, and it will launch a fully vegan menu in the fall of 2015. We first reported on the development of MUSE School back in June of 2014, and we’re thrilled to see their plans of offering students a vegan menu five days a week are on track.
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MUSE School CA was founded by the famous film director’s wife Suzy Amis-Cameron and her sister Rebecca Amis in 2006 as a private pre-kindergarten to 9th grade school with an environmental focus. MUSE School CA, located in Calabasas, California, became the answer when Amis Cameron, former model and actress, was unhappy with the school her then-four-year-old daughter was attending. MUSE has a holistic approach to education and a strong seed-to-table program that’s producing fresh fruits and vegetables grown by its 140 students, who now span the range from early Pre-K (age two years and four months) to high school.
Transitioning to a fully vegan cafeteria was not only a natural step forward in evolution for the school’s mission, but also the embodiment of the personal philosophy of the school‘s cofounder and her Hollywood hubby. Cameron and his wife have both been quoted, at different times, as saying, “You can’t be an environmentalist… if you’re not eating a plant-based diet.” The director went vegan in 2012, citing the environmental damage caused by the livestock industry as his primary reason.
According to Amis-Cameron, the MUSE school has been transitioning their menu from vegetarian to vegan slowly over the course of time. MUSE will be the first fully vegan school when they welcome students to class at the beginning of the fall 2015 term.
Co-founder Rebecca Amis sees the plant-based menu as a natural response to the school’s mission, and also a step that is in alignment with the students’ desires. “At the beginning of the meal, we have a beautiful salad bar, with fresh lettuces, sunflower seeds, homemade dressings,” she told Livability.com. “You see kids load up plates, and go sit outside to eat. It’s gorgeous.”
Arguably, it’s easier for a school such as MUSE to make the transition than, say, a public school in a less-than-prosperous district, but the MUSE school will set the example and illustrate that a vegan diet is not only possible for kids, but healthy, too.