A CHIPPENHAM teenager is urging his school to create a more vegan-friendly menu in the canteen after getting more than 150 signatures from fellow pupils on a petition.

Luca Wolfe-Murray, who attends Hardenhuish School, created a petition asking the secondary school changes half the menu to be vegan.

The 17-year-old got 168 signatures from other pupils who echoed Luca's thoughts. In a letter to the school's headteacher, Lisa Percy, he said: "I ask for your help to bring this simple but powerful change into our school.

"This petition proves that it isn’t just a minority that wants this. I was surprised how many people were keen to sign this. Many of those who signed aren't vegan but are open to the idea and said (to me) that they'd love to try more vegan food.

"I could talk forever about the ethical, climate and health benefits of a plant based diet but I’ll just make two points here: animal farming produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport combined; secondly if we keep pulling up to 2.7 trillion fish out of the sea every year soon enough there will be none left.

"Also, our school risks falling behind the times regarding this issue: Sheldon is much more active than us regarding veganism; the supermarkets and fast food chains are competing to offer the best vegan products; and most restaurants have delicious vegan options on their menus."

Speaking to the Gazette, he added: "I want vegan options not for myself, but for meat-eaters and non-vegans to try and see that vegan food is tasty, vegan food is accessible and overall decrease the environmental impact of their meal.

"I encourage my school to think about the future and how this can benefit pupils, our planet and even the school's image.

"Some people didn't like the idea from a pro-meat standpoint. But overall most people wanted more vegan options."

In reply to Luca's email, Mrs Percy told the pupil that he should speak to the catering staff if he would like to discuss increasing vegan options.

She added: "There is no opposition to your ideas being considered and as such, I do think that a petition is required to get this message across.

"We have a duty to consider the tastes and choices of a whole community in the food that we provide.

"We have certainly responded to requests previously regarding gluten-free options and a vegetarian option being available every day. So I do not think increasing the vegan option and possibly considering vegan-based events would be a problem."