In March, JP reported that as a result of requests from soldiers, the army was planning to offer a strictly vegan menu. On Tuesday, the IDF announced it will begin offering the vegan option to its troops. The IDF has offered a vegetarian option for many years, however a vegan diet is more restrictive and requires special effort.
Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, or any products derived from animals, even in a non-destructive manner.
“The idea is to offer vegan soldiers better options and improve their service conditions,” Lt. Col. Dana Steinfeld, head of the Food Department at the IDF’s Technological and Logistics Directorate, told Israel Hayom. Until now, vegan soldiers were given small allowances to buy alternatives outside the mess hall.. According to Steinfeld, once the process is completed, the allowance given to soldiers serving on closed bases will be rescinded as well.
Omer Yuval, a reservist who served in Operation Protective Edge, initiated the request in October, and many other soldiers joined in.
The IDF also plans to distribute pre-packaged vegan breakfast boxes, offering assorted cereals, tahini, almonds, nuts, dried fruits, soy products, and more. Some vegans also refrain from wearing animal products, and the IDF is working hard to accommodate, providing non-leather boots and berets.