Thursday, 14 June 2012

Goodbye.

This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.

I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either.

Goodbye,
VEG


Hi,
Veg’s Dad, Dave, here. I felt it’s important to add a few bits of info to the blog tonight. Martha’s school have been brilliant and supportive from the beginning and I’d like to thank them all. I contacted Argyll and Bute Council when Martha told me what happened at school today and they told me it was their decision to ban Martha’s photography.

It is a shame that a blog that today went through 2 million hits, which has inspired debates at home and abroad and raised nearly £2000 for charity is forced to end.

Dave Payne
neverseconds@gmail.com

2,416 comments:

  1. This is very sad, what a shame!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's too bad, I've enjoyed your writing. Hopefully we'll see you back soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So sorry, you were and will do again great work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am immensely sad to see this blog end, particularly as it has.

    To Veg and Veg's Dad: Thank you for all the insight you've given us, and for all the charitable work you've done.

    To Argyll and Bute Council: It is entirely too bad you could not accept this blog as constructive - and needed - criticism, that you have decided that it is easier to order this young woman about than it is to accept responsibility for feeding children less well than you could do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever happened to freedom of speech???

      Also, I agree with Sandy in the part about the Bute Council. Why can't they take this blog as constructive criticism?

      Delete
    2. I also agree with Sandy and Josh re the Council. And Veg, I thoroughly enjoyed your blog while it was up and good on you for helping Mary's Meals. You'll go far

      Delete
    3. I'm in Christchurch New Zealand and I've just registered a complaint with the Argyle and Bute council about them shutting you down

      Delete
  5. I believe it shows just how much of a difference and how much awareness this blog has raised! I'm glad everything lives forever on the world wide web. I hope Veg finds another avenue to express herself and help others. Congrats to you and her for a job very well done and a pot very well stirred!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's very sad to see that it's being banned in your school. I know that I'm not the only one who looks forward to your blogs everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm from Quincy, California. I'm wondering if they banned the whole process, or just your photography. Will you still be able to rate your food and tell us what it is? I'm very sad that I won't be seeing your posts anymore, and just as sad that the money raising will be ending too.
    Stay strong, and know there are people all over the world who are rooting for you, Veg!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found this blog fascinating and am very sad to read that it will be ending. It seems schools and governments should be focusing more on how to improve lunches than preventing photos!

    Going to donate to Mary's Meals now in honor of you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a shame. I did enjoy your blog immensely. I wrote an email at http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/ to let them know how disappointed I was.

    I doubt you will, Veg, but do not let this clip your wings! I hope my son is as interested in such important issues when he is your age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have emailed them too, through their website 'have your say' on the top right of their home page. I wrote a polite note telling them what an inspiration VEG was, and asking them to explain their decision.

      Delete
  10. Shame on them... All of them.

    I hope you'll encourage Martha in all her future endeavours and I hope some of them will be as successful as this was.

    If they want to ban you, you know you're doing something right.

    ReplyDelete
  11. They only said you couldn't take pictures, it sounds like you can still write and post the pictures from others around the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree, they can't stop you from posting other pics. and it seems that you get many pics, so maybe consider that as a continuation of this blog?

      Delete
  12. I am very sad to hear that you will not be continuing this fantastic blog anymore.

    Just out of curiosity, what were the Council's reasons for banning the photography?

    I wish you all the best in raising enough money for a Mary's Meals kitchen :).

    ReplyDelete
  13. We are so upset that the Council has made such an unfair decision! My homeschooled children (in Fort Worth, TX... should be easy to find on a map) loved reading your blog and were delighted to see the picture of you yesterday at the cooking school. I hope that maybe with enough worldwide support, the Council will change it's mind and allow you to continue your honest and fair look at what they consider healthy food for children.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have written to the Argyll and Bute Council and registered a complaint. I completely support you and look forward to seeing how you continue to make a difference in this world. You have a raving fan here in Birmingham, Alabama. Always follow your heart, beautiful girl.

    ReplyDelete
  15. No way.... I do not believe it! This just cannot be true....

    Veg, i really enjoy your blog! We read it with my husband every day.
    Just please, do not stop... Coz you started something BIG here!

    Is the head teacher that ashamed of how the food for kids looks like that he will forbid you taking photos?
    I mean how come? This is unfair and senseless and i dont think, anyone has right, to stop you from photographing your food.
    Perhaphs us, your readers, could write there few mails...

    xxx
    i cross my fingers!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Veg (and Veg's Dad), I would just like to say even though this has had to stop you have done a brilliant thing making people aware of the small lunches and I hope it has had a positive impact on this.

    Veg, whilst you may be able to take pictures of the school dinners any more, I hope being able to write this blog encourages you to further writing about other subjects that matter to you, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey VEG,

    I'm so sorry to hear about this. Did they provide you with a valid reason for not allowing you to take any more photos?

    Please don't lose heart and stop writing your wonderful blog. You are an incredibly bright young lady and people from all over the world are checking in daily to read what you have to say. How cool is that?! Whether you and your Dad decide to fight this decision or not, I hope you continue with your blog (with or without pictures) and continue to fundraise for Mary's Meals. I'm pretty certain your readers will help you to reach your goal. You have taught us all so much.

    All the best chica,
    Torrey - New York City, USA

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh no! This is indeed an incredible shame! It's a long time since I had to endure school dinners at a Scottish primary school (I went vegetarian in the end in an attempt to escape them and haven't eaten meat since!) and I've found your blog an absolute delight.

    I really REALLY hope that Argyll and Bute Council relent and let you carry on. In the meantime I'm going to harass my Twitter followers into donating to Mary's Meals! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey VEG, I know it's not fair but you did a really good job while you could. We will miss your posts too! Try not to be sad..

    Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    ReplyDelete
  20. Martha, I've loved your blog and your pictures and I'll miss them here in Chicago, Illinois, USA. You have a beautiful attitude, don't let this decision hurt you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So very sad to hear this! Don't give up!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Have also registered a complaint with your Council. I found your blog rather addictive, and it was for such a positive cause. Well done, Veg.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is an absolute shame. Does anyone know what it was in a paper that triggered this? I don't think the result will be what the council expects if the fact they've stopped the photography goes as viral as this blog has.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am truly sorry that they banned you from taking pictures of the school lunch. I have filed a complaint with Argyll and Bute Council. I hope you are able to help others stress the importance of good eating habits. Good Luck

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh no! I really enjoyed reading your blog and this is sad news...
    Well it's always easy to put something down you don't like. But that's the wrong way...
    People always deserve the truth and well that's what you gave us.
    Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  26. It would be nice to have an official statement from the council on this matter, as at the moment it appears that the only reason they have banned your photography is to silence dissent. If they are attempting to contain this issue, sorry council, but the internet doesn't work like that. Your attempts to silence just mean more people hear what has happened. Do you want to hand over the shovel now, or keep digging?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh no! That is indeed a real shame! It's a long time since I had to endure Scottish primary school dinners (the ones at my old school were so horrible that I went vegetarian at the age of seven in an attempt to escape them and haven't eaten meat since!) and I've found your blog an absolute delight to read!

    I really really hope that Argyll and Bute Council change their minds about this and let you carry on! In the meantime, I've just made a donation to Mary's Meals and am going to harass my Twitter followers and blog readers to do the same!

    I hope this isn't really goodbye! x

    ReplyDelete
  28. http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/forms/comments-and-complaints

    Please go there and complain for poor Martha. This decision has to be reversed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link - complaint lodged... this is censorship and downright ridiculous.

      Delete
  29. Hi Martha/Veg

    I am a regular reader of your blog, although I've never commented before. I look forward to your new post every day, thank you!

    I am really sad that the Council have banned you from taking your photos, seems a petty decision to me. Perhaps your Dad could start a petition to the Council?

    You've done such a great job with your blog, and reached out to so many people, you should be very very proud of yourself.


    Best wishes, Lesley, from London

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't have said it any better Lesley!
      It has been a long, long time since I have been in school, but I am passionate about healthy eating and was so inspired to read this blog every day. I'm very sad and disappointed to see that it will no longer be around. the Council should be ashamed of themselves.

      Delete
  30. That is a shame because a lot of good money was raised and lots of awareness for different times of healthy foods. I enjoyed your pictures very much. What harm would could it do to show them. Its not a risk or privacy issues if anything it would bring good credence to the school.
    I wish you the best in life and don't give up on your dreams and maybe one day we will see your pictures again.
    Knoxville , TN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am also from Knoxville, TN and I love your blog! I just sent a complaint to the council on your behalf. I hope they reverse your decision. The information you share is so important for the worldwide community, so conversations can be started about children's nutrition in the school systems. I'd hate to see your blog end.

      Delete
  31. Dear Veg,

    Question authority. That doesn't mean flout it, or disrespect it, but don't just take what they say lying down. I predict a long life for you in politics. You could do wonders.

    In your corner,
    The Internet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wholeheartedly endorse this sentiment. You've done a great job, VEG.

      Delete
  32. I will definitely miss your delightful posts! You have made me, (a 17 year old in Washington state) think more about what I eat! I hope that you will not give up on learning more about food and telling people how to be nutritious! Thank you Veg!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I agree with what many said, a few headlines are scaring people, that is nothing but politics. I agree, if they said you could no longer take pictures then don't but you could still tell us all about it, and the difference it is making. imagine the headlines when the papes find out that they won't let you blog anymore. Veg- you are great and ambitious! Don't let some silly people who are afraid of headlines in newspaper discourage you from dreaming big and then fulfilling your dreams. you already made a difference! Keep doing it!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I will be writing to Argyll & Bute Council too. This is a disgrace. I think this is a brilliant blog and you should be VERY VERY proud of yourself.
    Virginia

    ReplyDelete
  35. i am so sad to hear this!! i have been following your blog everyday! i have written a complaint to them and its real shame on them for doing this. i do hope you think about keeping the blog going and telling us about the food and sharing the world pictures that you have been doing.

    good luck sweetheart in your future choices!

    ReplyDelete
  36. So sad to see this blog gone. Can someone post a headline in the newspaper that got that blog banned. Was it a criticism of the lunch program? Was it a expose of some kind?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm so upset. Can you publish an email address, or an address to write a letter to, so that I can tell them what an inspiration VEG has been, and how she reflects so well on her family, school, school system and yes, even country. Her school meals looked delicious, and I very much enjoyed seeing how long it would take her to find the country of contributing readers. How in the world anyone could think that this amazing website would reflect in any way, on anything, other than brilliantly is crazy to me. The council should be proud of her work, and proud of the very good exposure it has brought on your region.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Terrible. Your blog has been thought-provoking and conversation-inspiring, and I have thoroughly enjoyed following it. I hope that you will find a way to continue this work, with or without the photography.

    Best wishes to you, dear Veg.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have really enjoyed your blog...if the council has only banned your photography, maybe you will consider continuing your blog in some way - sharing your non-school experiences and featuring the meals readers have emailed you maybe? Good luck! I will continue checking your blog with my fingers crossed...

    ReplyDelete
  40. I don't think you should give up. It was useful seeing the pictures but even without them, I think you can rate your meal. It's also been wonderful seeing the meals from around the world so come on, keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm saddened by this decision by an obviously narrow-minded group. Martha, I'll miss your wonderful posts. What exactly was the newspaper article that got their knickers in such a twist? You keep on keeping on bright girl!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'd love to know what reason they gave (if any). I'd also love to know if any elected representatives were involved in this decision - or perhaps would have the guts to oppose it?

    ReplyDelete
  43. That's unfortunate! I had just subscribed recently :( I enjoyed reading your blog while it lasted! Your recent meals looked much more appetizing than the meals I had when I was in school, and we never had choices. Everyone had to eat the same things. However, they did give us a menu for each month in case we would rather bring a lunch from home on any day. Most kids brought their own lunch to school!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I don't normally comment on blog postings but this one has spurred me on to do so.

    Martha - you've written a wonderful blog over the past months which has snared the attention of the local, national and international community on the Internet.

    I think it's dreadful that they've placed this ban on you, although I was wondering just when it was going to come about.

    I grew up in Argyll & Bute and my mum and dad still live there so it's quite depressing that these are the people who have control over our lives.

    I hope that this experience inspires you on to write and publish more as you get older.

    ReplyDelete
  45. How can they ban one student from taking photos? Is that legal?

    ReplyDelete
  46. People can contact Argyll & Bute Council here: http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/forms/contact-us

    Lots of us have enjoyed this blog. Let's stand up for Veg. She's a great writer and I for one don't want to see her put off when she could have a bright carer ahead of her.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I hope that you have a change of heart and continue updating the blog even without the photos. I looked forward to seeing your posts every day ! I'm so sorry that something so wonderful, creative and inspiring has taken a negative turn for you. Sending you all the best from the USA!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Just for your own education and the donations for a cause you believe in, you should keep the blog running with pictures and ratings from other people. There are enough people in the world who can take photos of their food and it was really interesting seeing what other people eat. I was waiting for the college to serve indian tacos so I could send you a picture. It might not feel the same to you, but you will get to know a lot more about the world and raise a little money for something you love.

    E-Mail sent from Fort Totten on the Spirit Lake Nation in the state of North Dakota in the USA. I'm betting that might take you a bit to find. Then again, your pretty smart so it might be a breeze.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Veg - I'll really miss your blog and am so disappointed you've had your project stopped by the council. Whatever happens, keep on writing. You've captured the interest of so many people and done fantastic fund-raising for Mary's Meals. Be proud of it all!

    ReplyDelete
  50. VEG!
    I agree with the rest, your blog is amazing and thought provoking! It makes me think about what to serve my daughter everyday and makes me question what our schools give our kids to eat. You are wonderfully talented and don't let anyone put any doubts in your head. You must be on the right track if they want you to stop. You can still talk about your lunch and I would read it because you write beautifully! I will write to your school and let them know how disappointed I am in them. You have so much to be proud of, you are you and there's no one else in world just like you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have registered a complaint with Argyll and Bute Council via their website. They should not be able to suppress your blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am curious about how the school can, legally, prohibit you from taking photos and writing about them. What can they actually do to stop you, other than verbal demands? Is there a threat of punishment of some sort, and if so how is that legal?

    I'm not suggesting that you break any laws, but you shouldn't have to stop doing this just because they WANT you to stop. You've done such wonderful things with this so far, it would be a shame to see it all stop just because a handful of nervous people are too spineless to support you.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Even that bad news I think that it would be great you keep publishing what other students eat at their schools. It would be a good way to continue your blog. Just an idea.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am very sorry to know that your efforts are being suspended. I just came across (and started following) your blog recently. I am an adult woman and don't even have children, but I was very impressed with what you have been doing and thought it was a great experience for you. I must also say that I have been pretty impressed by the meal selections of your school, as well as some others that have been shared with you. Thinking back to my school days in the U.S., the options were a LOT more limited and less appetizing.

    Please don't give up blogging altogether, you just need to find a new topic (unless, of course, the Council changes its mind, which I certainly hope turns out to be the case!)

    This is a lose/lose situation. Your readers lose out on being inspired by your work, you lose out on being able to express yourself in this creative way, and more importantly, Mary's Meals loses out.

    Best wishes, and good luck with whatever comes next for you! Your family must be very proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  55. If you go on to study Politics at College I'm sure you will find out why they banned you and I'm sure it will shock you.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog every day. My primary school canteen wasn't that great so I had packed lunches, but the canteen at my secondary school is brilliant because you can pay and pick for whatever you want, if it's a quick snack or a fully balanced meal.

    I hope this decision is revoked but wish you all the best in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  56. It is sad the action taken by the Council. You have hit a nerve and instead of brushing it under the carpet they should be working with pupils like you to make it better for everyone and give you better photos to blog about. I am sure whatever you do now will be successful. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Such a shame! I thought that the photos were quite lovely and the food often looked quite good! Horrible that they are not allowing photos, but I do hope that you continue to write your blog, Veg! You are a wonderful writer and an inspiration!

    Ah! Remember the time you drew your lunch because you forgot your camera? Perhaps you can do that? Maybe?

    I hope to be able to hear more from you and your blog! You're great!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have also emailed complaint to Argyll and Bute council. In addition, Alan Reid, Lib Dem MP for Argyll and Bute, has been emailed. For those interested, his email address is:

    info@aandb-libdems.org

    The Daily Mail have also been informed. I am presently working on American media outlets who originally carried news of NeverSeconds when it was going viral.

    Veg, in America, we have a saying: "It ain't over till it's over." And it ain't over. We're with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AMEN! I just wrote to my local news outlet in Phoenix, AZ! Go VEG!

      Delete
  59. Aww, say it ain't so!! Martha you did a GREAT job with your blog. I read it every single day and have looked forward to your posts. I hope that you can begin writing and taking pictures again soon. I will say a prayer!

    Don't be discouraged, you have done a wonderful job!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Even children have a right to free speech. This blog is obviously important to your daughter. You shouldn't let the school get away with this, without a fight.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Oh dear! This is terrible news. But don't let them keep you down! I hope you will continue your blog anyway. I don't see why you can't keep accepting other people's photos of their meals. That was every bit as interesting an informative as sharing your own photos.

    Also, I was really hoping to hear more about your adventure with Nick Nairn.

    Surely, they can't sensor everything you write. And you don't need photos to find your voice. This post, alone, speaks volumes!

    I do hope you will keep on in some way. Keep writing...even if it's not about food, and even if it's not online. Keeping a journal of some sort is a very good thing to do. Just as speaking up for what you feel is right...is a VERY good thing to do!

    Be strong, be courageous...you will go far and you will make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Such a shame!
    The work you have done has been amazing. Personally I will miss the dinners from other countries even more - I bet the council can't make you stop doing that!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hey Veg,

    as everyone is (or should be) I'm very sad to hear this news.
    You gave the council an opportunity with your blog, also because you didn't unfairly criticise the your lunches.
    I'm not sure what they are expecting, but this 'order' leaves a bad taste behind.

    There's one more thing to do.

    I'm sure you have learned a lot about the world and its citizens in the last weeks, and todays new is another lesson on how the world sometimes works. People will try to silence when you do something they don't like. Giving in is always the easiest, but rarely the right way.
    Sure you don't want to upset people or get in trouble. But you, as everyone, should know your rights.
    Maybe ask your dad to find out whether or not this order is correct and legal.
    Does it sound right to you that school's lunch is meant to be a secret no one is allowed to report about?
    It doesn't to me!

    Find out what other ways you have to share your blog with us.
    This could be a newsletter that only subscribed readers receive.

    Maybe they are right, maybe they will win. But fighting for something you think is right and good for the world is one of the greatest qualities a you person like you can acquire.

    All the best,
    Ollie

    ReplyDelete
  64. HINT: I always find a very vivid written description can provide a better picture than any photograph ever could.

    ReplyDelete
  65. So sorry to hear that you are having to stop. You should be very proud of what you have achieved and hopefully we will be able to share your writing in another form. Keep smiling and enjoying life.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Why do grown-ups think that the right lesson to teach you is "shut up" and not "we will take your comments on board"?

    Your blog is really really good and I don't think they have the right to shut you down just because the quality of their food makes for bad headlines.

    ReplyDelete
  67. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/editors-choice/2012/05/11/jamie-oliver-backs-scots-schoolgirl-martha-payne-9-in-her-blog-crusade-over-dismal-school-dinners-86908-23855257/

    ReplyDelete
  68. I agree with the many other comments. If they ban photography, continue without photography. The blog is too informative to ignore and too valuable to lose. We live in a country of free speech, and we're privileged to do so - they can stop you doing things on their premises but they cannot stop the blog itself.

    If they want to stop you, it's time to go Guerrilla. Argyll should be ashamed of themselves.

    Erling G
    (A fellow school-lunch Scot)

    ReplyDelete
  69. So the council are actively preventing an energetic, motivated and talented young girl from pursuing her interests and furthering her own education in an attempt to save themselves from minor embarrassment. Utterly and unequivocally shameful.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Dear VEG, are you artistic at all? How about sketching your dinners and then you can still give your opinion? This is kind of what Jamie Oliver went through in Los Angeles. I don't see the harm in still doing a post with a hand drawn "photo of sorts"

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am really sad to read this. Such a wonderful idea and very interesting to those of us who don't get to see inside the school gates any more. Veg is such an amazing girl, not only have the ingenuity to create such a popular (and controversial) blog but to use it to raise an astonishing amount for charity. It shows that you have hit a nerve somewhere up high and well done for that. It takes a brave person to shake things up :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. A disgraceful, and in my opinion, clearly unlawful decision for a public body to take.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_10_of_the_European_Convention_on_Human_Rights

    Article 10 – Freedom of expression

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    [my emphasis]

    ReplyDelete
  73. I fear Argyll and Bute Council stopping Martha from writing the blog and posting photos of her meals is a breach of Human Rights (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm):

    Article 19

    1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

    2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

    Now, where do I log a formal complaint?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi Veg.
    Even though you can't take photos of school dinners, you know the council is not allowed to stop you blogging, don't you?

    Maybe you could still blog your cooking at home and raise money for Mary's Meals that way. You have a lot of readers now, and they would still come back, even if you only blog at weekends!

    ReplyDelete
  75. VEG,

    My name is Eric, and I am an attorney in Odessa, Texas (try to find that one). I am sad that you have decided to stop blogging, even though I understand that it's largely beyond your control. I'll join my voice with those here who have called for you to continue. The pictures, my dear, weren't even the half of it, you know. The most joy has come from reading the wonderful comments you have left in each post. It is very refreshing to see young people taking the initiative to make their own personal world a better place; and then extending that to the rest of the world as well.

    You have been an inspiration to everyone who has read your blog. I hope you keep this blog open, if only to alert your faithful readers to your next project (and I think we've learned enough about your intelligence and initiative to know that you'll continue amazing people for a long time to come).


    All the best from Texas!

    --ECA

    P.S. - Great job raising a fantastic kid, Mr. Payne!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I haven't contacted Argyll and Bute Council because I live far far away in London - but the way to get this decision reversed is if everyone who does live there contacts their local councillor. I hope if there is anyone local reading this they do so immediately!

    What I can do though is make a donation to Mary's Meals. I've just donated £10 (poor student so I can't donate more - I'm studying food policy though so your blog has been very interesting to me and absolutely worth a donation)

    Good luck reaching your goal. And I hope you keep up the writing, in whatever form it takes next.

    ReplyDelete
  77. This seemed like such a lovely way to express your thoughts, creativity, and to learn more about other cultures, geography, food, and so much more. In my opinion it was a great demonstration of a way to use blogging for educational purposes. Your posts were always quite positive and thoughtful. I'm sad to see that it became political and thus was shut down, but you should be so proud at the impact you've made! Hope to hear more from you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hey Veg ... you know it's only pictures they said you couldn't publish... what if you made cartoons of the food... maybe they'll then change their mind.
    This is a disgraceful reaction by Argyll and Bute Council, proving censorship of the most infantile kind is alive and well in Scotland.

    Wishing you all the best for the future. I hope you can keep on blogging and raising money for your worthwhile charity.

    Hazel xx

    ReplyDelete
  79. I think you must have been doing something right to attract the disapproval of the Powers That Be. I don't want you to be disheartened or put off from expressing your honest opinions. It is those who have sought to silence you who should hang their heads in shame.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hey Veg & DadOfVeg,

    Hopefully this is just over-application of a photography policy by the council and there's room for them to examine this decision and make a smarter one that allows you to carry on your excellent and carefully done blogging.

    At the very least I'd love them to make their decision or policy clear, in the rare case they have a good point.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hello,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog! As a teacher, I love seeing kids using their voice in authentic writing that empowers themselves and others.

    It seems to me that your local school governance is trying to to silence you, for political reasons of their own that they will no doubt refuse share. I would LOVE to contact them and let them know what the Internet world thinks of this! Are you comfortable sharing contact information?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Dear Veg:

    Please consider drawing your dinners as you did once before with, I thought, good results, and continuing your lively blog. You have brought together many people from around the world in our common fascination to learn more about our global neighbors via a love of food, geography and charity. "Never give up!"

    All the best,
    Astarid
    Santa Barbara, California

    ReplyDelete
  83. Veg -I have lodged a complaint with your council. Your Dad might want to look into whether it is actually legal for them to forbid you to take photos in a school, given that is a public space. I think what you have done is wonderful, even this setback has its positive side in that a lot more people are hearing about what you have been up to. Could I suggest that either you or your Dad do a summary of what you have been up to, with a link to Mary's Meals and your donations page, at the top of the blog. I have just read all of your blog entries to get the full story, but not everyone may have the time to do that;-} It must be tough having to deal with all these disasters - hope your arm gets better soon. Wishing you all the best for the future!

    ReplyDelete
  84. It's interesting that it was the Council - and not the school, who made this decision.

    I wonder if this decision is ultra vires.

    Perhaps that is a point you will want to raise with the Chief Executive of this Council.

    If he does not give you an adequate reply, there is always the Ombudsman.

    ReplyDelete
  85. It sounds like Argyll and Bute are being bullies and we need to stand up to bullies to stop them. Keep writing about your dinners and, if they won't let you take pictures, draw your own, like you did on Mon 11 Jun.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Very sorry to hear this news from such a promising journalist, Veg. I do hope Argyll & Bute Council has heard of the Streisand Effect.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I've sent a question to the council asking them to explain their decision, unfortunately I'm not aware of which headline is referred to. Perhaps your word of the day should be censorship?

    ReplyDelete
  88. This is truly shocking and unnecessary behaviour on the part of Argyll & Bute Council. I speak as a professional photographer and a fellow blogger, and am deeply saddened by this stance taken by the council to effectively silence an intelligent, articulate and creative 9 year old who really deserves so much better than being subjected to this.

    Please do not allow these illiberal, authoritarian bureaucrats to stem your creativity. I hope you return to blogging, with or without the photographs. You are truly an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I don't know the entire situation, but perhaps you could continue the blog by drawing your lunch (a sketch) with colored pencils or the like, or just describing with really detailed words. That certainly cannot be stopped by the school. There is no requirement for photographs. Find a creative solution and you will be the winner. I find it odd that a photo of a lunch could cause this particular group of adults to be very bothered. I hope that Martha knows what a fabulous job she is doing and that she did nothing wrong by having a creative idea and sharing it with the world. Three cheers for Martha.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Veg
    On 7th june you mentioned you had Australian crunch cake and that it had coconut on it. You're right in your guess that it's a variant of a very traditional Australian cake called a Lamington whicch is a sort of sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing then rolled in dessicated coconut. Yours looked more like a brownie from the picture. Personally I think coconut is disgusting on cakes but they are very very popular.here's the recipe.

    Lamingtons are a quintessential part of every Australian's childhood. The little sponge cake is dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut.

    These little treats are sold at school fairs and cake sales around the country.

    These days Lamingtons are also commercially produced however they don't taste as good as the homemade versions.

    To make these Lamingtons extra special you can fill them with fresh whipped cream and strawberry jam.

    Ingredients:
    •2 cups of all-purpose flour
    •2 tsp of baking powder
    •1/4 tsp of sea salt
    •2 large eggs
    •1/2 cup of room temperature butter
    •3/4 cup of white sugar
    •1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
    •1/2 cup of milk
    •2 cups of icing sugar
    •1/3 cup of cocoa powder
    •3 tbs of butter
    •1/2 cup of milk
    •Whipped cream for serving

    Preparation:

    1.Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
    2.Lightly butter an 8 inch square cake tin. Set aside.
    3.In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    4.In a separate bowl, use an electric beater to cream the butter and sugar mixture together until pale and fluffy.
    5.Add the eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat well after adding each egg.
    6.Add the vanilla to the mixture and mix well to combine.
    7.Next, use a spatula to alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, starting and finishing with the flour.
    8.Spread the batter into the cake tin, making sure it's evenly spread.
    9.Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Test the center of the cake with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean.
    10.Cool the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes and then invert it onto a wire rack to cool.
    11.Once the cake has cooled cut it into squares of a desired size and place them in an airtight container. Pop the container in the fridge for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
    12.Now for the icing. Place the icing sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
    13.Stir the mixture until it is smooth but still a bit thick. You don't want the liquid to get too thin otherwise the sponge cake won't absorb the coating.
    14.Now it's time to assemble the Lamingtons. Put out some newspaper under wire racks to catch any mess. Place the cake pieces on the racks and have your chocolate icing and desiccated coconut ready.
    15.Quickly coat the sponge cake on all sides in the icing mixture and then gently roll the cake in the coconut. Repeat the process.
    16.The Lamingtons can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One thing I miss from Oz now we live in the UK is lamingtons - you should definitely make these, they are lovely!

      Delete
  91. This is disgraceful bullying of Veg. If they had a problem they should have discussed it with the parent. Hauling her out of a class like that was inexcusable. And their reason was vile, bullying her to try and save their faces

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'm speechless at Argyll and Bute's terribly destructive action. It will make them look ashamed of themselves round the world, far beyond the reaches of a small regional Scottish newspaper.

    People may be interested in this link to a newspaper article.

    http://www.argyllshireadvertiser.co.uk/2012/05/17/no-change-to-school-meals-says-council/#more-2780

    ReplyDelete
  93. You have 2 million + views, that's a lot of support, take advantage of it. Call the media and fight for the right to judge and see what the school is educating and feeding your kids. Keep the blog going to see how far things will change.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I have submitted the story of your silencing to TechDirt ( http://www.techdirt.com/ ), an Internet site here in the United States that often features stories about how institutions (such as government) try to oppress people by limiting what they do on the Internet. With any luck, your story will go viral, and the bullies at your school council will have some explaining to do!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Dear VEG,

    Please consider continuing with your descriptions - do not let them win.

    Also consider starting a petition because this is ridiculous and public outcry will often reverse stupid decisions.

    Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  96. take advantage of the 2 million + viewers that you have and use it for change. keep the blog alive! Fight for openess of what the school is teaching and feeding your kids! Other wise they will go back to their old ways of feeding them crap. Contact the media and make a stink about it. Protest at the next council meeting! Politicians are too restrictive!

    ReplyDelete
  97. take advantage of the 2 million + viewers that you have and use it for change. keep the blog alive! Fight for openess of what the school is teaching and feeding your kids! Other wise they will go back to their old ways of feeding them crap. Contact the media and make a stink about it. Protest at the next council meeting! Politicians are too restrictive!

    ReplyDelete
  98. I have submitted your story to techDirt ( http://www.techdirt.com/ ), an Internet site here in the United States that frequently addresses issues of Internet oppression by government and big business. It is my hope that your story will go viral, and that the attention generated will force your local council to re-evaluate their ill-considered bullying!

    ReplyDelete
  99. This council is an utter disgrace. Maybe the newspaper that ran the story should fight your case as this seems to have been the cause of the clamp down.
    I have to say that for a 9 year old your blogging style and grammar are both fantastic, your parents should be very proud of you and you clearly have a natural talent for this.
    Don't be disheartened by this ridiculous action and I'm sure you will bounce back to bigger and better things once the dust has settled.
    Well done for all you have achieved to date.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I thought we lived in a free country?

    Have the SNP led Argyll and Bute Council explained there reasoning behind this move? Are school dinners state secrets?
    The Argyll and Bute Council area must be a wonderful place to live if the only thing need to worry about is censoring school dinners.

    If an SNP led council will censor a blog that raises money for charity, what will an independent Scotland look like under the SNP? Will they make the Stasi look like free speech activists?

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi Veg (and VegDad) ... I used to be a secondary school headteacher, now working on the admin side in a primary school. So sad that I have only stumbled across your blog on its last day. Genius. Hope you have learned a lot from doing it, both in your writing but also about the way the world works and needs to be improved. Have skimmed some posts, enjoyed the photos and the good humour, will come back and read some more. Well done for what you're doing. Donation to your charity to follow. Take care. GY @GrahamYapp

    ReplyDelete
  102. this is so wrong-headed. all it does is send the message to her that there is something to hide or something to be ashamed about. she should be held up as a shining example of a student who was interested in a subject and moved forward with learning and understanding about it. She'll make an amazing journalist and she'll never forget that her petty school council banned her out of their own petty fears. you should print this out with all the comments and send it to the local newspaper. the school council should be ashamed. i hope you find something else to post about - or just write about your life and then post other people's lunches - keep going; keep going; keep going.

    bean - brooklyn, ny usa

    ReplyDelete
  103. My son and I look forward to reading your blog every day, we were so sad to hear your news today. You have done a fantastic job and should be very proud of yourself. I think it was a very short-sighted decision from Argyll & Bute Council, I'm certain they will face a backlash from your many, many fans, me amongst them!

    Wishing you all the best from Calgary, Canada.
    Sam and Jake

    ReplyDelete
  104. I was so disheartened when I read this post. The passion you have around eating a proper lunch shines through. I hope you are able to get over your discouragement and continue blogging. I have so enjoyed reading.
    --Laura
    Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA)

    ReplyDelete
  105. This is ludicrous! Your blog has inspired a dialogue WORLDWIDE that needed to be addressed about the healthfulness of school lunches (or a lack thereof). To censor you when you've done so much to address this issue, and reported both honestly and kindly, is a real injustice. It teaches you the unfortunate lesson that to speak out for POSITIVE CHANGE will result in unnecessary and foolish censorship/punishment.

    Your writing has been charming and informative. I find it really insulting that they would do such a thing to you, which I can only assume is happening because you are young, and they assume you can be bullied easier than an adult. WHAT RUBBISH.

    Please consider writing to your local newspapers and to my fellow blog readers, outlets like Reddit can help get this viral! We're sad, too, that you would be forced to stop. You have done nothing wrong.

    All the best wishes and love,

    Reina in Washington, USA.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Never let it be said that one person cannot make a difference, no matter how small they may be.

    You have already achieved a huge amount to change people's lives for the better, not just your classmates who can now have as much fruit and veg as they want, but also the thousands of poor and hungry children in the developing world who will be fed thanks to the money raised by your blog.

    Whatever may happen, I hope you are incredibly proud of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  107. What can we readers do, now? My two cents:

    Talk about Martha in our blogs (and in twitter and facebook)

    Write letters to newspapers (the Argyll and Bute Council decision have to be a boomerang for them)

    Complaining directly to them: http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/forms/comments-and-complaints

    And donate to Mary's Meal, it's a good thing and make Veg happy http://www.justgiving.com/neverseconds

    ReplyDelete
  108. Sorry to see a little girl doing something so positive being bullied by grown adults who are too scared to face the truth of their "nutritional content" and do something about it.

    ReplyDelete
  109. what a shame! i'm reading you from barcelona, spain (3 seconds, hopefully!), and i have enjoyed every bit of your blog. keep the good work, even without photos! you will find out how! good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Veg, I was deeply saddened by your post today and am sorry that Argyll & Bute Council have intruded upon your freedom to share your wonderful blog. Without focusing too much on the negatives, I would like to thank you for the positive impact you've made across the globe in mere months. Keep your chin up, you have all of our support!!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Noooo!! So sorry to hear this, Veg. I've enjoyed following your blog and it was really interesting to see all the meals from different places in the world.
    ps: I'm a professor from Lexington, Kentucky (in case you'd like to try to find that on your map). :)

    ReplyDelete
  112. it's a simple lesson for life. anything that challenges authority, they will try to shut down. fight it. one day your generation will get our rights back for us.

    governments, councils and the like ARE THERE TO SERVE US.

    not the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Outrageous!! What is the problem, anyway? It's not like other children's faces are being shown. It's such a great blog, I hope that you'll continue... possibly by sharing other students lunches from around the world!?!

    What a bummer!!

    ReplyDelete
  114. This is a wonderful blog Veg, please keep it up. Not wanting to get you into trouble but I hope Argyll and Bute Council will explain their actions in banning your photographs. Its a great celebration of food and cultures around the world, and a fabulous spotlight on UK school dinners.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Nice to see the MSP for Argyll and Bute (and incidentally the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life Long Learning), Mike Russell is on the case. He's promsied to call the council's Chief Exec in the morning.

    https://twitter.com/#!/Feorlean

    I'm sure normal service will resume shortly.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Hi Veg. I'm very sorry to see you are stopping your blog. I've enjoyed your commentary about the food at your school and seeing the lunches from around the world. You are a very bright and creative girl and I hope you will continue writing in whatever format you choose. I'd love to see you continue blogging if you still want to. Sometimes writing every day gets tiring. I only write my blog a couple times a week.

    Best wishes from Texas.

    ReplyDelete
  117. You did an amazing thing by starting this blog. You brought to light one of the issue effecting people's health today...a lack of quality food. If we don't make it better we as a people will just get more and more sick. And really, the only way to make it better is to educate and make some people very uncomfortable. I hope the decision to ban is retracted and you can continue to bring awareness to people's lives. You've got a gift and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of you, either in this blog or somewhere else soon. There's a quote that says "Well behaved women rarely make history" and I think it applies here. You should still behave,of course, but I think the quote means that you are allowed to speak out about something that hurts you or concerns you even when others tell you not to. Major props to Dad for his support in all of this. You've got an amazing kid there! Take good care!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Was saddened to read this - please keep going though, I love reading what you write!

    ReplyDelete
  119. This unfortunately doesn't shock me. Having grown up in Helensburgh I went to an Argyl and Bute school who told my parents for 11 years I was not dyslexic and that I was and I quote "just below average." Within two days of university the students services had me in front of a ed psycologist who said my dyslexic was so textbook a first year student could have diagnosed it. The same council that told my blind autistic cousins family that she didn't need any support at school and she was fine despite the fact she kept falling over their poorly laid out floors and was far behind her peers. Honestly, the school lunches are the easiest to solve problems in these schools. While my aunt was involved in the court case against the school they did the same thing, hauled me out of class several times to start asking about what was going on and to get information. Bullying is what this council use to get their own way so stay strong because Argyll and Bute are nothing more than a bunch of bullies who think its okay to silence anyone who speaks out against them. I just want you to know this isn't isolated practice by them and it sure as hell isn't acceptable.

    And to Veg, more power to you and well done, I wish I had been half as brave and half as awesome at your age ;]

    ReplyDelete
  120. I'm watching the page view counter spin as I write. The council may very well have shot themselves in the food with this decision.

    If the council was so embarrassed about the food they're serving at lunch, they'd have done a lot better to have improved the lunches, rather than bullying a 9-year old girl by calling her out of class and basically threatening her.

    Veg, I know (from your previous entries) that you are not a trouble-maker and go to great lengths to obey rules. I'm also more than a bit amazed by the fact that someone your age has managed to deal with a daily, viral blog.

    But, sweetheart, there are times when standing up to bullies is what needs to happen.

    You have accomplished two very important things with your blog.

    1) You have drawn much-needed attention to school lunches world-wide. Not just those in your council. Why are some schools able to feed their students such healthy, nutritious lunches while others are feeding such junk food, and often in such meager quantities? This isn't JUST about the Argyll and Bute Council. It's a global problem.

    2) You have drawn equally important attention to the fact that some schools simply do not have the resources to feed the children attending those schools. And you have raised both awarness and £2,298.20 (and counting) to help.

    Both things I don't think anybody ever expected from a 9-year old. Perhaps this goes under the category of "no good deed goes unpunished."

    I will be adding my voice to the objections via the council's website. And I will add my vote to the idea of you continuing your blog, without photographs if that's the way the council wants to play it. As others have said, you could still post pictures of other school lunches (both good examples and bad), and you're a great enough writer that you could describe your own.

    I know writing a daily blog is a pretty big expectation for your age, but please don't end this entirely.

    Seriously Veg, the world needs your voice. Don't let a couple of frightened adults silence you.

    ReplyDelete
  121. This is horrible, I was enjoying your blog so much. You should definitely get an explanation about why you can't take pictures. Also you should definitely keep blogging. Could draw pictures of your food :) I love hearing about the food you eat and the awareness you have raised. You can always still post food from around the world. Don't let them bring you down Veg!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Argyll & Bute Council now getting schooled in the Streisand Effect! GO VEG!

    ReplyDelete
  123. Veg, I was deeply saddened by your post today and am sorry that Argyll and Bute Council has intruded upon your freedom to share your wonderful blog in the way that you would like. Without focusing too much on the negatives, I would like to thank you for the positive impact you've made across the globe in mere months. Keep you chin up, we all support you!!! Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    ReplyDelete
  124. From where I'm sitting, forcing the shutdown of simply posting pictures of the school's meals sends a message to the world that they are too ashamed of them for people to see, and also have no intentions of doing anything about it. This is truly saddening.

    Having this kind of attention is an amazing opportunity for the school to do something positive and win peoples' praise, what a shameful waste.

    ReplyDelete
  125. How dreadful. The council should be ashamed. Please carry on - you can describe, even if you can't have photos. Can't ban you from doing that I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Hi. Twitter got a bit vexed about this so many people with influence have highlighted this as an issue. I believe the the Cabinet Secretary for Education has committed himself to phoning the Chief Executive of the council enquire about this "daft" decision.

    Hope you get to continue with your excellent photos and blog.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I am so sad to see this blog come to an end. You are an amazing girl, don't let this get you down. As others have said, the fact that they felt the need to stop you shows that you hit a nerve and they know you are right. I, too, will be sending a letter to the counsel. You are an inspiration to so many people.


    ~Lindsay
    New Orleans, LA

    ReplyDelete
  128. Good luck to you, I'll keep checking your blog, and expect that you'll post soon saying they've apologized to you for being utterly ridiculous.

    I have sent this note on to your council, the cowards:
    "It is a crying shame that you've stamped on the work of the little journalist. She has been doing beautiful work, opening the eyes of so many to see that these kids needed better than they'd been given. It's also a little pointless, don't you think, that you've told her to quit when her page has already had over 2 million hits, right? Kind of makes you seem like you're running with your tail between your legs.
    It's not as if taking a picture of what she eats is a crime in the first place. If she had just described it on the site, you would probably still have been up in arms eventually, yeah? The council should be ashamed of themselves in the first place for giving her a reason to write a blog about what she's being fed, and her particular school and head teacher should be ashamed for not sticking up for her when she wasn't doing anything wrong to begin with. Instead, you make a young girl feel like she's been wrong and should be ashamed of herself. Terrible, this group of adults would pick on a wee thing like her."

    ReplyDelete
  129. Veg, my mom and I, both college students, love reading your blog and are disappointed that you have been banned from taking photos. I think you should keep writing about your lunches without pictures, if just to keep up awareness about your charity work. I thought it was so cute when you drew what your lunch looked like, maybe you could do that more often? You could hone both your writing and artistic abilities :)

    ReplyDelete
  130. The council should be ashamed of itself (as it should be of your school dinners.) Please continue and use descriptions instead. Surely they can't stop you doing that?

    ReplyDelete
  131. This is unfortunate! I hope they reconsider.

    Norma

    ReplyDelete
  132. Dear Veg

    This is very poor form of your local council- and clear demonstration of why these councillors are unfit to serve your local community. I encourage you to continue your blog- I think drawing your meals is an excellent idea- and your fans can apply pressure on the council on your behalf by writing to them and also sending letters to the editor of local papers, protesting this decision.

    I'll write to your council (from here in Australia) and I hope many others do too. Good luck and hang in there. You've achieved so much in such a short space of time!

    ReplyDelete
  133. VEG:
    Don't let them take you down. Continue blogging, and keep up your passion for tasty, healthy eating.
    Perhaps you can vividly describe what you ate as well as draw a picture of it.
    Keep writing, for it will take you to great literary heights.

    Best foodie wishes from a fan of VEG in Los Angeles, California.

    ReplyDelete
  134. It seems a lot like they are trying to cover up the lunches they are serving you. They are really not very great compared to all the photos other kids have sent in from around the world. It's really sad.

    ReplyDelete
  135. You have my support. Stick with the blog, they have only said that you can't photograph in school, which in of itself is a little off. I'm an ex-pupil of the school (I left in 1996) and I'm really angry and upset by this. What you are doing is important and you need to stick up for your right to free speech.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Oh, Veg. This is my first comment here, but I've been reading your blog for quite a while. You are such an intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken young girl, and I am so impressed with what an impact your blog has made. I think you have so much to offer the world, and I don't think any school council can stand in your way. Even if you can't share your pictures with us anymore, I would love to see your blog keep updating. After all, they can't stop you from telling us about your lunches and sharing lunches from around the world, and they certainly can't stop you from raising money for charity!

    ReplyDelete
  137. Awww...this news has made me sad! I think your blog has been wonderful and brave and entertaining and positive. It has certainly made me smile each day to see something on the internet that's not negative and mocking, but is, rather, positive and pleasant.

    Veg, I think you rock. If they truly do keep you from doing your school lunch blog, please don't withdraw and despair--regroup and do something else you enjoy. And if you can share it with us on the internet, that would make me very happy.

    Keep having fun, and keep being you. As they said when I was a kid, "don't let the turkeys get you down!"

    I'm going to go donate to your project now. That'll show 'em.

    Signed,
    a guy from America (in Chapel Hill, NC--find it! :) )

    ReplyDelete
  138. I am so sorry Veg, that you can no longer write your blog. I was actually going to introduce it to my students tomorrow because I absolutely lover it. You are an excellent writer and should be very proud of what you accomplished! Keep on writing, whether it be about your school food or something else.

    ReplyDelete
  139. It's an utter scandal that your blog has been censored in this way. If enough of us make a fuss, maybe we can sort it out. Will be doing my bit.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Instead of taking pictures can you draw what your lunch looked like or cut pictures from old magizines? I think, and desperately hope that you continue to write about your school lunches and post pictures from other children and adults, if you cant show your own meals then show theirs and help bring attention to others around te world.
    Please dont stop writing, you have found a brilliant way to bring attention to nutrition or lack thereof of our childrens school meals.
    Bravo, I know your parents and family must be bursting with pride.

    YOU HAVE OUR ATTENTION :)

    ReplyDelete
  141. Since when was a local Council empowered to tell you what you can and can't take photographs of and blog about?

    What would happen if you told them to do one and carried on, I wonder? Dad, what do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  142. i have posted once, but i feel i have to again. i am so upset! please dont let this stop you! stay strong and know what you are doing is not wrong, they are wrong, and they should be very ashamed of themselves for trying to stop a young girl doing something she enjoys!! so so wrong. disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Veg,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and even though you won't be able to continue your school lunch blogging, would you ever consider just blogging about your general food experiences? It may even be easier, since you would need to blog every day.

    Even if you retire from active blogging, I do hope you still continue to write. It would be a terrible gift to waste. Good luck on all your future experiences (school lunch-wise, blogging-wise, or elsewhere!)

    -- Wes (Chicago, IL USA) [How many seconds did it take you to find?]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edit: I meant, you wouldn't need to blog every day!

      Delete
  144. Uhoh, you really shouldn't have to learn so young how big business & authority works. You are essentially a lil whistleblower. You've blown the whistle now they'll try to shut you up. But mostly, you've blown the whistle. Perhaps all the kids in Argyll & Bute should take photos of their dinners in solidarity & post them on blogs of their own. Start a campaign. There's power in numbers. Bon courage!

    ReplyDelete
  145. That's craziness!! I love your blog and I don't think you have said anything bad or inappropriate. It is a very fun blog inspiring children and adults to eat healthy while showcasing food/ lunches around the world, it's all good! Please don't get discouraged and write in another format! We support you across the pond in Boston!

    ReplyDelete
  146. http://scottish-liberal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/illiberal-scottish-council-silences-9.html

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'm so sad that you can no longer share your lunches with us! I'm from San Diego, and no longer in school, but I still enjoyed seeing your lunch and other students lunches across the globe. Very sad day for your fans. stay strong and good things will come your way!

    ReplyDelete
  148. Veg,

    Please don't stop writing your blog!!
    I am from Australia and have been visiting your blog daily as I really enjoy your writing and your interest in food from around the world.
    I have sent your blog around to all my family and friends.
    You are an extremely talented and creative girl, don't let adults squash that out of you!!!!

    - Sam from Sydney Australia

    ReplyDelete
  149. I just wrote to the daily mail to see if they can get some press on this. Veg don't let them scare you. I loved your drawing of your dinner, you should continue with the blog. Just because we can't see pictures its not going to stop me enjoying your way with words. Dont stop!

    ReplyDelete
  150. SO just the pictures? They did not say you cannot talk about it? You are an inspiration. I don't want to see a group of short-sighted adults thinking only of protecting themselves keep you from helping others. You can still be an activist and you can still raise money and you can still show what others are eating. Don’t give up.

    ReplyDelete
  151. It is a shame you have been censored. Please keep writing, posting pictures from others, and raising money for Mary's Meals. You have a lot to contribute and your efforts are most appreciated.

    Best Regards. Bob (San Diego, California, USA)

    ReplyDelete
  152. Please don't give up! The world needs your wonderful creative input. I will dearly miss you if you decide to go :(

    ReplyDelete
  153. VEG: I just Googled "never seconds blog closed" and hits are already appearing - every one critical of your council's actions. This is going as viral as NeverSeconds did in the first place, I think!

    ReplyDelete
  154. This is so sad. I loved reading your blog everyday, and I hope you will decide to continue writing even if you do not have pictures. You are an impressive little girl and what you are doing is very important. Please don't stop!

    ReplyDelete
  155. I sent an email to the council. Everyone needs to send emails to show them the error of this decision. Here is what I said.


    I want you to know that I feel your decision to ban 9-year old VEG from posting photos of her lunches on the blog Never Seconds is appalling. There is only one motivation for this decision; self-preservation. She is eloquent, smart, engaging, generous, and passionate. The world has been enjoying reading her colorful blog. How refreshing it has been to see someone this young find her voice and discover she can make a difference. Did you even pay attention to the money she is raising for charity???
    What do you think you accomplished with this decision?
    I fully expect you to be shocked by the feedback you get from this as you are clearly out of touch. I hope you learn from this mistake! On Monday morning, I fully expect to see a blog post from darling Veg. I want to read a post that tells us you apologized to her for your short-sightedness. I want to read that each of you on the council made personal donations to Mary’s Meals. I want to hear that you restored some of her innocence and some of her faith (although you all must live with the knowledge you took something from her today that she will never get back).
    You made a terrible mistake today. Fix it!
    Bridget McArthur
    47-year old mother of 3 from Minnesota USA

    ReplyDelete
  156. I'm sorry to hear about what's happened, VEG.

    For what it's worth, I've lodged an official complaint with the council, but whatever happens, remember that you've done a great job so far.

    Good on you!

    ReplyDelete
  157. Hi Veg (and Veg's dad) - Your blog was great and I'm so sorry you had this experience. I put a post up about your situation at Wired: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/neverseconds-shut-down/

    ReplyDelete
  158. I am deeply sorry to hear this.I agree,You should continue to describe your food and draw us a picture!

    ReplyDelete
  159. VEG, you are a very special girl. Cute, smart and kind, with a breathtaking smile and a big heart.
    You also have a very cool and supportive father.
    Never forget that.
    Your blog changed your country and not only that, it also spread a positive message worldwide.
    That's why you shouldn't feel sad because it's over, but feel happy, because it was a great experience that helped a lot of people from different cultures.
    Whatever you do, do with all your heart, and it will always mean something and help someone.
    Thank you!
    Much love from Brazil.

    PS: hope I can follow your future projects!

    ReplyDelete
  160. I'm writing from Georgia (USA) and I wanted to say that I loved your blog and we will miss it! I have 2 sons in school, plus I volunteer at the school with several girls in a mentoring program and I spend several days a week eating lunch with the kids. We loved seeing what your lunches were like plus the lunches other kids in other countries sent in. Good luck in the future from Cumming, GA.

    ReplyDelete
  161. This is quite ridiculous behaviour by Argyll & Bute council. Hopefully they'll back down and allow you to continue your blog.

    There's a Change.org petition that people can sign:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/argyll-and-bute-council-lift-the-ban-on-the-never-seconds-blog-about-school-dinners

    There's not many signatures at the moment (I was signatory number 15). Please sign and help send a message to Argyll & Bute council that their act of petty-minded illiberalism is unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
  162. I'm TOTALLY BUMMED! I loved reading and really wish you could continue! Doesn't seem fair....

    ReplyDelete
  163. Oh no! I've *LOVED* reading this blog; your writing is really smart and fun, and it's made this blog a joy to read! I'll miss it if you stop, so I hope that you don't. I'm not sure that my overseas opinion will matter to the Council, but I've written them, anyhow. There are lots of people on your side, so please don't feel too sad.

    ReplyDelete
  164. I'm sorry about this. You were doing a great job raising awareness and hopefully making some positive changes not only with your own school lunches but those around the world. It's always a sign of a job well done when someone decides to shut you down. Keep on keeping on!

    ReplyDelete
  165. I'm so sorry you're being censored. I hope you continue with your blog even if you no longer post pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Don't give up! You can still make good things happen. The world is watching, and I can tell you there are a lot of people out here who are cheering you on.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/neverseconds-shut-down/

    ReplyDelete
  167. This makes me sad, I really like your blog, please do continue, first thing I do in office is check your page. You did well, very well..

    -angelique from philippines

    ReplyDelete
  168. I am 90 percent sure they cannot legally forbid you to do this. Maybe someone out there can send the council a letter outlining your legal rights to photograph your property which your lunch is after you have paid for it.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Well done, Veg. Sometimes the young make my heart sing.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Is there a URL for the "objectionable" noewspaper headline?

    ReplyDelete
  171. Sign the petition!
    http://www.change.org/petitions/argyll-and-bute-council-lift-the-ban-on-the-never-seconds-blog-about-school-dinners

    ReplyDelete
  172. I do hope you continue your page in some way! You are brilliant and we all want to see your star shine!

    ReplyDelete
  173. hello my name is amy-- i am married, 41 yr old american, living in york, south carolina.. i have 20 chickens & 4 dogs; in addition to me, my hubby, & 3 room-mates living here; last weekend, 1 of my room-mates was attacked in the house; getting his left thumb 95% chopped off (the man that did it is still at large);; needless to say, i have had a very stressfull week;; martha, your blog here brings me back down to earth & soothes my frayed nerves;; i am ALWAYS looking foward to what u have to say;; please tell the school people to get a life & to stop bothering yours;; you r doin this world a great justice in showing others just how school lunches r made & how they differ around the world. we need more responsible people like u in this world!! God Bless... amy cntry3778@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  174. I also hope that you decide to continue writing your blog. I've been following you from Adrian, Michigan, USA ever since Randy Cassingham wrote about you in his This is True newsletter. However, even if you decide not to keep on blogging, I know that you will do well in what ever you choose to do. I can tell from what you've accomplished with just this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Oh no! I love your blog & have been so impressed, you are a real inspiration. I don't understand the reason you were told to stop, but it sounds like it wasn't done in a very nice way, taking you out of class and all. I hope the decision will be reversed.

    Best wishes & lots of love from NZ.

    ReplyDelete
  176. I've emailed the council, they really should not suppress freedom of speech. Especially when that speech is so eloquent and entertaining!

    Councils really do need to take a long, hard look at themselves and where their priorities lie.

    enquiries@argyll-bute.gov.uk

    ReplyDelete
  177. I think you should get as many kids in the school as possible to take cameras to school and take photos of the food. They can't ban you if they can't prove you're the one taking the photos.

    If they try and ban you publishing the images, get the photos published on lots of other sites where you can all stay anonymous and link to them instead (though banning you from doing something outside school hours is probably not something they can do anyway).

    I guess at the end of the day, you were blogging because you anted to talk about food, not because you wanted to protest or be disobedient. You shouldn't let something as blind as the local council stop you from doing what you love.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Sorry to hear it, Veg -- you've done a marvelous job reporting, and I wish you all the best in life, no matter what happens. Thank you for your work!

    ReplyDelete
  179. This is so sad! I'm going to miss reading your posts and seeing your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  180. I am so sorry to hear this. It seems to me that a girl ought to be able to take a photo of her lunch, and have a blog about it.

    I have enjoyed every one of your posts, and especially loved when students from other countries started sending pictures too. It is fascinating to see what is eaten for ordinary everyday lunch in other countries. Very educational.

    In any case, you seem to be a brilliant girl, and I am sure that this won't be the last great idea you will have.

    Sincerely,
    Colleen in the USA

    ReplyDelete
  181. We have enjoyed your blog and find it unfortunate that the school does not see this as the educational opportunity it is, not only for you, but for other children. We are frustrated with the quality and nutritional value of school lunches provided to our children in the U.S. and are inspired by your efforts.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Dear Veg and DadOfVeg,

    I've been following your blog for the past few weeks and am livid that Argyll and Bute Council have banned you from taking further photos of your lunch. It seems to me that the council are ashamed of their lunches and would rather prevent transparency than provide better quality food. The tone of your blog has always been unfailingly respectful and polite, so it seems there is no reason for them to try to stop it except for the transmission of actual information.

    It looks like there have been some small improvements in the lunches since you began posting, but the servings of fresh fruit and vegetables are still pitiful, in my opinion.

    The council have clearly never heard of the Streisand Effect - trying to silence you and prevent transparency makes them look so much worse than any lunch photos ever could. I think their attempts to censor you will gain them more negative publicity than if they had just ignored your activities completely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    In any case, you are actually providing them with valuable feedback about the quality of their meals - but apparently they are not interested in genuine feedback and would rather shut people up and continue serving sub-par meals. I hope they come to their senses. Providing sub-par meals made them look cheap, but in these economic times everyone understands how difficult it is for councils to manage their budgets. But banning you from taking photos makes them look so much worse. It makes them look like monsters.

    Please keep your chin up, VEG! No matter how this turns out, please know that lots of people are on your side and think you've done a very good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  183. By what authority can you be prevented from taking pictures of your lunch? I know you don't have First Amendment protection like in the USA but seriously...this is outrageous. What is their reasoning???

    ReplyDelete
  184. I'm sad to read this, Veg (and Veg's dad!). I haven't commented before, but have truly enjoyed reading about your school lunches. Keep pushing for improvement, and way to go on raising all those funds for charity!

    ReplyDelete
  185. Write the Argyll and Bute Council here to protest their decision: http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/forms/contact-us

    ReplyDelete