top of page

Stage 1 

 Research and Engage with the Student Population

Firstly, student activists research their university's food and sustainability policies, as well as the ownership and procurement of their campus food outlets. Based on this, they write a bold POLICY motion for their university catering facilities to end the sale of animal products and make 100% of their menus plant-based. This demand needs to be seen as a climate initiative to achieve a greater chance of success. And if students have the option to get this campaign running more effectively through an existing society it is probably worth doing so. 


The messaging should focus on the demand for “Plant Based University”, the primary reason being “the science is clear, we are in a climate and ecological emergency and a transition to a plant-based food system is an urgent and inevitable solution to this crisis”. Our campaign advocates for universities to honour their responsibility to their students and society, acting now to transition to plant-based catering and mitigate climate breakdown and ecosystem collapse. 


Once the motion is proposed there needs to be a strong effort to educate, outreach and mobilise voters to pass the motion. Animal Rebellion provides free campaign training and materials to students for this once they have signed up for the campaign. The nature of student democracy is that everyone does not participate, so it really is a numbers game. And the polarizing nature of this topic helps to engage as many students as possible. At its core, this is a voter mobilization campaign.


Gaining democratic legitimacy for a proposal is hard work, and we need a committed team working full-time to achieve this. You should expect a two-week - month-long campaign using methods like:


  • Daily outreach on campus to gain voters and educate. This involves a table, banner, leaflets, and devices for petition signs and voter registration.

  • Digital and media presence. A strong social media presence posting in all student spaces daily. Also engaging with local and student press, publications, and radio to spread the message, raise awareness and encourage support of the campaign. This can also include opinion pieces in the Tab and even national press.

  • Gaining support from sympathetic societies and staff members. We can reach out to other student and staff groups who may have the knowledge, networks, and resources to support the campaign and mobilise voters. For example, organising joint socials, talks, fundraisers, lecture shout-outs, and endorsement from credible groups and individuals. Possibly spend a couple of weeks getting allegiance before you launch the motion.

  • Word-of-mouth tactics. Directly messaging all of your friends and getting them to message all their friends it. And Flyering, postering, and going door-to-door in student halls.

  • Organise events such as film screenings, influencer talks, and theatrical/artistic actions. This helps to maintain campaign visibility, presence, and pressure.

  • Have a diversity of active campaigners across different year groups and academic disciplines with different friendship networks. Lots of people will just vote because their friend asks even if they aren’t fully in favour, and we need to capitalise on that dynamic.

  • Following up with everyone on voting day to ensure they cast their vote.


This campaign will become a large debate on campus. If an opposition group emerges to oppose your motion, and even challenge you in public or on social media, this can be valuable in generating publicity and productive conversations. The opposition may be so strong that drama could even escalate, in previous meat reduction campaigns on campus, threats have been made to throw bacon/pig flesh at students, and in other animal rights campaigns, this has happened. Students should be prepared with pre-drafted press releases in case this happens to encourage sympathy and support for the cause, particularly if we remain nonviolent and civil in word, speech and tone at all times, showing ourselves to have integrity. We can also invite the opposition to debates where the conversation can be further promoted.

bottom of page