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University of Cambridge Student Representatives Vote To Support Transition To Plant-Based Catering

University of Cambridge Student Representatives Vote To Support Transition To 100% Plant-Based University Catering


  • The Cambridge Students’ Union voted on (20/2/23) to initiate talks with the University Catering Services about removing all animal products from its menus. 72% of non-abstaining student representatives voted in favour of the motion following a four-week consultation process [1].

  • The motion, proposed by organisers of the Plant-Based Universities campaign, calls for “sustainable and 100% plant-based” catering in response to the climate and biodiversity crises.

  • This comes after students at The University of Stirling voted for their Student’s Union to transition to 100% plant-based catering by 2025 [2].

Representatives of the Cambridge Students’ Union have voted for Plant-Based Universities to initiate a dialogue with the University of Cambridge about the implementation of a sustainable and 100% plant-based food system within the university.

William Smith, 24, from Plant-Based Universities Cambridge said:
“It’s great that Cambridge Students’ Union has passed our motion to work with the University to implement a just and sustainable plant-based catering system.

By removing animal products from its menus, the University could significantly reduce its environmental impact and showcase to the world its commitment to sustainability.

The University Catering Services has already made important strides, for example in 2016 when it removed beef and lamb from all its menus. We look forward to working with them on the next necessary steps.” [3]

The motion noted that a fully plant-based global food system could reduce land use for agriculture by 75%. This land could then be rewilded to draw down as much carbon dioxide as is currently emitted through fossil fuels each year [4].


The Plant-Based Universities campaign is a nationwide initiative of students who are pushing for their universities and student unions to adopt 100% plant-based catering [5]. The group claims that universities have an obligation to follow the scientific research that they produce, detailing the environmental impacts of animal farming and fishing. The campaign is active in over 40 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.


The Plant-Based Universities campaign is supported by the well-known animal and climate justice group Animal Rising.


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Notes To Editors:

[1] Cambridge Students’ Union can independently verify the result via press@cambridgesu.co.uk or 08081641222

[4] https://ourworldindata.org/land-use-diets and Timothy D. Searchinger, ‘Assessing the efficiency of changes in land use for mitigating climate change’, Nature, 564 (2018), pp 249–253.

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