Students at Cardiff yesterday narrowly voted against a motion that would’ve seen their Students’ Union transition to 100% plant-based catering by the 2026-27 academic year .
The motion, proposed by campaigners from Plant-Based Universities, aimed to tackle the climate and ecological crisis by beginning the transition to a just and sustainable plant-based menu.
Campaigners estimated the motion gathered the support of around 45% of attendees, a significant proportion of votes cast. They say this is a “huge foundation on which to build and be successful in the future.”
Over the past year, 8 UK Students’ Unions have passed similar motions. They are Stirling, Cambridge, Birmingham, London Metropolitan, Queen Mary University of London, University College London, Kent, and Warwick .
Despite gaining a large number of positive votes, a motion to see completely just and sustainable plant-based catering introduced to Cardiff University’s Students’ Union has fallen. Despite this campaigners are confident of future success.
Olivia Herries, Plant-Based Universities Cardiff Campaigner said:
“Whilst we are disappointed to see the motion fall today, we are motivated to continue by the large numbers of students who put their faith in us. We want to address the concerns our peers had and work together to create solutions that are a win for us all. We have started a huge campus conversation and want it to continue.
The transition to 100% plant-based catering would represent a huge positive step for our Students’ Union and university. We are eager to continue the work we have begun and join the growing list of UK universities moving in the plant-based direction.”
Several academics from Cardiff joined over 750 others in signing an open letter in support of the Plant-Based Universities campaign earlier this year. Other signatories include Caroline Lucas MP and George Monbiot .
Earlier this year it was revealed that intensive farming in the River Wye’s catchment area was the leading cause of damage to the river’s health . It has also been claimed that animal farming is a leading cause of, so-called, terrestrial dead zones in the Cambrian Mountains . Plant-Based Universities campaigners claim that urgent action is needed to tackle the biodiversity crisis in Wales.
In 2018, research from the University of Oxford concluded that animal farming was a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water pollution, and acidification. It suggested around 76% of global farmland could be spared for uses such as rewilding and biodiversity restoration if the transition to a plant-based food system were made . 2023 research from the same institution concluded that plant-based eating carries around 4x less environmental impact than high-meat consumption .
Plant-Based Universities, an Animal Rising campaign, is an international initiative of students who are pushing for their universities and student unions to adopt 100% plant-based catering . 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 75 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.
Word Count: 517
For interviews or further comment please contact:
Nathan: +44 1225 6691
All images and videos in this file, on our social media, and website can be used under ‘fair use’ for the purposes of reporting.
Notes To Editors:
 For further details and other press releases please visit: https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/blog
 https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/plant-based-universities-open-letter and https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/chris-packham-cbe-and-etienne-stott-mbe-lead-850-notables-in-call-for-100-plant-based-universities