At around 12:00 today, in a coordinated action, students at the universities of Bristol, Southampton, Kent, and Falmouth dropped banners on their campuses reading “Plant-Based Universities: End The Climate Crisis.”
The students are all part of the national Plant-Based Universities campaign, which recently released an open letter calling for the transition. The letter has now been signed by nearly 1000 academics and notables including Chris Packham CBE and Dale Vince OBE - alongside world-leading climate researchers .
In the past year, the campaign has seen students at 7 UK universities vote for the Student’s Unions to move towards 100% plant-based catering to tackle the climate and ecological crises .
This follows similar actions on 21/9/23 across universities in Northern England .
In the latest call for universities to transition to just and sustainable plant-based catering, Plant-Based Universities campaigners have dropped banners at several English universities today. The banners, the group claims, are a clear voice of student opinion on the need for definitive climate action.
Chris Chudley, Plant-Based Universities campaigner and coordinator who oversaw the successful campaign at Kent this year, said:
“Across the UK, students are stepping up and taking control of their futures by calling for the commonsense switch to just and sustainable plant-based catering on campus. By being at university we are investing in our futures, and now we’re asking our universities to do the same and show us they care.
Here at Kent, we saw a record-breaking student vote calling for this change - showing just how much we care about this issue. Plant-Based Universities are continuing to grow, making positive steps and working with farmers, other food producers, and our universities to create a better future.”
Alongside the banner drops, students are handing out leaflets to their peers and engaging in discussion about the campaign. They are aiming to bring attention to the unsustainability of current university catering, pointing to research carried out by universities such as Harvard.
A 2019 Harvard study suggested that the UK could be carbon-negative if it switched to a plant-based food system and mass rewilding - before even cutting out fossil fuels . The Plant-Based Universities campaign claims that universities have a responsibility to the future of their students to transition to 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering.
The Plant-Based Universities campaign, an Animal Rising campaign, is a nationwide 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 60 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.
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Notes To Editors:
 https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/plant-based-universities-open-letter and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/04/hundreds-academics-call-for-meat-free-meals-british-universities
 Plant-Based Universities have seen votes passed at Students Unions in Stirling, Cambridge, Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, London Metropolitan, University College London, and Kent https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/blog