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Chris Packham CBE and Etienne Stott MBE Lead 850+ Notables In Call For 100% Plant-Based Universities

  • This afternoon, the Plant-Based Universities campaign published a letter to University Vice-Chancellors, Catering Managers, and Student Union Presidents calling on them to support the transition to 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering in universities.

  • The letter has been signed by a vast amount of professors and public figures, including Dr Joseph Poore of Oxford University, the Deputy Leader of the Green Party (Zack Polanski,) and the Co-Executive Directors of Greenpeace, Will McCallum and Areeba Hamid.

  • Academics from over 50 UK universities have shown their support for the campaign. This includes individuals from universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and St Andrews.

  • The Plant-Based Universities campaign has already achieved landmark wins in 7 UK universities [1].

In a huge show of support for the transition to a safe and secure plant-based food system, public figures and academics alike have signed an open letter calling for universities to transition to 100% plant-based catering. The full letter, alongside all signatures, was uploaded to the Plant-Based Universities website earlier today (4/9/23) [2].

Chris Packham CBE, Broadcaster and Environmental Campaigner said

“The student campaigners of Plant-Based Universities are making incredible changes in their institutions and it’s only right to see hundreds of academics stepping up to support them. The move towards a safe and secure plant-based food system is starting, and I stand behind these committed young people driving this shift forward.

Their successful votes at universities such as Cambridge and Birmingham show the way towards a brighter future. The support of world-leading experts in climate and food system research for this transition speaks volumes.”

The open letter calls for universities to adopt 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering because of research linking animal farming and fishing to the climate and ecological crises. A recent Oxford University study suggested that a plant-based food system would have 75% less environmental impact than our current one [3].

Michelle Farnham, 25, Coordinator of the Plant-Based Universities campaign said:

“This open letter should be a clear message to universities across the UK and beyond that the time for bold and decisive change is now. We’ve already seen 7 universities make the commonsense commitment towards 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering, all that remains is for others to step up and show the same level of climate leadership.

The Plant-Based Universities campaign has grown exponentially, with hundreds of incredible student campaigners across the UK being beacons of hope and change for the better.”

Signatories on the letter also include Dale Vince OBE, Caroline Lucas MP, and George Monbiot.

Etienne Stott MBE, London 2012 Gold Medalist said

“The widespread support for the Plant-Based Universities campaign amongst academics and public figures alike should be a clear message to our educational establishments across the UK and beyond. The need for universities to act on their own climate research could not be more pressing. The support of academics from over 90 institutions globally is incredibly powerful and I urge universities to listen to their calls for change.

I feel proud to support university students and urge others to do the same as they show what’s possible when we work together to create a kinder world."

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 [4]. 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 50 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.


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Notes To Editors:

[1] 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

[2] The letter, alongside all signatories, can be found here:


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