(University College Cork)
Students from Trinity College Dublin, Galway, and Cork have all dropped banners reading “Plant-Based Universities: End The Climate Crisis.” in a bid to move their institutions to completely just and sustainable plant-based menus.
The students are all part of the Plant-Based Universities campaign, which recently released an open letter calling for the transition. The letter has been signed by dozens of Irish academics, healthcare professionals, and politicians - with over 70 coming from Trinity College Dublin alone .
Plant-Based Universities claim that the transition to a plant-based food system is particularly important for Ireland, where farming is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions .
Joining fellow campaigners in the UK, Irish students have joined the push for universities to step up and take bold climate action by implementing plant-based menus across campus . This comes as campaigners call recent comments by TD Michael Fitzmaurice “absent of any serious climate or food system knowledge.” .
Oisín Considine, Plant-Based Universities Trinity College Dublin Coordinator said:
“I’m proud to say that Trinity College Dublin was the single biggest representative on the recent open letter calling for 100% plant-based menus - with over 70 signatories. This shows that students and academics alike are embracing the need for bold and strong change.
We’re bringing our message to the university today to make sure that the vital conversations about creating Irish food security and tackling the climate crisis happen. I, personally, look forward to working with farmers, producers, and the university to make plant-based menus a reality”
(Trinity College Dublin)
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 Oxford .
Louiza Bendz, Plant-Based Universities University College Cork Coordinator said
"In Ireland, farming is our leading greenhouse gas emitter, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We can support farmers and producers to make the transition to plant-based farming and rewilding. This switch is urgently needed to ensure we reach our climate targets.
We’re calling on universities to lead on this change too. Our educational institutions are beacons of positive change and progress, we need them to step up and show that they care."
The Plant-Based Universities campaign, 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 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
 https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/students-at-5-northern-universities-drop-banners-calling-for-100-plant-based-catering and https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/campus-action-students-across-the-south-drop-banners-in-bid-for-100-plant-based-universities