(University of Birmingham)
At around 12:00 today, in a coordinated action, students at the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Cardiff 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 Caroline Lucas MP and Etienne Stott MBE - 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 .
2 of the universities, Cambridge and Birmingham, have already seen successful votes supporting the transition.
Following the actions of students across the North and South of England , those studying in the Midlands and Wales have made their calls for 100% just and sustainable university catering clear to their institutions.
Imogen Clemett, Plant-Based Universities Birmingham Coordinator said:
“At Birmingham, we’re already seeing changes being made towards truly sustainable catering in our student’s guild - the new menus are delicious and affordable too. We’re hoping to work further with our university to create win-win changes for everybody.
Today’s banner drop is a clear message that Plant-Based Universities will continue to work towards these changes and engage in discussion with our fellow students and staff to make that happen.”
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.
(University of Cambridge)
Tommy Walker Mackay, Plant-Based Universities Cambridge campaigner said
"Earlier this year Cambridge students made the incredible decision to support Plant-Based Universities by voting to support the move towards sustainable and completely plant-based menus across the University Catering Services - for which we are incredibly grateful.
Since then, we've worked across student groups and engaged with staff and changemakers in order to realise affordable and delicious plant-based catering here. This banner drop is another display of student support for these no-nonsense steps on climate and sustainability."
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
 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