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Newcastle Students Vote For Plant-Based Catering With Huge ‘Yes’ Majority

  • Newcastle students have joined a wave of students’ unions in voting to take clear steps towards completely plant-based catering. The Students’ Council yesterday voted for a motion that will see food at ticketed events be 50% plant-based and all other events moving towards 100% where possible.

  • The motion will also see Plant-Based Universities work alongside the Students’ Union to lobby the whole university to make the steps towards 100% plant-based catering - with this move being described as “taking definitive climate action together.” The motion was backed by societies across the Students’ Union, including the Labour Society.

  • Newcastle is the 11th Students’ Union to pass a motion of its type, joining others such as Cambridge, Warwick, and Birmingham [1].

In, yet another, display of student climate action Newcastle University students have voted for their Student's’ Union to take no-nonsense moves to tackle the climate crisis. Plant-Based Universities says they aim to make this a practical and pragmatic shift, involving Newcastle University Students’ Union as a partner in making positive change. The vote passed with more than an 89% share being those for ‘yes’ [2].

Ella Spray, Plant-Based Universities Newcastle Coordinator said:

“We are in a climate emergency and the university must take responsibility for its role in mitigating climate change. Climate anxiety is at an all-time high and this motion gives students a chance to show the university that they want decisive action to be taken to sustainability.

We are excited about working with the Students’ Union and the wider student community to make these changes work for everyone. We hope to be part of creating menus that are, not only, sustainable but are also cheap, nutritious, and delicious.”

The motion will also see the creation of a dedicated Plant-Based Universities campaign within the Students’ Union led by the President and Ethics & Environment Representative, alongside publicly endorsing Plant-Based Universities. With the move to a plant-based food system having the potential to free up around 76% of global farmland for rewilding and carbon drawdown, Plant-Based Universities claim that university transition is a “no-brainer move” [3].

Will Holmes, former President of the Newcastle University Vegan Society said:

“Regardless of your personal dietary choices, supporting this motion is a recognition of our collective responsibility to address the climate crisis. This is our opportunity to lead by example, to prioritise the health of our planet and to inspire others to follow suit on both an individual and institutional level.”

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


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Notes To Editors:

[2] Video of motion presentation and voting from 1:44:00


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