(University of York, photo credit to Quinn Chen, Instagram: @seirororrrr)
At around 12:00 today, in a coordinated action, students at York, Bishop Burton, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester dropped banners at their universities reading “Plant-Based Universities: End The Climate Crisis.” in a bid to move their institutions towards just and sustainable plant-based menus.
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 .
The campaign has been active for nearly 2 years, with landmark wins at institutions such as Cambridge and Birmingham.
Similar actions are expected at universities across the UK in the coming days and weeks.
Student campaigners from Plant-Based Universities have, today, taken their message to highly visible areas at several universities across the North of England. Campaigners say they are calling on universities to live up to their climate promises and sustainability pledges by making the “no-nonsense” switch to completely plant-based menus.
Lyndon Ship, Plant-Based Universities Liverpool campaigner said:
“In the wake of Rishi Sunak’s climate-wrecking demolition of net-zero policies yesterday, it is even more important that ordinary people step up and show what real leadership looks like. We’re here to show that students are willing to make commonsense changes in order to create a better world.
We’re urging our universities to switch to cheap, nutritious, and delicious plant-based menus - not only is it a key solution to the climate and ecological crises, but it’s also cheaper. Plant-Based Universities have seen massive support across the board - and for good reason too - this transition is a win for everyone.”
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.
(University of Manchester)
In 2018, comprehensive research from the University of Oxford showed that 76% of the land currently used for food production would be freed-up by a global transition to plant-based production . This land could be rewilded and begin carbon drawdown, mitigating the worst impacts of climate breakdown. 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