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University of Stirling Campaigners Reach Out To Critics After Personal Attacks

  • On 10/11/22, at a students union general meeting, the Plant-Based Universities campaign put forward a motion for their facilities to transition to 100% plant-based catering by 2025, with 50% of the options being so by the 2023-24 academic year. [1]

  • The Plant-Based Universities campaigners at Stirling are offering to talk about the motion and why it is necessary with anyone who has been angered, outraged, or upset enough to direct abuse towards them.

  • Since the vote, the students who proposed the motion report that they have received verbal abuse in public, with a note allegedly being pinned to the door of one in private accommodation on 28/11/22.

Two Students at The University of Stirling have reported backlash after they successfully proposed a motion for their student union to transition to 100% plant-based catering. They say they are willing to meet and talk with anyone who has felt strongly enough to direct personal attacks towards them.

Aaron Caulfield, 19, one of the campaigners said:
“We understand and appreciate that change can feel scary or upsetting. However, we can’t abide by any abuse or threats that don’t approach the situation with openness and honesty. We would love to reach out to anyone who’s felt strongly enough to make their feelings public and sit down over a coffee or a pint to have a discussion.”

The vote at The University of Stirling was passed by a 55.4% majority and was defended by The Union President, as detailed in minutes [2]. The motion aims to reduce the climate impact of the Student Union’s menus and set a precedent for UK universities. An article written in Stirling's student newspaper "The Brig" by a meat-eater supported the move [3]

Imogen Robertson, 21, another campaigner who, allegedly, had a note pinned to their door in the wake of the vote said:
“If the person who pinned this note to my door is one of my neighbours, please knock next time and we can have a cup of tea. If not, let’s talk about this at university. I’m absolutely committed to having honest and open discussions with anyone who wishes to.
I understand this move has been controversial and stirred up strong emotions. It is vital that we don’t let these emotions cause division, because we’re all facing the climate and ecological emergencies together. Our strength lies in our ability to unite at this time.”

The Plant-Based Universities 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 40 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.

The Plant-Based Universities campaign is supported by the well-known animal and climate justice group Animal Rising.


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