Students at the University of Warwick have voted for their Students’ Union to adopt 100% plant-based catering by the 2027-28 academic year and 50% by 2024-25 .
The motion, proposed by organisers of the Plant-Based Universities campaign, calls for the union to make the no-nonsense, commonsense shift to plant-based catering to limit the university’s contribution to the climate and ecological emergency - with supporters claiming that a plant-based food system is a key solution to climate breakdown.
This makes Warwick the UK’s 8th Students’ Union to adopt such a motion, following Stirling, Cambridge, Birmingham, London Metropolitan, Queen Mary University of London, University College London, and Kent .
After several days of polling in Warwick’s All-Student Vote, a motion calling for 100% plant-based menus to tackle the climate and ecological crises received 53% of the votes, with 774 students voting in favour, 518 against, and 180 abstentions.
Vivek Venkatram, Plant-Based Universities Warwick Campaigner and President of Warwick’s Vegan and Vegetarian Society said:
“We are delighted to see this straightforward and sensible motion pass with huge backing across the university today. This marks a clear step in the right direction for our university. The need for a plant-based food system has never been so urgent, and universities, as social, cultural, and political leaders, need to step up and show the way.
We’ve spent weeks collaborating with other societies across the university, dropped a huge banner on the library bridge, and also helped to fundraise for Leamington Spa’s LWS Night Shelter. We want this change to benefit everyone.
Our campaign has received support from hundreds of students and staff members alike, and we are incredibly excited to work with our catering teams to create affordable, nutritious, and delicious menus for students; we are making the most sustainable choice, the most convenient one.”
Several academics from Warwick joined over 750 others in signing an open letter in support of the Plant-Based Universities campaign earlier this year. They were joined by figures including Dale Vince OBE, Chris Packham CBE, and both Greenpeace co-executive directors Will McCallum and Areeba Hamid .
Today’s vote saw more than double the number of votes for the motion than one submitted in 2022. Plant-Based Universities claims that this displays a clear change amongst University of Warwick Students .
Campaigners point to research from Oxford University that suggests that global farmland could be reduced by 76% if the world adopted a plant-based food system, freeing up land for rewilding and habitat restoration for endangered species. This would allow huge amounts of carbon drawdown from the atmosphere . A comment earlier this year in The Lancet Planetary Health Journal called for universities to lead the way in transitioning to a plant-based food system, citing their enormous social importance .
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 . 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 75 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.
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Notes To Editors:
 For further details and other press releases please visit: https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/blog
 https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/plant-based-universities-open-letter and https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/chris-packham-cbe-and-etienne-stott-mbe-lead-850-notables-in-call-for-100-plant-based-universities