Introducing Plant-Based Universities

Universities, the sources of a great deal of the Global North’s scientific study and revolutionary thought, are once more bearing witness to demands for system change. The system in question this time? The unjust, unsustainable food system characterised by the meat, fishing, and dairy industries.

This is the system that drives Amazon deforestation1, contributes a staggering amount of greenhouse gas emissions2, leaves 805 million of the world’s most vulnerable people hungry3, whilst simultaneously slaughtering trillions of animals needlessly each year4.

The oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford, has published several papers exploring and explaining the environmental benefits of transitioning to plant-based foods5. Besides this, dozens of British universities have declared a climate emergency, evidently these institutions are recognising the need for drastic change6. This gives them the responsibility to act on the emergency that they recognise.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that students from several universities including KCL, UCL, and Warwick are now pushing for change. With the demand for their university transition to serving a 100% plant-based menu throughout their cafes and restaurants by the start of the 2023/24 academic year.

Students are listening to the science that, very often, their own universities publish. They are holding their institutions accountable to their sustainability promises and commitments. By transitioning to just and sustainable plant-based food systems, universities will be securing a future, not only for their students, but for the rest of humanity, animals, and the planet.

Universities are already showing the transition is possible! KCL now has a fully plant-based Cafe whilst UCL’s daily hot food is at least 25% plant-based too7. The time has now come  to expand this to include the entirety of university’s menus. The answer is staring these powerful institutions in the face! By transitioning to 100% plant-based catering, universities will be helping break down an archaic and damaging food system and simultaneously be investing in one that is just and sustainable.

Plant-based universities are an unavoidable step on the road to human, animal, and climate justice. This is a fact that is evident to the ever-growing group of students pushing for the transition. Animal Rebellion is only too happy to empower and support groups of students on this mission.

If you’re a student and are excited or driven to make this change at your university, please contact us using the details, or fill out this form now!

  1. De Sy. V, et al,”Land use patterns and related carbon losses following deforestation in South America,” Environmental Research Letters, vol. 10, no. 12 (2015.)
  2. Jia. G, Shevliakova. E et al, “Chapter 2: Land-Climate Interactions” in UN Special Report: Climate Change and Land (2019.) https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/
  3.  Cassidy. E.S, Foley. J. A, Gerber. J.S and West. P.C, “Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare,” Environmental Research Letters, vol. 8, no. 3 (2013.)
  4. Zampa. M, “How Many Animals Are Killed For Food Every Day” (2018,) https://sentientmedia.org/how-many-animals-are-killed-for-food-every-day/
  5.  Clark. M.A, Hill. J, Springmann. M, Tilman. D, “Multiple health and environmental impacts of foods,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116, no. 46 (2019.)
  6.  Latter.  Briony, “Climate Emergency Declarations: What Do They Tell Us About Universities’ Response To Climate Change?,” https://pcancities.org.uk/climate-emergency-declarations-what-do-they-tell-us-about-universities-response-climate-change
  7.  https://www.peta.org.uk/living/vegan-universities-uk/

Introducing Plant-Based Universities
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