Several universities in the UK are taking steps toward moving away from animal-based foods, in a veganisation process that is gaining momentum. Some have adopted completely plant-based catering, while others have reduced their sale of animal products.
The Plant-based Universities campaign was set up to encourage universities to switch catering provisions on campus to 100% plant-based. Although this was mainly for environmental reasons based on the fact that the adoption of a plant-based food system is key to solving the climate crisis, hopefully animal rights reasons will take an important role in the decisions that some universities may take in the future. This campaign website states the following: “We are a student-led campaign for all university catering facilities to transition 100% of their menus to being plant-based in order to limit the university’s contribution to the climate and ecological emergency and shift public opinion in favour of a plant-based food system. This campaign is supported by Animal Rising…Of all the influential cultural institutions in society, universities present perhaps the greatest opportunity to achieve bold steps towards fully plant-based catering.”
Advances in this campaign include the following: The University of Birmingham voted in favour of a motion to have 60% plant-based catering by the next academic year, with a 10% increase each year until 100%; the University of Stirling SU has passed a motion to transition to 100% plant-based by the year 2025; the University of Cambridge has already removed beef and lamb from some menus and is actively promoting plant-based options; King’s College London has opened a plant-based café; University College London now offers default plant milk at all its campus outlets; London Metropolitan University now has meat-free Mondays; Bournemouth University has lowered the prices of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy; the University of Exeter has removed mammal’s flesh from all campus outlets, except one; Darwin College will be the first UK college of the University of Cambridge that will have an all-vegan menu for its traditional May Ball celebrations.