On 14th March 2023, the Newcastle University Students’ Union in the north of England voted in favour of a motion for making their catering more plant-based, with 89% of votes in favour. The motion will see food at ticketed events be 50% plant-based and all other events moving toward 100% where possible.

The motion will also see Plant-Based Universities work alongside the Students’ Union to lobby the whole university to make the steps towards 100% plant-based catering. The motion was backed by societies across the Students’ Union, including the Labour Society.

Newcastle is the 11th UK Students’ Union to pass a motion of its type, joining others such as Stirling, Cambridge, Warwick,  and Birmingham.

Ella Spray, Plant-Based Universities Newcastle Coordinator, said, “We are in a climate emergency and the university must take responsibility for its role in mitigating climate change. Climate anxiety is at an all-time high and this motion gives students a chance to show the university that they want decisive action to be taken to sustainability. We are excited about working with the Students’ Union and the wider student community to make these changes work for everyone. We hope to be part of creating menus that are, not only, sustainable but are also cheap, nutritious, and delicious.”

Will Holmes, former President of the Newcastle University Vegan Society, said, “Regardless of your personal dietary choices, supporting this motion is a recognition of our collective responsibility to address the climate crisis. This is our opportunity to lead by example, to prioritise the health of our planet and to inspire others to follow suit on both an individual and institutional level.”

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, the Newcastle University Students’ Union will vote to go 100% plant-based in all their catering, including all ticketed events, not just for environmental reasons but for animal rights reasons. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.