The Students’ Union at Lancaster University (LUSU), UK, have voted to gradually transition to 100% vegan menus, with a target of 50% by 2025, and 100% by 2027. The university is not bound to follow the recommendation of the motion, which was supported by 18 of the 19 delegates representing about 13,000 students.

At this stage, this vote means the Students Union is committed only to lobbying the University, but it does not mean there will be any immediate ban on meat and dairy products on campus as that is not within LUSU’s powers to decide. It also does not affect the private commercial food outlets on campus.

Victoria Simpson, one of the students campaigning for this move, said: “Lancaster University has a goal of net zero by 2035, and… implementing a plant-based catering system… absolutely aligns with their goals.”

Professor Rebecca Willis, a professor in energy and climate governance at the university, said to the BBC,Reducing consumption of meat and dairy products is a crucial step in meeting our climate and health targets. I’m really pleased that Lancaster’s students are asking our university to lead the way on this vital issue.”

This is another success of the Plant-Based Universities Campaign which has been achieving similar victories in other UK universities. In March 2024, Cambridge University’s Students’ Union (SU) voted to make its catering serve fully plant-based food in all of its internal operations, and at all events and meetings. In 2022, the Students’ Union of Starling University in Scotland become the first in the UK to have 100% vegan catering by 2025. The motion voted in November 2022 aimed to have 50% of the food options plant-based by the 2023-24 academic year, and gradually only serving plant-based food by 2025. 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 students at the universities of Warwick and Birmingham also voted for similar motions. More than 650 academics signed an open letter calling for universities to transition away from animal agriculture.

Jordi Casamitjana
“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’.