Disclaimer: This post reflects solely the opinion of the authors and should not be taken to represent the general views of IPPR’s management/ editorial team or those of fellow authors
Students from the University of Exeter have unfurled large banners and let off non-toxic smoke flares at
key university locations in order to confront their institutions on their cafes and restaurants ’ impacts on
the climate. The students had a microphone and leaflets with them in order to disseminate the importance of transitioning to a just and sustainable plant-based catering. The students say they plan to remain in place for one hour before peacefully dispersing. This comes two months after Students from 3 prestigious universities in London- University College London, London Metropolitan University and King’s College London unfurled the same banners in order to urge their universities to end their complicity in the climate hazardous industries of meat and dairy.
These banner drops are a part of a larger student campaign active in over 20 universities across the UK and soon expanding internationally, asking universities to transition to 100% just and sustainable plant-
based catering in cafes and restaurants by the 2023-24 academic year.
Emma de Saram, 21, a student at Exeter has said, ‘Our current food system is destructive and unsustainable. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy use around 83% of global farmland, yet only provide 18% of our calories. It is destroying human lives, animal lives, and the environment. The only solution is a just transition to a sustainable plant-based food system that provides affordable and healthy food to everyone. universities have a vital role to play, especially here at
Exeter. We have world-leading climate researchers yet this isn’t matching up in our food outlets as profit is placed first. Universities must transition to fully sustainable plant-based catering by the 2023-24 academic year to secure a livable world for the students they are educating about these issues’.
This summer the plant-based university campaigners are coming together to celebrate their achievements, learn from each other, and grow their campaign to 40 UK Universities by hosting their very own Plant-based University Summer Camp. From the 22nd-24th of July, the Plant-Based Universities team will be hosting a free camping weekend in Leicester with team building, strategy, action planning, yoga, and meditation sessions. They will also be hosting a variety of workshops on campaigning, youth engagement in climate action and planning for a plant- based future- interspersed with campfires, vegan marshmallows, block printing and drinks! This is an amazing chance to meet other students who feel passionately about animal, environmental, and social justice, whilst also gaining the skills to successfully campaign when back at university. This campaign is open to all university students, irrespective of whether they are already a part of the plant-based university campaign or not.
Students are encouraged to register for the Plant-based University Summer Camp here:
For further comment or interview please contact:
Vaania Kapoor- 07765343461 (Press Back Office)
By Vaania Kapoor,
Vaania Kapoor is the Campaign Liaison for the Plant-Based University Campaign- a campaign asking universities to transition to 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering by the 2023-24 academic year in order to act on the catastrophic climate impacts of industries like meat, dairy, and fishing.