London Metropolitan University has voted in favor of transitioning to a plant-based campus.
The vote fell on the same day as the local elections last Thursday, May 4. It saw students vote for university catering to become completely plant-based over the course of the next five years.
The university looks set to be 60 percent plant-based by the next academic year. The Students’ Union Trustee Board will then lobby for a 10 percent increase each year. It hopes to do so until animal products are fully off the menu. If plans go ahead, food outlets on the university’s Holloway campus will be fully plant-based by the 2028/29 academic year.
Plant Based Universities proposed the motion, which is the fifth of its kind in the UK. It follows in the footsteps of similar votes at Queen Mary, Stirling, Cambridge, and Birmingham.
“It’s fantastic to see growing numbers of students – the next generation of leadership – taking definitive action on the climate and nature emergencies,” a Plant Based Universities spokesperson told Plant Based News. “It’s clear that we’re coming together to build a better, kinder world.”
Universities embrace veganism
Campaigners say that such votes demonstrate young people’s commitment to clear solutions to the climate crisis.
“It is now clear that young people, students like us, are stepping up and taking bold and decisive action on climate,” said Sofia Fernandes Pontes, a Plant-Based Universities campaigner at London Metropolitan, in a statement. “This vote is yet another display of a turning tide in the conversation on the need for a plant-based food system. I hope this sends a clear message of inspiration and hope to anyone struggling for climate, animal, and social justice.”
There is no denying that animal agriculture is catastrophic for the environment. It’s responsible for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse emissions, and it’s also a leading cause of biodiversity loss and deforestation.
A number of studies have shown that a shift to more plant-heavy diets is essential to fight the climate crisis. A report published earlier this year found that, even if all fossil fuels were eliminated, our food system alone would push us past the 1.5C limit outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.