Students at Cambridge University have voted in favour of having an all vegan campus following an Extinction Rebellion campaign.

A total ban on animal products could one day be on the cards for Cambridge University’s food services following an Extinction Rebellion offshoot campaign. Cafes and canteens at Cambridge University are being pushed towards a ‘100 per cent plant-based’ menu as student union votes were cast to ‘initiate talks’ for more sustainable options.

Yesterday’s vote came after lobbying from Cambridge’s Plant Based Universities campaign, which is supported by Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of activist group Extinction Rebellion. Its motion – which calls for change in response to the ‘climate and biodiversity crises’ –  was backed by 72 per cent of non-abstaining student representatives who voted. However, the student union’s decision does not guarantee that Cambridge’s catering services will go fully vegan, as the power to change food policies lies with the university.

Seventy-two per cent of the student union backed banning animal products as part of the motion calling for a response to the ‘climate and biodiversity crises’

The vote does not directly apply to the university’s 31 colleges, although the campaign said that it provided ‘an extremely strong mandate for colleges to begin transitioning to 100 per cent plant-based menus’. Beef and lamb have already been removed from the university’s menus as of 2016.

William Smith, 24, from the Cambridge branch of the Plant-Based Universities Campaign, said: “It’s great that Cambridge Students’ Union has passed our motion to work with the university to implement a just and sustainable plant-based catering system. By removing animal products from its menus, the university could significantly reduce its environmental impact and showcase to the world its commitment to sustainability. The University Catering Services has already made important strides, for example in 2016 when it removed beef and lamb from all its menus. We look forward to working with them on the next necessary steps.”

The Plant-Based Universities Campaign is a nationwide initiative of students who are pushing for their universities and student unions to adopt fully plant-based catering, and has offshoots at more than 40 institutions. Oxford’s Student Union also voted to ban beef and lamb in 2020, but some of the university’s cafes still appear to serve red meat.

A spokesman for the University of Cambridge expressed that the institution ‘always welcomes suggestions from students and staff’. They said, “The University of Cambridge removed ruminant meat from the menu in all University Catering Service cafes in 2016 and has a sustainable food policy which also seeks to actively promote plant-based options, remove unsustainable fish from the menu and reduce food waste. We always welcome suggestions from students and staff.”

Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk


Source: Auto Draft