A Scottish university union has voted to go fully vegan by 2025, the first UK student union to do so.
The University of Stirling’s student union is to switch to ‘100% plant-based catering’ within three years. Half of menu it will be in the three union cafes vegan by the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year.
The bold plan – approved in a vote earlier this month – is an attempt to tackle the climate crisis.
The motion was brought forward by the Plant Based Universities campaign, a student movement supported by a collective of activists Animal Rebellion.
“The worst effects of climate collapse are already being experienced around the world and in similar sectors meatfishing and dairy products are undeniably a part of it,” warns the Plant Based University.
“Universities are where we get so much climate science from and, as such, they have a responsibility to listen to it.
“On-campus plant-based dining is the only future-proof option.”
Will the University of Stirling remain vegan?
A majority of students at the meeting voted to remove meat and dairy products from the menu.
The veganism the rule could conceivably be overturned by another motion: 127 students attended the first meeting, out of a student body of 17,000.
But motion proponent Aaron Caulfield defended the union’s mandate.
“It is by no means an unusual turnout for a student union meeting,” he told the student newspaper The Brig.
“If it is not the opinion of the Student Union to go ahead with this, it should make it known at the next meeting.”
Environmentalist, journalist and writer George Monbiot praised the student union.
“It’s great to see the next generation take control of their future and put humans, non-human animals and the planet first,” he said in a statement.
“Activists from plant universities at the University of Stirling are leading the way in tackling the climate crisis and creating a sustainable food system.”
How bad is meat and dairy for the planet?
Animal agriculture is a huge source of carbon emissions.
Food manufacturing contributes more than a third (about 37%) of global greenhouse gas emissions, with meat in particular causing about twice the emissions of other types of food.
Emissions from livestock they account for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
Processed meat is the single leading cause of deforestation, as large areas of forest are cleared for pasture.
If the world is gone veganemissions from food would decrease by about 70%, suggests research from the University of Minnesota.