the prestigious University of Cambridgein it United Kingdom, you could be preparing for a big change on your campuses. Far from being related to the academic proposal, on this occasion, the modification is based on the menus offered in the establishment’s canteens.
Following the campaign Plant-Based Universitiespromoted by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion and its branch Animal Rebellionthis Tuesday a survey was carried out that exposed that 72% of university student representatives want animal-free food proposals.
The survey emerged as a way to responsibly address the “biodiversity and climate crisis” facing the planet and in line with the trend of “100% plant-based” living that the organization promotes.
Despite the overwhelming result obtained in the survey, no decision has yet been made, but it has served as a step to start conversations towards more sustainable options. The final decision rests with the University and there is also no guarantee that this change will apply directly to all 31 Cambridge colleges.
In any case, from the NGO they are confident that their campaign left “an extremely strong mandate for universities to begin the transition to 100% plant-based menus.” Will Smithfrom the Cambridge branch of the Campaign, thinks that “it is great that the Cambridge Students’ Union has approved our motion to work towards implementing a system of catering fair and sustainable plant-based.”
In that sense, he pointed out that if the University eliminated animal products from its meals, could significantly reduce its environmental impact and even use this fact to “show the world its commitment to sustainability”.
For their part, Cambridge managers have been open to receiving the results of the survey and acting on that basis and in line with the preferences of their students. A spokesman commented that “they always welcome suggestions from students and staff” and added that they have “a sustainable food policy” for which they have been striving for years “actively promote plant-based options, remove unsustainable fish from the menu, and reduce food waste.”
A clear example of this was the change introduced in 2016for which the offer of dishes with beef and lamb was completely suspended in all the cafes of the Catering Service on campus.
Together with Cambridge, the Student Union of the University of Oxford joined the Campaign and voted, in 2020the ban on these meats on campus though some cafes still serve them.
Plant-Based Universities is a national initiative originated by students, whose purpose is, together with the support of student unions, to pressure the leadership of these institutions to adopt a catering Made up only of natural and animal-free foods. It already has branches in more than 40 universities.
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