The University of East Anglia's student-elected Union Council has passed a motion to ban the sale of beef on campus for climate change reasons.
The union says students are becoming more concerned by the climate crisis and already have a Meat Free Monday campaign and have increased their range of vegan products.
Farmers have branded the decision to ban beef on the University of East Anglia campus as "illogical" and urged them to reconsider.
UEA is the centre of climate science in the UK. According to research by campaign group, Moving Animals, seven more student unions would also like to work towards banning the sale of beef at their university outlets, with many others working to increase their plant-based food offerings. One union isn’t just stopping at beef - they’re looking into making the entire campus vegetarian and vegan.
Momentum to move away from “environmentally-destructive” foods like meat comes after other universities, including University of Cambridge, Goldsmiths University of London, and Portugal’s oldest university, have already dropped beef.
Kaya Axelsson, Vice President of Charities and Communities at Oxford University, said that the beef ban is “something students are pushing for, and it is part of our broader climate action plan.” She hopes that the beef ban could happen by the end of the year.
According to Moving Animals co-founder, Paul Healey, the response has been “overwhelming”. He said: “Goldsmiths made headlines worldwide when they banned beef in September - now University of East Anglia join them, and at least seven more student unions would like to follow suit. That’s an overwhelming response in such a short amount of time.”
“Universities continue to have a major role in implementing policies and influencing public thought, as well as providing much of the academic work and research that creates the conversation around the climate catastrophe.
"Higher places of learning also represent a significant number of the UK population, who can - and should - be mobilised to support a wider transition towards a more sustainable plant-based food system.”
Moving Animals have now launched an online guide to help institutions make the change. The guide includes case studies from Goldsmiths and Cambridge University, with the latter’s catering services who banned beef (and lamb) back in 2016, saying that the move helped reduce their food-related carbon emissions by a third.
This article is based on a press release from Moving Animals.