This Idea was labeled contentious under Students' Union Bye Law 3.4.2 "Any ban or boycott is contentious". As described in Students' Union Bye Law 3.4.4, "Apart from matters that pass with a simple majority that at least 1000 students have voted upon, any contentious Idea will drop a star when scored.
Strongly Agree: 90
Strongly Disagree: 9
In 2020, UWE announced a Climate and Ecological Declaration with the aim to be climate neutral by 2030. The biggest issue surrounding the climate crisis is certainly land use, and farming swallows far more land than any other human activity.
- A plant-based food system will produce more food, with fewer emissions, and increase carbon drawdown. It can free up 76% of global farmland, much of which can be rewilded and restore our precious wildlife. It is inclusive of all faiths and all religions, and can also help to alleviate the cost of living crisis.
- On assessing the carbon footprint of many common food items, it is notable that the contribution of factors such as transport and packaging are indeed small compared to that of the food type. Items derived from animals generally have much greater footprints than plant-based items. Beef and lamb are the greatest offenders at around 6 times the footprint of chicken and pork.
- We propose that UWE join other UK universities, such as Goldsmiths and Edinburgh, in stopping the sale of beef and lamb. This is a unique opportunity for UWE to act in alignment with its climate emergency declaration. In combination with the already good work of the catering team on default plant milk and veganuary efforts this will facilitate the essential shift towards becoming net zero by 2030 and could make UWE a national leader in sustainability.
- We are not demanding a complete ban on animal products from campus, but rather that our universities divest from these industries at their outlets. We suggest UWE replace the beef and lamb options with plant-based alternatives.
- Students can be actively involved in menu design and innovation. We are working with the university and a group of organisations to ensure that any menu replacements are vibrant, tasty, nutritious, and affordable, to create menus that everyone loves. These organisations include Plant Based Health Professionsals, The Forward Food Programme, and Veganuary.
- This idea opened on 08 December 2022 and closes for voting on 19 January 2023.
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