Thousands of students at one of Britain’s top universities will be forced to ‘go vegan’ after activists won a vote banning meat and dairy products.
Students at the University of Warwick backed a motion forcing union-run catering outlets to adopt plant-based menus, with three now required to do so by 2027.
But the move, pushed through by campaign group ‘Plant-Based Universities’, has ignited fury after it emerged that just 774 students – about 2.7 per cent of 28,600-stong campus – were behind the plan, while 516 voted against it.
Vivek Venkatram, Plant-Based Universities Warwick campaigner and president of Warwick’s Vegetarian and Vegan Society championed the vote and said: ‘We want this change to benefit everyone.’
However, the Countryside Alliance condemned the decision backed by a ‘tiny minority’ and said the vote raised questions about whether the sweeping change was ‘made with the interests of the wider student population in mind’.
‘Students shouldn’t let such a small cohort get away with isolating the wider student population. Vegan campaigners are welcome to present their arguments in favour of plant-based diets, but should not impose a diet in university-affiliated buildings,’ said alliance spokeswoman Sabina Roberts.
‘Students should take on their democratic duty and place forward a counter-motion that keeps meat on the menu.’
The move was also condemned on social media, with one person tweeting: ‘Will this nonsense ever stop? The vocal minority at it again.’
While another added: ‘Veganism is as extreme as all extremist religious movements. It’s either their way or no way. I feel sorry for the kids.’
Warwick’s students’ union is the eighth in the UK to vote through a motion to ditch meat and dairy, as part of a campaign pushing for more sustainable catering in higher education.
A total of 1,472 students voted in the motion, titled ‘plant-based Warwick to tackle the climate crisis: for a just transition’, with 52 per cent backing the change.