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Referenda Case

All Student Vote (Spring 2023)

Replace Menus in SU and University Outlets with 50% Vegan Options

A motion for 50% vegan food options available at all SU outlets.


This Union Notes:

1) A Plant-based diet is more sustainable. Making the change to having 50% plant-based options on campus would encourage and inspire more students to try these exciting options and therefore make individuals and the university more sustainable. This is a necessary step in our universities duty to tackle climate change.[1]

2) Raising animals for flesh, eggs, and dairy causes 65 per cent of all nitrous-oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide has 296 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide. This shows that campaigning for vegetarianism is not enough, we need plant-based options to be encouraged as much as possible.[2][3]

3) If an individual had a plant-based diet just one day each week this would save around 40lbs of grain, 1100 gallons of water, 30 square feet of forest, and one animal. This shows that even if someone occasionally chose a plant-based option they could make a huge difference. Having 50% options would help to normalise a PB diet and encourage people to try these options and therefore be more sustainable and ethical.[4] [5]
This Union Believes:

1) The University of Oxford conducted a global study regarding the costs of the vegan diet, and found that "in high-income countries: Vegan diets were the most affordable and reduced food costs by up to one third." Considering the cost of living crisis and issues that so many students face financially, enabling students to save on their food expenses is critical.[6]

2) It is also important to understand the power of implementing this. A milestone Cambridge study  summarises: "A study of over 94,000 cafeteria meal choices has found that doubling the vegetarian options – from one in four to two in four – increased the proportion of plant-based purchases by between 40-80% without affecting overall food sales." Warwick University outlets are not yet at 1/4 vegetarian, and the positive change therefore would be amplified. It is also clear that having this increase in vegan products is not going to reduce sales from a business perspective, as well as reducing costs for outlets (referring to the Oxford Study).[7]

3) On behalf of VegSoc and Climate Reality, we acknowledge the efforts that the University puts into sustainability, regarding waste and energy for example. However, sufficient progress has not been made in food consumption, which, for students, is the single biggest change an individual can make to reduce their negative impacts on the planet, in water, energy and land-use, waste and carbon emissions. Increasingly, students consider themselves climate-activists and aim to be more sustainable. Warwick can be one of the leading Universities in promoting this through pushing plant-based options, rather than hindering this with the options currently available at on campus outlets.

This Union Resolves:

1. Regarding SU Outlets

  • Work towards a minimum of 50% vegan food options available at all SU Outlets. This applies for each of: starters, mains, desserts, and sides.
  • Visibly promoting these vegan options, through marketing and competitive pricing.
  • All food options to be explicitly labelled as vegan, vegetarian or non-vegetarian on menus
  • 50% vegan options in campus bars meaning:
    • Working towards 50% of alcohol on draft being vegan
    • At least 50% of chilled cans and bottles are vegan
    • At least 50% of spirits are vegan
    • At least 50% of wines to be vegan
    • At least 50% of liquors to be vegan
    • Vegan purple available for all circling areas
  • For all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to be explicitly labelled as vegan, vegetarian or non-vegetarian on all menus

    2. Lobbying the University-Owned Outlets
  • SU to lobby the Uni for all of the above in University owned outlets.
  • Lobbying the Uni to have at least one completely vegan food truck at the campus food market every Wednesday.
  • Specifically regarding Rootes Grocery Store, to lobby towards:
  • At least 50% of options within meal deals to be vegan
  • At least 50% mains to be vegan
  • At least 50% snacks to be vegan
  • At least 50% of the daily, fresh and hot food options to be vegan
  • All food options to be explicitly labelled as vegan, vegetarian or non-vegetarian
    (To clarify: this motion does NOT extend as far as asking for 50% vegan options across all ranges of all food products within Rootes Grocery.)



[3] Akhtar, A. (2012). Animal Agriculture: Our health and our environment. In Animals and Public Health (pp. 117-131). Palgrave Macmillan, London.


[5] Brels, S. (2017). A global approach to animal protection. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 20(1), 105-123.