Animal-rights organization Humane Society International UK (HSI UK) has launched a website allowing students to 'rate their university's vegan meals' named UniVe- after a poll revealed that 55 percent of students 'would like to see more plant-based options'.
The YouGov survey also showed that 47 percent of students were either flexitarian, pescetarian, vegetarian or vegan and that 49 percent would like to eat less meat and/or dairy.
HSI UK says it plans to present the best performing universities with UniVe awards, and offer free plant-based culinary training to those not doing so well, to help them meet the rising demand for plant-based food.
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Charlie Huson, Forward Food Programme Manager at HSI UK, said: "Thanks to growing concern from students about the animal welfare, human health, and environmental impacts of the meat and dairy industries, there has been a huge boom in demand for veggie options at universities, with our latest polling showing that half of the students want to eat less meat and/or dairy.
"While some institutions offer a range of plant-based options to support these diet shifts, others are clearly not doing so well, so HSI UK has launched our UniVe campaign and website to encourage and support universities to put more plants on plates.
"Serving less meat- and dairy-focused foods is an important way for unis to combat climate change, as well as improve student health and spare animals from suffering short and miserable lives on factory farms."
Mike Haslin, CEO of The University Caterers Organisation added: "Our members are constantly adapting and innovating to meet student demand and demand for plant-based menus continues to rise – from both vegans and flexitarians alike.
"We also can't ignore the environmental impact of reducing the use of animal products and we continue to support our members on their sustainability journeys as more and more students look for ways to eat sustainably."