Berlin university canteens will now offer vegetarian and vegan meals and cut down meat in the menus from the next term in order to curb climate change, according to BBC.
From October, students will be able to order meals from menus that are 68% vegan, 28% vegetarian and just 4% meat and fish, per the news outlet. And on Mondays, no meat dishes will available, as canteens swap currywurst for salads.
Currently, the canteens are closed but one can pick up food on request.
The universities’ move is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of universities in the German capital, per BBC.
German researchers say that the meat industry produces carbon emissions that are contributing to climate change. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization says animal farming is causing 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
A plant-based diet is a major opportunity for curbing climate change, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Daniela Kummle of Studierendenwerk, a state-run non-profit organization for student affairs in Germany, told the BBC student have been demanding more meat-free dishes at their canteens.
She referred to a 2019 student survey that found that 14% of Berlin students said they were vegan, and a further 33% vegetarian.
Studierendenwerk runs 34 canteens at Berlin’s universities and colleges.
Kummle said the organization revised its menu during the COVID-19 pandemic “so that our offer is more climate-friendly.”
She said the response from most students has been predominantly positive, but there were a few negative comments on social media.
In Germany, a vegan diet is so popular that the nation topped the veganism list in an international study of dietary habits by Veganz in 2020, according to BBC.
Climate protection has become a major cause of concern at Berlin’s universities so many are coming up with detailed plans to address carbon emissions.
Humboldt University of Berlin plans to become climate neutral by 2030 so it has hired two climate-protection managers. The Technical University of Berlin is also planning for climate neutralization by 2045.
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiss of The Technical University said, “We have pushed the topic of climate protection significantly forward over the past four years.” The article appeared on BBC.