Most UK universities now have a dedicated society for their vegan and vegetarian students, but even if you’re not quite there yet with your lifestyle choices, they will welcome you with open hands and help to get started.
Vegan societies exist for people to make like-minded friends and find out more about this rewarding lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to sign up for a lot of fun and great food. Even if you don’t intend to become vegan or vegetarian, it can be a wonderful learning experience.
So how can you get involved in an adventure like this?
Join an existing society
Look out for a vegan or vegetarian society at university fairs or on the Students’ Union website. If there isn’t an official society, just type in the name of your town followed by the word ‘vegan’ on Facebook and there will definitely be something in the area.
Such groups create a community for positive, open-minded and compassionate people and give them a chance to meet others, share ideas and enjoy delicious vegan food together. Of course, they welcome everyone, regardless of someone being vegan, so you can join even if you’ve just began your vegan journey.
Many societies organise weekly or monthly events, with frequency dropping during the exam season (they don’t want you to fail your exams!). Those can range from trips to vegan-friendly restaurants, pot-lucks where everyone brings a dish to share, or bake sales to raise money for a local animal shelter.
Screenings of films such as Cowspiracy, Okja or and Carnage — accompanied by free vegan snacks — are also a popular choice, so the wider student population has the opportunity to learn about veganism. Students attending events can also share tips on saving money, swap recipes or even cook together.
Regular events not directly related like ice skating or cinema trips are also common, so make sure you let the organisers know what you expect from your membership!
There are plenty of animal rights and vegan organisations that can help you with events. The Vegan Society will happily send resources such as leaflets and you can use its ultimate vegan student guide as a resource. You can also hold a food tasting to show everyone how nice (and normal!) vegan food is or organise a talk with the debating society.
Animal Equality has taken its brilliant iAnimal campaign to some campuses – it involves passers-by watching a 360 degrees video of animal slaughter in what Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch (she plays Luna Lovegood) calls “a room designed to kill you”.
Campaign for vegan issues
As a group you can campaign to increase vegan options in the campus canteens and cafes, for the good of vegan and veggie students, and of course the animals. Gather signatures for a petition to show catering services how popular this choice would be.
You could also encourage lecturers to add more sustainability and environmental modules for students in any subject. Putting on events to promote mentoring programmes for new veggies and vegans is also a great way to help, or set up a stall against cruel animal experimentation if this happens at your university.
Inspired by all these ideas for what to do with your uni vegsoc? Share your photos and events with The Vegan Society on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 523 1730.
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