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8 Gujarat Universities & Colleges Joined The Green Tuesday Initiative To Fight Climate Change With Diet Change

Plant-based food is gaining popularity among educational institutions across the world for its health benefits and positive environmental implications. How supportive are colleges in India towards this change?

India, owing to its strong cultural and religious traditions, is popularly vegetarian. One third of its population identifies as non-meat consumers and more than 47% would opt for plant-based food when given the choice. With growing awareness of veganism, plant-based alternatives have swiftly made their way into the Indian market, leading one to ask: what stance does the youth take on this dietary shift? 

Recently, eight universities and colleges in Gujarat have joined Vegan Outreach’s Green Tuesday Initiative, committing to fight climate change through diet change. By introducing dairy-free days on their campuses, these institutions and their combined 6,000 students are taking significant steps towards reducing their environmental impact and promoting sustainable, animal-free eating habits. This move reflects a growing trend among educational institutions in India to support plant-based diets for the betterment of health, the environment, and animal welfare.

As more students adopted plant-based diets, educational institutions began supporting this shift. Inspired by the positive outcomes of the Food Planet Health webinars organized by our outreach team in Gujarat, Vegan Outreach launched a dedicated awareness campaign to introduce dairy-free days on campuses. Vegan Outreach contacted over 100 colleges in the state and visited interested institutions to encourage them to serve dairy-free food and beverages in their cafeterias.

Implications of the Dairy Industry and Student Intervention

The dairy industry is marked by significant cruelty towards bovines. Cows and buffaloes are subject to continuous cycles of impregnation, milking, and eventual slaughter once their productivity declines. The industry is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide, making it an unsustainable farming model that also leads to water depletion, deforestation, and the loss of biodiversity. 

“It’s inspiring to see these universities and colleges taking a proactive stance towards sustainability and animal welfare. Their involvement in the Green Tuesday Initiative reflects a generation that cares deeply about the impact of their choices on the planet and all its inhabitants.” – Richa Mehta, Director of Programs, India, Vegan Outreach

Milk, curd, butter, ghee, cheese, cream—dairy in its various forms is vastly consumed in India, especially in the predominantly vegetarian state of Gujarat, for its richness in calcium and proteins. However, despite our dairy-rich diet culture, three out of four Indians are lactose intolerant, and increased dairy consumption has been linked to various health risks whereas these same benefits can also be found on a plant-based diet. 

“As an educational institution, we play a fundamental role in addressing the environmental challenges that come with animal farming. We hope to create a positive change among the future minds of India by implementing and driving green initiatives within our institutions,” said Dr. Rupal H. Patel, Principal of Sardar Vallabhbhai Arts and Commerce College.

Gujarat Colleges Fighting Climate Change with Diet Change

The following colleges have joined hands with Vegan Outreach to implement Green Tuesday Initiative – a plant-based food sustainability campaign at their campuses.

  • Gujarat Law Society (GLS University) in Ahmedabad has committed to reducing dairy consumption once every week.
  • The Institute of Advanced Research (IAR) in Gandhinagar has pledged to implement dairy-free meals in their hostels.
  • S. V. Vanijya Mahavidyalaya, Sardar Vallabhbhai Commerce College, Dr. U. C. Patel Arts and Commerce College, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Arts College – four institutions from the Sardar Group of Colleges in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – have joined Green Tuesday Initiative in addressing their students on the importance of plant-based food in climate change policies.
  •  Bhikhabhai Jivabhai Vanijya Mahavidyalaya (BJVM) and S. G. M. English Medium College of Commerce and Management (SEMCOM), in Anand, are going dairy-free on select days and plan to organize awareness sessions for their students.

Through this program, Vegan Outreach plans to organize seminars and training sessions in these colleges, highlighting the environmental effects and health benefits of dairy-free alternatives. This initiative will benefit more than 6,000 students. 

One student, Sneha Mittal, said, “I don’t want to contribute to this harsh reality of the animal farming industry anymore,” echoing the sentiments of hundreds who attended Vegan Outreach’s Food Planet Health webinars. 

Students are also inviting the organization to conduct webinars at their colleges. To invite Vegan Outreach to your institution, reach out to them here. 

Students Embracing Veganism

Proper education and awareness towards the negatives of the dairy industry can create a major shift in perspective. We, at Vegan Outreach, are working to end cruelty toward these sentient beings by raising awareness among the youth of India. We have developed an extensive, resource-aided awareness program for students. The program aims to connect with thousands of students through our “Food Planet Health” awareness sessions and discuss the impact of our food choices on animal rights, our health, and the planet. 

Gaining momentum with 2,000+ colleges across India, Vegan Outreach has organized 500+ webinars and has more than 140,000 students to try out for 10 Weeks to Vegan challenge for animals. 

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