Oxford University Students Vote In Favor Of Banning Red Meat To Fight Climate Crisis

The motion is part of the University's sustainability drive to slash its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030


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Oxford University's Bodleian Library A slew of university's ditched beef last year to help fight against climate change - Media Credit: Adobe

Oxford University’s student union has voted in favor of banning beef and lamb to fight climate change. 

The motion, written by Vihan Jain, Daniel Grimmer, and Agatha Edevane, passed with 31 votes for and nine against. 13 abstained from voting.

It does not affect college butteries, who reportedly have their own food policies. But it does include university-catered events and outlets. 

The motion is part of the University’s sustainability drive to slash its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

‘A lack of leadership’

“As the U.K’s premier university, the nation looks to Oxford for leadership. But Oxford has shown a lack of leadership in addressing climate change,” the motion states.

“The banning of beef and lamb at university-catered events and outlets is a feasible and effective strategy to help the university meet its revised 2030 goal.

“A change at the university level will open the gates for similar change at the college level.”

Speaking to Cherwell, Oxford SU Vice President of Charities and Communities Ben Farmer said: “I welcome the mandate to engage the University on this important issue. 

“However, it is important to recognize that food-based changes may not be possible for every student or staff member at the University.

“Food-based changes are just one part of changes we’d like to see the University make to tackle the Climate Crisis.”

Red meat ban

Last year, the University of Cambridge slashed its food-related emissions by ditching red meat.

The rival establishment replaced beef and lamb with plant-based products.

This lead to a 33 percent reduction in carbon emissions per kilogram of food purchased. It also saw a 28 percent reduction in land use per kilogram of food purchased.

“Sustainability is extremely important to our students and staff and we wanted to ensure that we were not only responding to their needs, but pushing what was considered possible in a catering environment,” said Nick White, Head of the University Catering Service.

“This has involved making sacrifices, but is has been absolutely the right thing to do. It’s about making the right choice easy.”

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