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Exclusive: SU passes motion to lobby for banning beef and lamb at the University of Oxford

Image: A photo of burgers beside a bottle of ketchup, with an Oxford SU banner beside it (via Spy Studio)

Edited 14/11/20 15:31 to correct inaccurate statistics and the SU’s future plans.

A motion to lobby for banning beef and lamb at the University of Oxford has just been passed by Oxford SU by a 78% majority, The Flete can report. The motion mandates the SU to lobby the university to no longer serve beef and lamb in any of its cafes and catering services. The motion does not affect colleges, but will instead impact University cafes and events. 

Several other universities have made similar changes. Earlier in the year, LSE students voted to ban beef from their campus, and last year the University of Cambridge reported that removing beef and lamb from their menus cut food-related carbon emissions by a third. A study by the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change suggests that out of all animals, beef and lamb farming contributes the most to farm greenhouse gases. 

The motion was co-written by three students: Vihan Jain (Worcester College), Daniel Grimmer (Pembroke College) and Agatha Edevane (Wycliffe Hall). Similar motions have been proposed in the past, but were never fully realised. Vihan Jain told The Flete that they carried out consultative work in previous student council meetings via the Council’s “Items for Discussion” to find out what students feel about the issue and wrote the motion keeping in mind what students’ concerns were.

Jain told The Flete that the motion was motivated both for environmental and social reasons. Several studies suggest that climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities,  and Jain told The Flete that this was a key factor in debate alongside environmental impact. 

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