Oxford University may soon remove beef and lamb from its campus eateries. The Student Union has passed a motion by a two-thirds majority to ban them from menus in a bid to combat climate change. Student Union executives will lobby the university to implement a ban at campus canteens. Though unions do not have the power to change the policy, they can represent students in decision-making.
The university colleges will individually decide if they want to introduce a ban. As per reports, the Union has around 22,000 students as its members. Though it will not be able to change the policy, it can influence decision-making as students’ representative due to its strength.
Details of the student motion to ban beef and lamb
The Oxford motion has suggested that the Union should ask the university authorities for fortnightly meetings to advocate the adoption of policies that will reduce and later remove meat from the canteens. It further added that this should be “especially in respect of beef and lamb (and to campaign for) the university to issue advice to faculties, departments, and colleges on how they may follow suit in removing beef and lamb from the menu in the campus”.
The students have argued that the ban is necessary as meat production has a considerable impact on climate emissions. The motion said as Oxford is UK’s premier university, the nation looks at it for leadership, but the university has lacked in leadership while addressing climate change. Banning meat at university-catered events and outlets is possible and will help meet the university’s revised 2030 goal to ban meat.
Student Union said that if the policy is implemented at the university level, it will be easier to implement similar changes at the college level. The motion also argued that greenhouse gases disproportionately affect developing countries. As the university is committed to anti-racism, minimizing greenhouse gases should be the priority.
Other UK Universities’ stand on beef ban
Goldsmiths University in South-East London and Cambridge University have already imposed a beef ban on the campus. However, at Edinburgh, the London School of Economics and the University of East Anglia passed such orders but had to overturn the decision due to revolt.