Cease the Sale of Beef Products

Motion to cease the sale of all beef products in Students’ Association Cafes and Restaurants

This motion asks the Students' Association to stop selling beef in all cafes, restaurants and shops. It also asks the Students' Association to not give out beef products as freebies at any events. 

This motion was debated at the Student Council meeting on January 30th.

At that meeting, the motion received 76 votes in favour, 73.5 votes against, and 5 abstentions. 128 elected representatives and students voted at that meeting (elected representatives have a weighted vote of 1.5) meaning at least 129 students must vote in this online ballot for it to be quorate.

In order for this motion to pass it must receive at least 50% of votes in favour.

What we will do:

  1. Mandate the Students’ Association to conduct a feasibility study exploring the impact of ending the sale of beef in Students’ Association run cafes, restaurants, and shops
  2. Mandate the Sabbatical Officers to table a discussion at the next Students’ Association’s Executive on the option to call a referendum on:
    1. The Students’ Association should put an end to selling beef in all the Students’ Association run cafes, restaurants, shops and any freebies or events held around the university
  3. Mandate the Students’ Association to re-launch its Meat Free Mondays campaign; reaffirm its commitment to its Local Food Policy; and continue to expand its offer of vegetarian and vegan food options

Background to this:

  1. Multiple universities including Cambridge University, Goldsmiths University in London and Portugal's oldest university, The University of Coimbra have already completely stopped selling beef and Cambridge University have also stopped selling lamb. We can do the same.
  2. Tasty meat-free products are on the rise and are now readily available in many UK supermarkets.
  3. According to The Guardian, giving up beef reduces an individual’s carbon footprint more than giving up a car.
  4. The UK has the 2nd largest beef herd in Europe according to the National Farmers Union of Scotland.
  5. In 2009, the livestock industry was responsible for 37% of all methane emissions, 65% of nitrous oxide emissions and 9% of CO2. This is only getting worse.
  6. According to the BBC, if everyone became vegetarian by 2050, there would be 7 million fewer deaths each year.
  7. Plant-based diets can reduce the land we use for agriculture by 76% according to George Monbiot, a columnist at The Guardian and British environmentalist.
  8. The rise of intensive beef farming has raised concern about water pollution from livestock faeces and disease as well as animal welfare.

Beliefs and motivating Actions:

  1. Our petition to cease all sales of beef has received over 530 signatures. This shows strong support from meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike, uniting to reduce our university's environmental impact.
  2. Beef can be easily replaced in our cafes with meat-free alternatives that still contain all the necessary nutrients.
  3. Changing our collective diet is perhaps the easiest and most effective step that we can take right now.
  4. Changing our diets to be more sustainable cannot simply be left up to individuals, we need some system change to help progress.