“Beef and lamb are the most environmentally destructive protein sources. As a university, Sussex has committed to Go Greener.”
Climate conscious students of Sussex University want lamb and beef products banned from campus food outlets.
The campaign follows the University declaring a climate emergency last year.
The ‘no beef or lamb on campus’ initiative has been started by Leila Grossmark, who told The Sussex Tab that she believes “we need to hold the university accountable to the promise they made when they declared the climate emergency.
“Removing beef and lamb from campus food outlets is a simple and effective step the university can take to reducing their carbon output.”
‘Make a huge difference‘
According to the referendum, “taking beef and lamb off the menu in bars, cafes, and Eat Central would make a huge difference to the carbon footprint of the university.”
It also highlighted that a single person swapping beef and lamb with chicken or pork for one year could help “save 40,000 litres of water, 2 tonnes of CO2 and 1150 square meters of land.”
‘Different isn’t necessarily better’
To maintain a ‘balance’, the students’ Union put forth an argument against the ban.
It said ‘beef and beef products are found in a broad range of products, including imported ones that allow students to have familiar foods in an unfamiliar environment’.
It also questioned the right to policing people’s eating preferences.
Additionally, the argument said ‘different isn’t necessarily better’, and by ‘cutting products from the lineup there was no guarantee that replaced products would be more environmentally friendly’.
For instance, soya products are also ‘notoriously bad for the environment’, it cited.
However, reports have shown that 85% of the world’s soy is fed to farm animals (mainly cows) instead of it being consumed by humans.
Commenting on the referendum, Sarah Osborn, the University’s Energy and Decarbonisation Sustainability Rep, said: “Beef and lamb are the most environmentally destructive protein sources. As a university, Sussex has committed to Go Greener.
“This means becoming one of the greenest universities in the U.K, and cutting carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020.
“But, more must be done in response to the climate emergency. Reducing the quantity of beef and lamb consumed on campus is part of achieving this.”
She added: “This is not removing meat from Sussex, but amplifying more eco choices so we can see a future where we use our education, instead of lose our planet.”
The Sussex University is the latest to vote on a beef and lamb ban following several other UK universities who have taken the step in a bid to save the environment.
Last year, Cambridge and Goldsmiths both removed beef from all university menus.
Earlier this month, Oxford University students voted to get beef and lamb banned from campus canteens in order to tackle the climate crisis.
Voting for the beef ban referendum will take place from 2-7 December.
Share this story to let others know about Sussex University’s red meat ban campaign.
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