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University of Oxford college praised for move towards vegan diet



Animal charities have praised a University of Oxford college on its decision to serve only vegan food for five nights a week, in order to help reduce its carbon footprint.

Wadham College passed the motion at a recent students’ union meeting.  It said its aim was to help tackle climate change and raise awareness about carbon emissions.

Although there were concerns that this move may intimidate prospective students, animal rights activists have supported the motion, saying the meat industry is a large contributor to environmental problems.

A recent Oxford study, Changing What We Eat, said it is vital the world reduces the environmental footprint of food, with meat and dairy products particularly to blame.

A spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said, “Caps off to Wadham College for doing away with unhealthy and environmentally destructive animal products on campus.

“A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change. And eating animals isn’t just bad for the environment; it’s extremely bad for our own health.

We expect that as more people come to recognise the many benefits of a plant-based diet, we’ll see other colleges at Oxford and around the country following Wadham’s positive example.”

Meanwhile, the Vegan Society also welcomed the motion. A spokesperson told Blue & Green Tomorrow that it would “be pleased to offer its support to the college if the committee should go ahead with the proposal.  

They added, “Full-time vegans need to ensure that they have an adequate supply of B12 in their diet either from fortified sources of food or from supplements. We would encourage the students of Wadham to embrace this change – they may be surprised how much they will enjoy it.”

Despite the positive noises from outside the college, some students have opposed the move. Steph Faulkner, a second year biologist at Wadham, told the Oxford Tab, “Some people’s dietary requirements such as allergies and intolerances mean that further limitations may make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy balanced diet, putting their health and work at risk.”

Wadham said the motion was still in its early stages, so it was so far unable to comment on its progress.

Photo: Masahiro Ihara via Flickr

Further reading:

University of Oxford college votes for vegan meals to help fight climate change

Study: food of the future needs to be sustainable and healthy

World needs to sustainably produce 70% more food by 2050

Eat seven a day, not five: scientists call for increased fruit and veg intake

Is your diet ethical?


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