There’s a referendum open to ban beef from EUSA cafés and you should vote YES
It’s time for change
Last week at a Student Council meeting, delegates voted on a motion to "Cease the sale of all beef in Students' Association Cafés and Restaurants".
The motion received 51 per cent of votes in favour and has therefore been put to an online ballot.
Online voting is open to staff and students from 10 am today, Wednesday 5th February, until 10 am on Friday 7th February. In order for this motion to pass it needs to receive 50 per cent of votes in favour.
Details of the motion
In preparation for putting the motion forward, proposers mandated EUSA to conduct a feasibility study exploring the impacts of no longer selling beef in its venues.
The motion cites universities including Cambridge, Goldsmiths University in London and the University of Coimbra, as examples of institutions where banning beef has had a positive impact.
The motion also points out that globally there has been significant movement towards reducing the use of animal products, and that the growth of the meat-free alternatives market makes this movement increasingly plausible.
Furthermore, the motion aims to re-launch EUSA's Meat Free Mondays campaign, to strengthen commitment to Local Food Policy, and to expand vegetarian and vegan options in EUSA food outlets.
What's wrong with beef?
In the last couple of years there has been increasing alarm and discussion around the climate crisis and emergency, and the factors contributing to it. The animal industry in particular has come under intense scrutiny for its extremely negative impacts on the environment.
Beef, by a long-shot, is the most unsustainable and damaging animal product. Well researched and proven is the resource-heavy production, damaging health effects and cruelty of the beef industry.
The production of beef requires more land and resources than any other meat, and the greenhouse gas production per serving of pork or chicken is about 20 per cent of that of a serving of beef. Taking beef out of your diet reduces your carbon footprint more than giving up cars.
Things need to change
At this point it is clear that change needs to happen, and it needs to happen quickly. What is important here is that small steps in the right direction matter, and although individual choices are vital, systematic changes creates vital progress.
Remember also that even if this motion is against your own views or dietary choices, you can still consume beef anywhere else you eat, and the university offers plenty alternatives. You should also keep in mind that climate change might not seem too alarming from your privileged, sheltered and protected position, but that this is a very real and very alarming issue.
If you've put up an Instagram story about all the animals that have died in the Australian bushfires, remind yourself how your dietary and lifestyle choices may have contributed to this.
Stop and think about the animals that are being slaughtered every year so that they can be served to you in Teviot during lunch as you discuss your favourite pets with friends.
Think about the tiny sacrifices you can make, which combine into a huge effort for real change.
You can view the motion, including its details and arguments, as well as the ballot to vote in, here. Vote yes.