Vegans boycott ‘horrifying’ Sheff Uni law society ball because it’s near dog racing stadium
Vegans are staging a mass boycott of the University of Sheffield's most prestigious student society winter ball, over it taking place near a dog racing track.
Edward Bramley law society is under fire for holding its signature Christmas Masquerade Ball at the OEC, a Sheffield events venue that overlooks Owlerton greyhound racing stadium.
Vegan and vegetarian law students say they are "horrified" and claim the event, set for 28th November, forces them to "conflict with our beliefs".
Tony Williams, a second year law and criminology student, told The Tab Sheffield: "Myself and many other students are outraged at their decision to host the ball at a place that profits from animal abuse.
"I will not be attending the ball as it goes against my whole beliefs to support a company that profits from animal cruelty."
Ed Bram, a prestigious careers society known for its lavish events, defended the venue upon advice by Sheffield SU staff, and one committee member even claimed dogs are "treated great" at the stadium.
In the last year Owlerton has allowed dogs to race in 34 degree heat, in the Beast of the East storm, and has allegedly kept them kennelled on site while hosting firework displays.
Vegan student Kat Laura is so raging that she has written a letter to Sheffield Students' Union, seen by The Tab Sheffield, listing her concerns and accusing staff of "prioritising a student societies (sic) profit over being transparent and fair to vegan members".
In a reply email to her, the SU defended the advice it issued to Ed Bram to stand by the venue, adding: "Since the society had booked the venue in good faith, it would be unfair to those attending if it was cancelled now."
Ed Bram were then forced to apologise after issuing a statement to members saying the OEC and Owlerton were "completely separate" companies, when in fact both are owned by A&S Leisure, and the OEC markets private booths for weekly greyhound races at the stadium.
Kat, a second year law student and a Pet Society committee member, accuses Ed Bram of being "ignorant" to animal suffering.
She told The Tab Sheffield: "Ed Bram are potentially putting vegan, vegetarian and pro-animal welfare members at risk of conflicting with their beliefs, they should at least be transparent about the location to their members.
"We are trying to drum up more support but also trying to start actioning things quickly before they decide to release tickets."
Tony, a vegan, added: "There is definitely a feeling of anger amongst certain law students who are vegan, vegetarian or just care about the welfare of dogs. I’m very disappointed at how the SU have defended the society."
Flossie, another second year law student, told The Tab Sheffield: "I was really looking forward to attending the ball until I realised the location and its relationship with greyhound racing.
"Now I will not be going to the ball as I feel this would be helping fund an industry that I cannot support."
SU activities officer Martha Evans said: "Sheffield Students' Union is a space in which all students are supported to discuss and raise awareness of issues of importance to them, and we provide impartial advice to all of our student groups."
Ed Bram said it is happy to meet with "concerned members".
The Tab Sheffield approached Owlerton stadium for comment.