Oxford Students for Animals’ ‘Less Meat More Veg’ campaign began by working on making life easier for vegetarians and vegans at Oxford colleges. However, since college food is not the only way students feed themselves, it seemed the campaign could be taken further. People decide to explore veganism for various reasons, and with the growing amount of interest in reducing animal product consumption, OSFA’s campaign aims to make vegan food more accessible both in and out of colleges.
With such a successful promotion of animal product-free food in several Oxford colleges, OSFA decided it would be beneficial to look at places that students eat out of college. G&D’s caught the attention of OSFA for several reasons, but primarily because all three branches have high student interest and early opening and late closing times. Additionally, high quality dairy-free ice cream is already available in supermarkets, and we should therefore look towards providing the product in popular cafeÌs, like G&D’s, making it easier for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, as well as drawing in those looking to reduce animal product consumption.
As a society primarily interested in issues surrounding animals, OSFA recognises the lack of attention towards the treatment of animals in the dairy industry. A commonly held view is that, unlike the meat industry, the dairy industry does not kill its animals. However, dairy is a business, and in order to deliver the product from cow to consumer, the young calves must be removed as soon as possible.
Thecalves are separated shortly after birth, which is psychologically distressing for young animals. Male calves are shot on site and sold as cheap meat or veal. In order to lactate, the female cows must be impregnated every year, often by artificial insemination, and when they are no longer of use financially, are sent to slaughter. Colourful pictures of happy cows in G&D’s are ironic, as is the company’s statement, “We like cows and dairy products.”
Of course, OSFA’s campaign is not aiming to force veganism on people. We just want to provide a dairy-free alternative for anyone interested to try it. Hopefully, however, we will show more people that there are environmental and ethical impacts of the dairy industry, which will lower demand and hopefully lead to a nation less dependent on dairy.
To sign our petition go to: www.change.org/p/g-and-d-s-oxford-introduce-dairy-free-ice-cream