There has been protest amongst undergraduates at Trinity after a motion to “trial meat-free Thursday in Hall” was passed in JCR meeting by a small proportion of the college student body.
The motion, proposed by Oliver Ramsay Gray and seconded by Sophie Badman, argued, “The strength of environmental, social and moral arguments for reducing the amount of meat we eat is becoming increasingly apparent.”
It continued, “Having a meat free day would be a great way for the whole college to take a step towards this aim and as a collective we could have a signifi cant impact”.
It passed with 25 votes ‘for’, nine votes ‘against’ and two abstentions.
During the meeting, Ramsay Gray did acknowledge that it as “a bit of an imposition” that some people would “resent”, but that the “limited nature of the motion” meant it was worth trialling.
He told Cherwell, “Eating lots of meat has significant knock-on impacts for the rest of society, and I think it’s right that the College has a proper debate and vote on whether we collectively move to reduce that impact in a small way. The motion doesn’t try to focus on imposing individual moral opinions but is trying to set out the consequences for others of eating lots of meat.”
“I would absolutely support a referendum before and after the trial period because it does seem like a lot of people didn’t make the JCR meeting.”
Various alternatives were proposed during the meeting including encouraging students to sign up as vegetarians on particular day or including a meat opt-in option. Concern was also raised for those who need to eat red meat for medical reasons in their diet.
JCR President Catherine Moore commented, “On Sunday evening, a motion was proposed on environmental grounds to trial a meat-free day in hall and was passed by the 36 voting members of the JCR present. I feel that presenting these numbers to college as grounds for changing the options available to all students and staff is unrepresentative.
“Although each week the motions proposed are publicly posted on the JCR Facebook page and can be received from the JCR Secretary by email, it was made evident that many college members would have liked this motion to be particularly highlighted to them. The result of the motion provoked a discussion online and we will be holding a meeting this weekend to facilitate further discussion. As this motion affects all members of Trinity College we will be holding a JCR referendum in Eighth Week. The hall menu currently off ers a range of dietary options including vegetarian and vegan for every meal and whatever the outcome of the referendum, this will not change.”
The minutes from the meeting stated that only four of those present at the meeting at the time raised their hand when asked who regularly chooses the vegetarian or vegan option.
Several other colleges have successfully introduced meat-free days in hall. Christ Church JCR recently passed a Meat-Free Mondays referendum, while Wadham and Lincoln already participate