• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Beef ban on campus, my apologies for not co-signing

ByXandru Cassar

Feb 25, 2020

As some of you may have heard, on Thursday a motion was passed titled as follows: “Motion to cease the sale of all beef products in Students’ Association Cafes and Restaurants”. The petition to cease such sales had over 530 signatories. What this means is that the motion will now go to an online ballot. 

The intention of the proponents is to decrease carbon and methane emissions, which is a very nice idea indeed. We are all (hopefully) well aware that those pesky greenhouse gases are the root of (almost) all evil, so it is undoubtedly a jolly good thing that we have colleagues so enthusiastic to cut down on it. 

But will such a motion lead to a fall in CO2 emissions? Well, the best answer might be yes and no. Yes, because the University and the Students’ Association would have washed their hands clean of the bull’s blood and the emissions that come with it. No, because CO2 emissions from the University of Edinburgh student/staff cohort would not decrease. It might well increase. 

Let’s say I’m from a far away land, and I’m feeling homesick; I’d kill for one of my Grandmother’s steak pies. Well then, if there’s none at the EUSA store, I embark on the two-and-a-half-minute trek to Greggs to buy a steak bake. It’s not like it’s more expensive anyway. Now Greggs beef is ‘Fairtrade’, but may well not be locally sourced, and I’m not quite sure how sustainable it is. 

Maybe my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster prevents me from consuming other meats, so beef is a main source of protein. 

There’s a good chance that those consuming beef will keep doing so; meaning more emissions from beef which might not be as sustainable as it could have been if EUSA and UofE sourced sustainable beef, and more emissions from my journey all the way to Greggs.

Maybe I’m missing something, and only greenhouse gases emitted from our University contribute to climate change. In that case, my apologies for not co-signing. 

There’s more cause for concern. In Chapter 2; Food and Sustainability of How to Run an Oppressive Regime, by Bosef Stallin, amongst much talk of collectivisation and the like, there is a sentence which goes:

Changing our diets to be more sustainable cannot simply be left up to individuals, we need some system change to help progress.”

 Yes, all those nincompoops are just not capable of making reasonable decisions, especially those of them that have completed secondary education, let alone those in university. So, yes, the sole solution is to make the stuff unavailable. It would simply be outlandish to attempt to inform people so that they can make their own educated decision; we wouldn’t want to veer anywhere close to such radical democratic ideals would we? 

What I meant to say is that the quote above is one of the sub clauses of the motion; make of it what you wish.

Another sub clause reads:

“According to the BBC, if everyone became vegetarian by 2050, there would be 7 million fewer deaths each year.“

Critics suggest that this clause is not out of place but is a cunning hint at what is to come in Season 2; making being vegetarian, an entry requirement to all university premises. We are still awaiting a release date. 

I would not dare suggest that we could ensure that beef, and all meat and non-meat products are sourced sustainably, whilst maybe limiting supply of certain products on just some days, perhaps; how absurd that would be! It’s not like suppliers will adjust to decreasing demand; to hell with that economic hocus pocus!

 And may I remind you, there was once some Queen or something who did in fact say; “Let them eat cake, and NOT beef”.  What else do we need to banish any doubt that this motion is The 11th Commandment? 

Image: YRShots via Pixabay