Students at London’s Goldsmiths will no longer be munching on canteen staples such as burgers and chilli after the prestigious university announced it would ban all beef products to fight climate change.
Professor Frances Corner, the new head of Goldsmiths, said that she was taking the drastic action to pull beef from campus cafes and shops from next month because “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”.
“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help,” she added.
Goldsmiths hopes to become carbon neutral by 2025 and is not the first university to alter menus in a bid to reduce emissions.
Cambridge University’s catering services have not served beef or lamb since 2016.
Students at Goldsmiths will also face a 10p levy on single-use plastic items when they return after the summer break.
Climate campaigner Rosie Rogers called the move “encouraging”.
“We call on others to urgently follow suit, and to include cutting all ties from fossil fuel funding in their climate emergency response,” said the Greenpeace UK activist.
But Stuart Roberts, vice president of the National Farmers’ Union, accused the university of a “lack of understanding or recognition between British beef and beef produced elsewhere”.
“Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time but singling out one food product is clearly an overly simplistic approach,” he said.
Famous Goldsmiths alumni include artist Damien Hirst, Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and members of British indie band Blur.