Vegan-only rule sparks row at Oxfordshire council after Green Cllr's motion passed

A vegan Cllr put forward the motion which has banned meat and dairy from Oxfordshire County Council events

Published

Vegan food will be exclusively served at Council events in Oxfordshire, in a move that has left some local councillors in a rage.

Activists from PETA stage a meat industry crime scene in Piccadilly Circus, London, to mark World Vegan Day.
Activists from PETA stage a meat industry crime scene in Piccadilly Circus, London, to mark World Vegan Day.

Lib Dem and Green Alliance councillors passed a motion to ban meat and dairy products from their events, sparking the row.

The opposition in Oxfordshire decried the decision, saying that veganism 'is not something that should be rammed down the throats of vegetarians and meat-eaters'.

The Government's green agenda includes plans to reduce meat and dairy consumption.

A Climate Change Committee report has pushed Britons to reduce their meat and dairy intake 'by a fifth' in a bid to tackle climate change.

The report also found that reducing the amount of livestock in Britain's fields would help curb greenhouse gas emissions. This is particularly pertinent with respect to Oxfordshire, as farming is central to the county's economy.

David Bartholomew, a Tory Councillor representing Sonning Common, labeled the new orders 'dictatorial.'

Some welcomed the move.
Some welcomed the move.

'The Conservative opposition believes that veganism is a choice that should be respected but it is not something that should be rammed down the throats of vegetarian and meat-eaters. A carrot not a stick approach should be employed.'

Councillors, 'would do well to actually liaise with their local farmers...rather than bringing in provocative proposals which alienate the rural community', according to the Countryside Alliance.

'For the council to actually force all catering to become plant-based is wrong. It has got to be gradual', says Henley-on-Thames Independent Cllr, Stefan Gawrysiak.

According to the Countryside Alliance: 'Scrapping meat is unnecessarily divisive and demonstrates no understanding of how meat in this country is produced, which thanks to UK farming practices, is among the most sustainable in the world.

'Meat and dairy are enjoyed by the vast bulk of the public and dietary choices remain just that: a choice.

Greggs have introduced vegan steak bake.
Greggs have introduced vegan steak bake.

'Oxfordshire County Council's Liberal Democrat and Green leadership would do well to actually liaise with their local farming community to see their amazing work first hand, rather than bringing in provocative, headline grabbing proposals which alienate the rural community.

'By sourcing their meat and dairy from only local producers going forward, the council would be setting an example people might want to actually get behind.'

The vegan motion was presented by Green Party councillor Ian Middleton. His intention was to make sure food at council meetings were 'entirely plant-based.'

Councillor Middleton, a vegan, told the MailOnline that the county council 'should be embracing the opportunity to set an example' following the Government's green agenda.