The Oxford college which cut octopus from its menu in the name of inclusivity has now voted to ban Halal and Kosher meat, citing animal welfare concerns.
Students at Somerville initially set out to “ensure that different groups of people can eat in hall more”, following the College President’s decision to ban octopus tartine from the Freshers’ welcome dinner.
But undergraduates argued that serving Halal and Kosher meat was problematic due to “animal welfare concerns” on the basis that animals are not stunned prior to being killed.
Somerville’s Junior Common Room (JCR) ruled that Halal and Kosher food should be provided, but only if animals are pre-stunned.
Eventually a motion was passed to “demand that college provide lactose-free, gluten-free, kosher and halal food in hall upon the condition that any meat purchased is pre-stunned” and “demand that college provide food, such that they do not make assumptions about what students will or won’t eat based on their on social and cultural background”.
Some forms of pre-stunning are allowed, according to the Halal Food Authority. However, Jewish laws forbid all forms of mechanical stunning on the basis that this causes additional suffering prior to the animal’s death.