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Press Release: Vegan Food at some Oxford Colleges variously described as “terrible,” “atrocious,” “insult to anyone with taste buds,” or “may as well go eat grass in a park.”

3rd January 2020

A poll of members of the University has indicated considerable dissatisfaction with the provision of vegetarian and vegan food.

The poll launched at the beginning of Trinity term invited members of the University to rate Oxford Colleges according to their provision of vegetarian food. Mansfield College tops the poll, with Kellogg College coming second, and Worcester College coming third.

The worst colleges were Christ Church, followed by Magdalen College, and Balliol College.

Over 250 people voted and Mansfield was the clear favourite. The initiative, based on the well-known Norrington Table for ranking colleges according to their examination results, was pioneered by the Oxford University Animal Ethics Society.

Students’ comments on individual colleges included the following:

  • “terrible,”
  • “atrocious,”
  • “insult to anyone with taste buds,”
  • “may as well go eat grass in a park.”

The full ranking of the Colleges and comments will shortly be available here.

Society President Felix Taylor (St. Hugh’s College) said, “While it is clear that a number of colleges do provide an excellent standard of vegetarian and vegan food, there are sadly a great many more who don’t. After all, many colleges have fixed catering fees, which means students have to pay for the food whether they like it or not.”

All college bursars were invited to state whether they provide vegetarian and vegan options, indicate whether they have chefs trained in vegetarian and vegan food, and supply a sample menu.

“Sadly not all the college bursars replied to our emails,” said the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, the Society’s Emeritus Senior Member, “it is very disappointing that vegetarians and vegans have to pay for what are substandard meals at some Oxford colleges. Oxford must do better.”

Notes for Editors:

    1. The Oxford University Animal Ethics Society was founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a forum for the discussion of the moral status of animals. See
    2. This initiative is being supported by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, which is an independent centre based in Oxford. It aims to pioneer ethical perspectives on animals through research, teaching, and publication. See
    3. The officers of the Oxford University Animal Ethics Society (2019-2020) are:
      President: Felix Taylor (DPhil in English, St. Hugh’s College)
      Vice President: Rivers Gambrell (DPhil in History, Kellogg College)
      Vice President: Natalie Hill (DPhil in History, Balliol College)
      Secretary: Sarah Robinson (DPhil Candidate in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science, Wadham College)
      Treasurer: Jan Steinebrunner (DPhil Candidate in Mathematics, St John’s College)