Vegetarian and vegan members of Oxford University are being invited to rank colleges according to the quality of their vegetarian and vegan food.
The online vote officially opens on Monday 6th May and closes on 30th November 2019. Anyone with an Oxford University email account, whether student or staff is eligible to vote and can participate here: www.veggienorringtontable.com.
All participants will be asked to rank their top three best and top three worst colleges in terms of veggie and vegan offerings. If a college is ranked first, it receives three points; second, two points; and third, one point. The best rankings are given positive points, and the worst rankings are given negative points. All the points are combined per college or hall into a net score, and those net scores will be reflected in their overall score.
The initiative, based on the well-known Norrington Table for ranking colleges according to their examination results, is being pioneered by the Oxford University Animal Ethics Society, who were founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a forum for the discussion of the moral status of animals.
President of the Society, Felix Taylor of St Hugh's College, said "Many members of the Society have expressed concern about the varying provision of vegetarian and vegan food. We want to put the need for good quality veggie food on the agenda in Oxford."
Felix is a second year DPhil student in English and has been vegan for three years.
College bursars will be invited to state whether their colleges routinely supply veggie food, have chefs trained in vegetarian and vegan food, and provide sample menus.
The Society's Emeritus Senior Member, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey of St Stephen’s House, said "Oxford is known as a place of excellence, but its vegetarian fare is often barely adequate. We believe that the quality of provision of veggie food influences prospective students' choice of colleges. Since most students have no alternative but to pay for their meals at college, it seems only right that they should know whether the food served up will be adequate."
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.
A previous poll was launched in 2016. More than 200 members of the University voted, with Mansfield College topping the table (see below).