Truth bomb: Australia has THREE TIMES the ecological footprint of the world average, with methane from livestock being a huge contributor.
This month Meat Free Week is encouraging Australians – and this year, our friends in the UK – to go for a week without meat. They’ve also teamed up with animal, health and environment charities Voiceless, Bowel Cancer Australia and World Land Trust.
From 23-29 March 2015 there are loads of reasons to stick with veg. Here are a few from the Meat Free Week website:
- 95% of Australians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
- 70% small goods are imported from overseas with high antibiotic use
- The natural lifespan of a chicken is 10 years. Factory farmed chicken live for little more than one month
- Animals raised in factory farms endure mutilation without pain relief
- We’re out fishing oceans yet 1/3 all fish caught is fed to livestock – to produce meat
- Research shows diets high in red and processed meat are linked to cancer deaths
- Animals raised for food are denied the same legal protection from cruelty as cats and dogs
- Australians eat over 1/2 billion chickens every year. Nearly all are factory farmed
We could easily reduce these shocking stats by introducing a few simple and tasty meat-free meals into our weekly diets.
To find out more about the importance of Meat Free Week I spoke to ambassador Simon Bryant – a wonderful Adelaide chef, vegetarian and animal activist with a focus on ethically sourced food and fresh, local ingredients.
I asked Simon why, as a chef and supporter of animal causes, Meat Free Week is important to him.
Writing a menu is a great responsibility and a chef will only supply products they believe in.
Meat Free Week is a great resource for information so you can be better informed and get the back story to the meat you’re eating. It’s also a way to help people understand the impact of meat on health, the environment and on animal ethics.
Simon shared a few easy ways you can help to reduce your meat intake.
If you want to commit to eating an animal, you need to be prepared to eat it ALL. Once you start thinking like this your purchasing will drastically change and your meat intake will decrease.
Look to Asian cuisines for inspiration on incorporating more vegetables and remember that your meat component should only be 50-80g per serve.
Think about what are you trying to get nutritionally from meat. Protein, vitamins and minerals are all available in other sources.
For people discovering local and seasonal produce, Simon has these tips for creating balanced meat-free dishes.
As well as fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes are also seasonal so think about ALL food being seasonal.
Be inspired by the market and what’s in season – consider building a dish around a fresh ingredient.
Want to get involved? Great! Here are three simple ways you can join in.
Think you can go without meat for a week? Sure you can! Sign up and ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor you and show their support.
Join me in making a one-off donation through the Meat Free Week website. You can also select which charities your money goes to.
Know someone who’s taking on the meat-free challenge? Get behind them and sponsor their veg journey.
Friends, I’d love to hear about the dishes you create – what’s your favourite meat-free meal?
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