It’s just two weeks to go until Australia’s annual Meat Free Week, which returns bigger and better from 24-30 March 2014. The national week is dedicated to raising awareness of the amount of meat Australians eat and the impact it has on human health, the environment and the welfare of animals.
With an average consumption of 111.5kg per person per annum, Australia is ranked in the top three biggest meat-eating countries in the world (per capita). This consumption compromises our health, and with global meat production predicted to double within six years, it also raises serious concerns about long-term sustainability and animal welfare.
Participants of Meat Free Week are sponsored to go without meat, including seafood, for seven days in order to raise funds for one of three leading charities – Bowel Cancer Australia (health), The Australian Conservation Foundation (environment) and Voiceless, the animal protection institute (animal protection).
The 2014 campaign is supported by a raft of famous faces including musician Ben Lee, actorKrew Boylan and model Bambi Northwood-Blyth, as well as respected experts in the areas of health, the environment and animal welfare. Leading chefs Simon Bryant, Belinda Jeffery andBill Granger are among many who have provided a range of delicious meat-free recipes which can all be found on the website - www.meatfreeweek.org.
The website is also packed with information on the campaign, how to register to take part and an online shop with limited edition t-shirts. A new addition this year is a Special Offers section, featuring online deals and food outlets offering special veggie dishes during the week.
Meat Free Week was launched in 2013 to raise awareness of excessive meat consumption and the animals harmed by factory farming. Through their research and from the array of experts they spoke to, the founders of Meat Free Week, Lainie Bracher and Melissa Dixon, soon realised the negative impact the large amount of meat we eat also has on our health and the environment.
“Meat Free Week quickly became a hot topic, creating debate in both traditional and social media,” says Bracher. “Ultimately, our goal is to get Australians thinking and talking about the amount of meat they eat and how it’s produced. When it comes to our eating habits, a small change can make a huge difference. In 2014, we are thrilled to be fundraising for three highly respected charities”.
During the 2013 campaign, Greens NSW MP Dr John Kaye introduced a motion to the NSW Legislative Council congratulating Meat Free Week and calling on all members of the Upper House to support this important initiative. Dr Kaye adds: “Excessive meat consumption in Australia is contributing to poor health outcomes, environmental degradation and unacceptable rates of animal mistreatment. The 2014 Meat Free Week campaign is great opportunity to raise awareness of these issues.”
For more information on Meat Free Week and to take part in a live Q&A with experts throughout the week, visit: