It is not eating meat that is the problem, it is the amount of meat we eat. The human race has progressed from eating meat a few times a week, to a few times a day – and this progression has happened over a very short time span, maybe the last 60 years. So what do the industries do to try and keep up with the demand? Factory farming.
The numbers are staggering when you consider our population of 22.8 million ate in one month alone more than 624,000 cows, 47,000 calves, 540,000 sheep, 1.68 million lambs and 382,000 pigs.
-Meat Free Week Website (Australia)
Australia is a Meat Hungry Nation
Over a year, it is estimated that almost 9 million cattle, 13 million sheep, 20 million lambs, 6 million pigs and over half a billion meat chickens are killed for meat. This does not take into account the millions of turkey’s, ducks and fish also consumed. Australians now eat around 190,000 tonnes of meat each year and are amongst the biggest meat eaters in the world. With an average consumption of 120kg per person per annum, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, we eat almost three times as much meat as the world average.
Aside from the health and environmental benefits, we need to take a stand for animal welfare. The overwhelming majority of the meat eaten in Australia is factory farmed and by committing to the next 7 days meat free, we can make a difference. Check out the website here to take the pledge and check out the yummy recipes from the likes of Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer!
Yummy Protein Alternatives
It’s not about going vegetarian, its about being more conscious about where the meat we are consuming is sourced. For the next 7 days, try adding these great protein alternatives into your diet.
- Organic or Free Range Eggs-One of the best sources of dietary protein and also good sources of iron, zinc, selenium, iodine and a range of vitamins including A, E and B vitamins. Egg youlks are also rich in two carotenoid pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, both important for the health of the retina in the eyes.
- Nuts and Seeds– Aside from protein, they contain good fats, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibre and a wide range of bioactive substances, including several potent antioxidants. The skin of nuts such as almonds and peanuts is particularly rich in protective antioxidants.
- Legumes– Excellent sources of protein, dietary fibre, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Soybeans are also high in polyunsaturated fat including both omega-6 and omega-3. From lentils, chickpeas, mung beans to kidney beans, enjoy an array for a variety of health benefits.
- Quinoa– Being the nutritious of all ‘grains’ it has a high content of protein and dietary fibre, as much iron as meat, and a good source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, folate and vitamin E.
- Organic Dairy– Dairy is an excellent source of protein and is high in calcium, B2 & B12 and iodine. There are still animal welfare issues in relation to dairy farming but by purchasing organic dairy we can minimise these issues.
Good luck on your meat free journey. Check out some other yummy recipes here.
Website:Meat Free Week
Book:Choice Guide to Food – Rosemary Stanton
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