Meat Free Week to launch next year in anti-factory farming awareness campaign

Don’t eat me for a week

A campaign has launched to raise awareness of the amount of meat Australians eat, and the practices behind factory farming.

The campaign centres around Meat Free Week, an event that urges Australians to go without eating animals for a week, from 18-24 March next year.

The campaign is being led by former NewsLifeMedia executive Melissa Dixon and Pacific Magazines national advertising director Lainie Bracher.

It is being backed by model and TV presenter Laura Csortan, former magazine editor Deborah Hutton and actor Krew Boylan. Chefs Simon Bryant, Belinda Jeffery and Bill Granger are providing meat-free recipes for the campaign.

A campaign website – – goes live tomorrow.

Australia is the second largest consumer of meat per capita after the US. The average Australian eats around 120kg of meat a year. This consumption would not be possible without factory farming, which the campaign says leads to the suffering of 500m animals in Australia every year.

“We know it’s a big ask to cut back something you love to eat, but when people know the facts, we’re confident they’ll commit to eating less meat and when they do, make the choice to buy ethically produced meat” said campaign co-founder Melissa Dixon.

Money raised from those taking part in Meat Free Week will go to animal protection institute Voiceless.


  1. QS
    30 Nov 12
    12:56 pm

  2. You’re ruining my ham sandwich…

  3. LW
    30 Nov 12
    2:42 pm

  4. Maybe that campaign website name should read ‘Meatfreeweek’ not ‘Meetfreeweek’? The latter sounds like something RSVP would do.

  5. Kanye
    30 Nov 12
    3:00 pm

  6. I hope nobody gets grilled about this one, a great initiative.

  7. 1982
    30 Nov 12
    3:20 pm

  8. I think this is a great idea and this should kick off with not just one week across the year but two! I’m a meat eater but welcome this to encourage us to eat it less.

  9. Gary Kurzer
    30 Nov 12
    5:51 pm

  10. There are many dimensions to not eating meat.
    One is the highly questionable moral grounds for using animals as our subservants.
    They have a lot more sensitivity and characteristics that we are only just starting to understand. Personally, I see the moral issue as #1.

    Secondly, meat is a highly taxing environmental disaster, from land clearing, to the amount of energy and water involved in the whole process of meat production.
    Fruit and vegetables are more environmentally sensible and renewable.

    Thirdly, the nutritional benefits of meat are also dubious, and it is important to get to the facts rather than listen to the spin doctors. Illnesses such as bowel cancer would be significantly reduced without high meat consumption.

    Fourth: there are some heinous practices in the meat industry, from immoral slaughterhouse practices to the whole gamut of disease, parasites, and effects on meat eaters that result from the poor hygiene and deliberate skirting of quality assurances. Not so say anything about corruption and collusion.

    Lastly, for now, tasty as they may be, the nitrite additions in processed meats is pretty bad stuff health wise. It is time to really address the whole issue.

  11. Rosco
    1 Dec 12
    9:24 am

  12. Just as I make sure I turn on as many lights as possible during Earth Hour I will ensure I eat as much meat as possible during this week.
    I hate do-gooders trying to force their (usually left-wing, trendy) views on me. Piss off and go and play in the traffic.

  13. Mike
    1 Dec 12
    7:51 pm

  14. Rosco … sad. Just sad.

  15. Mike
    2 Dec 12
    1:09 pm

  16. Rosco, if your neighbour buys a rainwater tank, make sure you leave your taps running all day.
    If they cycle to work, by an old gas guzzler and choose a new commuter route that’s twice as long.
    If there’s a campaign against sexual harassment, make sure you shout lewd comments at women while driving your car.
    That’ll show those trendy, lefty do-gooders.

  17. AdGrunt
    2 Dec 12
    6:05 pm

  18. Gary,

    Any chance you could provide some substance to your specific or indeed the wider claims you make.

    It’s just that, with a growing population, the effort to create food in general is going to increase. And a degree of scale will be required to achieve that. I’m afraid that your quaint Enid Blyton view of farms disappeared around WW2.

    I’m especially interested your assertions about meat providing dubious nutritional benefit. Some support for that would be awesome as it sounds slightly at one with accepted nutritional advice.

    Similarly for the slaughterhouse claims. Sounds a little like bullshit to me, so do share your supported insight on the matter on this and nitrates so we can make an informed judgement on your opinion.


  19. Gary Kurzer
    2 Dec 12
    8:19 pm

  20. Mike
    2 Dec 12
    9:37 pm

  21. Gee Adgrunt, where to start?
    There’s a mass of reading out there.
    The inescapable fact is that cultivating livestock for human consumption is a waste of resources. Vast amounts of studies to back this up.
    Try Peter Singer’s Ethical Eating.
    Or give it a google.

  22. Gary Kurzer
    3 Dec 12
    8:44 am

  23. Ricki
    3 Dec 12
    11:07 am

  24. Here’s a recent one from Australia for Adgrunt. Hope you’re not a big fan of dim sims!

    I personally don’t think there’s any difference between eating a cow or a donkey…but the floor sweepings and the maggots?

    And the point about nutrition is that Australians eat much, much more meat than could ever be considered nutritionally beneficial. Ask almost any other non-Western culture. And do ask a nutritionist. When I was studying nutrition at University, it was made clear that the Western diet is too heavy in protein and too poor in complex carbohydrates (aka veges and grains).

    It really isn’t polite to call someone”s informed opinion bullshit unless you have irrefutable supporting evidence to the contrary. It also raises questions about your credibility. Perhaps in the future you could frame your questions in a more respectful manner and you may (gasp!) learn something that you don’t already know?

  25. S
    3 Dec 12
    3:09 pm

  26. I love research backed up with a great wikipedia link!

  27. AdGrunt
    3 Dec 12
    8:32 pm

  28. Gary – don’t link-bomb.
    Support your assertions cogently. And don’t link to partisan vegan shock-sites. It makes you appear a loon and this whole exercise as a vegan-in-animal-husbandry-clothing shonk.

    Mike – your wikipedia link is fascinating, especially where it mentions that intensive farming and closed-loop farming is more energy and land efficient that traditional methods. But is that all?

    Ricki – don’t embarrass yourself by linking to an article about a thirty year old report.
    It’s rude to do so, then suggest bullshit is actually informed opinion. Provide credible support. It’s the job of those making the assertion to support it.
    And the point is about intensive farming and animal husbandry, so stop pursuing strawman arguments about nutrition.

  29. LW
    3 Dec 12
    10:33 pm

  30. I love AdGrunt. Smart AND rude, my perfect man!

  31. AdGrunt
    3 Dec 12
    11:38 pm

  32. Join the queue, LW.

  33. Mike
    4 Dec 12
    6:02 am

  34. AdGrunt, do you anticipate there might be any argument that would make you alter your opinions?
    I doubt it. Most people don’t approach these issues with the proper mindset – “what is the best thing to do?” – but instead are only thinking, “how can I defend my preferred lifestyle choice?”
    Being vegetarian or vegan is better for the environment and limits cruelty to animals. Those are inescapable facts that you simply choose not to accept.

  35. AdGrunt
    4 Dec 12
    7:41 am

  36. Mike, why doubt your ability to make a cogent argument? It’s the lack of one that prevents me believing you.

    Supporting your “inescapable facts” would be agood start.

    It’s also a bit awkward that you’ve hijacked a campaign for ethical animal husbandry bandwagon with a vegan agenda.

  37. Mike
    4 Dec 12
    7:19 pm

  38. I don’t doubt my ability to make a cogent argument.
    I doubt your willingness to hear it.
    There is plenty of useful information in the links posted above, much of it non-partisan. Far more than I think Mumbrella would be keen to moderate in this comments thread.
    Not at all sure why you complain about “link-bombing”. Perhaps because you’d rather argue with individuals online than just do some reading and inform yourself?
    Peter Singer’s “Ethical Eating”. A long-form cogent argument.
    Read it. With an open mind.

  39. Gary Kurzer
    5 Dec 12
    5:04 pm

  40. I wrote a book that was concerned with a number of the aspects in my earlier post.
    I don’t think that many of the arguments are unsubstantiated. Moral arguments are clearly personal but best determined after a little soul searching.