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Analysis and Comment (19)

Dr Mark Post and his bred-in-a-bucket burger. Would you? Dr Mark Post and his bred-in-a-bucket burger. Would you? David Parry/PA

Eight questions that need answers about lab-bred meat

The launch of the lab-bred “meat” in London was a masterly act of timing, theatre, and media management. But now that rabbit is out of the hat, there are questions that need to be asked, and answers that…
Consumers want cheap meat from happy animals - can farmers and supermarkets keep up? Consumers want cheap meat from happy animals - can farmers and supermarkets keep up? David Mitchell

Coles are the piggy in the middle of animal welfare confrontation

Last week, Coles supermarkets began selling shopping bags on behalf of animal rights campaigners Animal Australia. Following a backlash from farmers, Animals Australia withdrew the bags. But the stoush…
The current scandal may be about unacknowledged horse meat, but consumers also get dished up all manner of additives and potentially unsanitary processing. The current scandal may be about unacknowledged horse meat, but consumers also get dished up all manner of additives and potentially unsanitary processing. AAP

Let’s not mince words, the horse meat scandal is all about our chemical romance with flesh

The discovery of horseflesh in a number of otherwise-labelled meat products in Europe is being described as a scandal but it is an entirely predictable result of industrialised animal exploitation organised…
Long supply chains are common in the food industry, which is mostly concerned with cutting costs and “just on time” management. Long supply chains are common in the food industry, which is mostly concerned with cutting costs and “just on time” management. AAP

Horse meat scandal’s long tail highlights risks of lengthy supply chains

Back in September 2012, an Irish food safety inspector noticed some discrepancies in the labelling and packaging of some frozen meat brought in by a small import-export company. By January 2013, the scandal…
The horse meat scandal seems to be more about the taboo issue of eating our pets than actual health concerns. The horse meat scandal seems to be more about the taboo issue of eating our pets than actual health concerns. Fredrik von Erichsen/AAP

Neigh-sayers: why we won’t agree to eat a dead horse

Imagine the following scenario. You go into your local sandwich shop for lunch and order a roast beef on rye with a dash of mustard. As you bite into the sandwich you notice something is not right. The…
Everyone seems nervous to talk about changing our diets. Everyone seems nervous to talk about changing our diets. Sumlin/Flickr

Why aren’t we talking about meat and climate change?

Reducing your carbon footprint by eating less red meat rarely gets attention. This strategy has been recommended by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, epidemiologists writing in The Lancet and…
Protests against live exports of Australian animals. Protests against live exports of Australian animals. AAP/Tim Watters

The live export of animals will always be a bloody business

Although many Australians may feel like they heard the expression “live export” or “live animal exports” for the first time recently, the selling of sheep and cows to be slaughtered overseas has a long…
An average of three million kangaroos are killed per year for pet meat, meat for human consumption and hides. An average of three million kangaroos are killed per year for pet meat, meat for human consumption and hides. DarthShrine/Flickr

Australia’s commercial kangaroo industry: hopping to nowhere

Australia’s commercial kangaroo industry is the world’s largest consumptive mammalian wildlife industry. Calculated on a ten-year period, an average of three million adult kangaroos are killed each year…
Phasing out live exports may be the only way to save Australia’s northern cattle industry. Phasing out live exports may be the only way to save Australia’s northern cattle industry. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

A ten-year plan to phase out live animal exports

Temporary bans on live cattle and sheep export have undermined confidence in the industry, driving property prices down and diminishing banks' willingness to lend for long-term improvement. If the industry…
It might be cute, but when it grows up it might also like to eat you. It might be cute, but when it grows up it might also like to eat you. Steve Hillebrand/Wikimedia Commons

Think humans are special? Like the animals we eat, we’re meat too

In recent advertisements for Meat and Livestock Australia, actor Sam Neill told us, in David Attenborough-inflected tones, that: “when our early ancestors started to eat red meat, our brains began to grow…
Australians have started worrying about how happy their meat cows are - but are they worrying enough to stop eating them? Australians have started worrying about how happy their meat cows are - but are they worrying enough to stop eating them? Jon Bragg

Health, environment and animal welfare - a recipe for peak meat

I sponsor two pigs. Emma and Eliza were runaway pigs. They escaped from a farm in Tasmania and live now happily in a farm sanctuary north of Melbourne. Needless to say that I don’t eat pigs, or any other…
Anything tastes good when it’s cooked in a pie. Even kidneys. Anything tastes good when it’s cooked in a pie. Even kidneys. Jo Carter

Have some guts and help the environment

I invited some friends to dinner recently for a little heart to heart. Little did they know, that I was being literal. For my guests that night, I served lamb heart stew. Offal. The word is enough to turn…
Feeding the world is entirely feasible, but food distribution remains a significant challenge. Feeding the world is entirely feasible, but food distribution remains a significant challenge. edwin van buuringen

Meat consumption offers food for thought on global poverty

The Economist has its critics, but it still delivers lots of interesting data. I just found this table (published by EconomistDailyChart) of annual meat consumption per person by country. The data set…
Grain agriculture devastates ecosystems, but who is the grain grown for? Grain agriculture devastates ecosystems, but who is the grain grown for? Peter Castleton

Vegetarians cause environmental damage, but meat eaters aren’t off the hook

More and more, the animals we kill for food are dining at the human table. Increasingly, we feed them on grain, soybeans and fish meal. Recently, Professor Mike Archer published an article on The Conversation…
Revelations of cruelty in Australian abattoirs cause outrage, but probably not boycotts. Revelations of cruelty in Australian abattoirs cause outrage, but probably not boycotts. ABC/AAP

Will consumer horror undo the meat industry?

Last year, revelations of cruelty to cows in Indonesian abattoirs led to outrage in Australia. The assumption was that these sorts of things could never happen here. Last week, a NSW abattoir was closed…
Being vegetarian saves cows' lives, but threatens the future of other sentient creatures. Being vegetarian saves cows' lives, but threatens the future of other sentient creatures. nunro

Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands

The ethics of eating red meat have been grilled recently by critics who question its consequences for environmental health and animal welfare. But if you want to minimise animal suffering and promote more…
Cutting down on processed food means less rubbish in the bin. Cutting down on processed food means less rubbish in the bin. poopee shmoopee/Flickr

NHMRC’s healthy diet is also good for the environment

The NHMRC’s new Australian dietary guidelines recommend eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans and wholegrains and eating fewer starchy vegetables, refined cereals, red meat (unless you are a young…
When discussing animal welfare, it’s hard to look at it from the animal’s perspective. When discussing animal welfare, it’s hard to look at it from the animal’s perspective. phik

What is the value of an animal’s life?

Which is the greater deprivation for an animal: to live a good-quality life abbreviated at less than its natural term by painless slaughter for meat, or to never live at all? How much of an animal’s life…

Research and News (2)