Published 11 October 2015
Understanding how we can enjoy meat more ethically & sustainably while improving our carbon footprint
It has been well publicised that eliminating meat consumption can help the environment. But with the average Australian consumption of red meat at 111kg/year, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. A report, last year, found the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all transport combined. How can we still enjoy meat but in an ethical and safe manner that improves our climate footprint? Could eating meat at the later stages like mutton improve the environmental impact? And are there more ethical processes of animal husbandry?
The University of Sydney’s Dr Sabrina Lomax, Vet Science Masters student Kate Wingett and Grant Hilliard from Feather & Bone will explore how eating meat can still be enjoyable and improve our footprint by changing our consumption patterns. This ‘Painful Husbandry’ event is the third part of the Sydney Environment Institute’s “The Small Changes” series, co-presented with Sydney Ideas.
Hosted by Dr Frances Flanagan, research affiliate with the Sydney Environment Institute.
Frances Flanagan, research affiliate with the Sydney Environment Institute is the author of Remembering the Revolution: dissent, culture and nationalism in the Irish Free State (Oxford University Press, 2015). She holds a DPhil and MSt in historical research from the University of Oxford, and bachelors degrees in arts and law from the University of Western Australia. She has been a senior scholar at Hertford College Oxford, a Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellow at the London Institute of Historical Research, and a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London. She is currently working on a project concerning the commemoration of ecological loss.
Dr Sabrina Lomax
Sabrina’s family agricultural background led to her interest in animal health and production. The success of her honours research into the efficacy of topical anaesthesia for pain management of mulesing wounds, resulted in the extension of this research area into a PhD examining topical anaesthesia for painful livestock husbandry procedures.
Kate Wingett, BVSc (hons)
Kate graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (hons) in 1996. Since this time, Kate has been working in small animal general practice in the Blue Mountains, the United Kingdom and Sydney. In July of 2015 Kate commenced a Master of Veterinary Science (research) degree in the field of food and nutrition security. This research will be completed using a One Health framework, a strategy that seeks to promote, improve and defend the health of all people, animals and the environment.
The aim of the Kate’s research project is to investigate the willingness of Australians to consume mutton and sheep offal again, and to determine what effect increased consumption of these meats domestically would have on human health, animal welfare and greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is a world leader in wool production and this leads to large volumes of mutton and sheep offal production. The vast majority of these meat products are exported. Climate change in the coming decades is expected to have an overall negative impact on our agricultural systems and Australia’s population is projected to reach 42 million by 2100. So despite Australia currently producing sufficient food to feed 60 million people now is the time to ensure local food and nutrition security for our grandchildren. Are mutton and sheep offal good choices to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security for Australia?
Grant Hilliard, Feather and Bone
We’re all becoming more aware of where our food comes from and how every part of the cycle from ‘paddock to plate’ directly or indirectly affects us. Feather and Bone want everyone to take the step from awareness to action by choosing to eat food that improves our collective health at every step of the cycle.
Since 2006 they have been building relationships with a network of wonderful local producers and clients committed to quality and provenance. Their restaurant customers include Rockpool on George, Rockpool Bar and Grill, Billy Kwong, Red Lantern restaurants.