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Lamb on Australia Day? Is it really patriotic?

Former Australian football player Sam Kekovich has been accused by animal rights activists of accepting "blood money" for an ad campaign in which he urges people to eat more lamb.

As a planet, we're not eating enough lamb," Kekovich says.

The campaign is on behalf of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

A patriotic meal to celebrate Australia Day should be one that does not cause the environmental damage that livestock do, and one that recognises that our ecosystem is already stressed.  Animals suffer confinement, mutilations, extremes of weather, having their young stolen from them and long journeys to abattoirs before their final slaughter.  As human numbers increase, animals lose more and more rights to normal lives.

A new report by the Worldwatch Institute has remade some calculations about just how much greenhouse gases are produced by livestock, previously thought to be about 12 per cent. The report, called Livestock and Climate Change, concludes that livestock’s contribution to greenhouse emissions actually accounts for 51 per cent of the total world's green house gas emissions. That’s nearly three times the previously estimated figure.

Meat production has increased by 500 percent since 1950.

According to the World Health Organisation, 90% of cancers are avoidable.  Many are due to over consumption of fats, livestock products and the toxins we eat and are surrounded by. Paying the "real" price for meat would limit consumption, and thus reduce our public health bill, protect our environment from the massive environmental impacts of deforestation for grazing, limit air and water pollution and the cost to wildlife habitat.   The evil and cruelty of factory farming is a blight on our supposedly civilised society!

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes, about one child every five seconds, while the wealthy consume meat from grain-fed livestock! Overproducing and over consuming meat, milk and eggs have become a health hazard in the North, while the South suffers from chronic malnutrition — in part due to underproduction and under consumption of these foods.

Comparing livestock products to other food sources shows that producing livestock products requires significantly more water, fossil fuels and land, leading to a greater environmental impact. Simply by altering our food choices., we can make a significant contribution to reducing our ecological footprint.

Last week saw a relatively weak pastiche featuring “Simon Kennovich” in an effort to promote vegetarianism.
LAMB ON AUSTRALIA DAY? Sam Kekovich's rival says, thats un-Australian

The livestock industry is a major contributor to this loss of species, with the World Wide Fund for Nature reporting that 37% of terrestrial ecoregions identify livestock as one of their current threats.

(Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, Rosales M, de Haan C.
Livestock's long shadow : environmental issues and options. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations; 2006)

Prof Ian Lowe , ACF President, wondered how anyone could call themselves an environmentalist and still eat meat. He told us that we could help the planet more by reducing, or better still giving up eating animal products than just about anything else we could do as individuals.

According to the CSIRO , over 90 per cent of land degradation is caused by animal industries.

Over farming and over grazing will inevitably result in erosion and loss of habitat, and nearly half of our continent is used for grazing. As a result, our forests are cleared and topsoil is lost.

For a real patriotic feast on Australia Day, go Veg!

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