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Study seeks views of livestock producers and vegans

Beef Central, 31/07/2020

 

A CHARLES Sturt University researcher is calling on livestock producers and vegans to participate in a survey which aims to  identify common values shared by both groups.

Bachelor of Animal Science Honours student Erin Stranks is conducting an online survey to quantify the values of livestock producers and vegans on issues around animal welfare, food production and consumption.

At the Charles Sturt University’s Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation online forum last Friday, she said the research aims to learn more about opinions on the ethics and future of meat production in Australia.

“I can already see an overlap in animal welfare concern, a want for progress and innovation, lessening environmental impacts and minimising suffering for animals.”

Ms Stranks said the shared values issue should matter to livestock producers because of the changes in consumer markets. There was also increased scrutiny of animal welfare, radical protests by activists on farms and abattoirs, and veganism gaining social licence and influence globally, she said.

“A 2019 Food Frontier report on meat consumption has shown that one-in-10 Australians are reducing their meat intake, with baby boomers aged 56 to 76 leading a reduction in meat consumption.”

Economically the plant-based industry in Australia grossed $150 million last year and is expected to increase to $3 billion. In comparison the livestock industry grossed approximately $66 billion and provided employment for 400,000 people.

“While the plant-based industry has less of an economic significance than the livestock industry, it does show an increase in monetary value awarded to plant-based products by consumers,” she said.

Ms Stranks said livestock producers relied on social licence approval from consumers to operate and her research had shown that involving all stakeholders in conversations around animal welfare can increase social licence.

She said a study into meat consumers and animal welfare activism highlighted that livestock producers’ understanding of vegan views and opinions might be key to the sustainability of the industry, “which is your business.”

“And these might become the majority views of the future.

“So if you are over 18, vegan or a livestock producer, we would love to hear your opinion.”

Ms Stranks said it was important to understand the differences and similarities in beliefs held by vegans and livestock producers, as they can provide insight into consumer preference to see if there’s opportunity for a collaborative approach to animal production in Australia.

“We hope that people who are actively involved in the production of meat, poultry, pork, egg, fleece, and aquaculture in Australia, along with people who are vegan will take part in the survey,” she said.

“We hope that people who are actively involved in the production of meat, poultry, pork, egg, fleece, and aquaculture in Australia, along with people who are vegan will take part in the survey,” she said.

  • Survey responses are anonymous and the research has been approved by Charles Sturt’s Human Research Ethics Committee. Access the online survey by clicking here.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Steve MacDonald, 04/08/2020

    Online polls are notoriously unreliable, and very easily manipulated. Anybody responding to the poll can ‘declare’ to be a beef producer, or a vegan for that matter. The well-oiled animal activist machine will have a field day. Whatever results are produced will have zero credibility. Surely academics seeking to gauge public opinion are aware of the pitfalls.

  2. Peter Vincent, 03/08/2020

    A nonsensical waste of time and money. There is no prospect of any overlap of opinion when the vegans of this world insist that no animals or animal products should be harvested, consumed or utilised in any form. It’s interesting to note that the definition of “vegan” differs markedly between that of the Vegan Society and any common dictionary.
    Good luck with the $3billion p.a. vegan target in Australia. Shelf space devoted to plant-based burgers is shrinking every month. Anyone having the misfortune to buy a soy-based burger recently would truly appreciate a bowl of lentils.

  3. Paul Franks, 03/08/2020

    While I will fully admit the beef industry can not take some moral high ground when it comes to environmental outcomes after the amount of vegetation destroyed to create pastures, like the Queensland Brigalow Belt has been totally decimated by dozers and chains with a foreign grass introduced (buffel grass) to replace it. At the same time vegans can not take some moral high ground when to produce their food, an even greater level of destruction must take place to grow crops, on top of there are the large numbers of dead animals poisoned and shot to protect the crops.

    We have to agree to live in the world we live in today, the environment has to be changed and modified. I do not see too many people thinking we should all go back to living in caves.

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