Survey calls for input on meat production
Charles Sturt University research is seeking to understand the shared values of vegans and livestock producers via a survey that will inform research on public opinion on the ethics and future of meat production in Australia.
Researchers at the university will be canvassing vegans and livestock producers to better understand their opinions about animal welfare and to identify any shared values.
Charles Sturt Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) student Erin Stranks is calling on people aged over 18 who are vegan or people who work in meat, poultry, pork, egg, fleece and aquaculture production to take part in an online survey.
Stranks says the research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation aims to learn more about people’s opinions on meat production in Australia.
“Recently we have seen increased scrutiny of animal welfare, radical protests by activists on farms and abattoirs and veganism gaining social licence and influence globally,” she says.
“A 2019 Food Frontier report on meat consumption has shown that one in 10 Australians are reducing their meat intake.
“The report found that 57 percent of vegans are millennials, aged between 23 and 38. Also, that the baby boomers, aged between 56 and 76, are leading the reduction in meat consumption; 43 percent of meat reducers fit into this age bracket.”
Stranks says livestock production is an important part of Australia’s agricultural systems and contributes to the nation’s economy. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences values production from Australia’s livestock industries at more than $30 billion last year. Further, 172,000 people are employed in the red meat sector alone.
Given this, Stranks says it’s important to understand the differences and similarities in beliefs held by vegans and livestock producers. They can provide insight into consumer preference to see if there’s an opportunity for a collaborative approach to animal production.
“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,” Stranks says.
Survey responses are anonymous and the research has been approved by Charles Sturt’s Human Research Ethics Committee.