Its so hard to be vegan Julia

As I mentioned in a previous post Julia Gillard was put on the spot recently and promised a student from Aberfoyle Park High School, in SA that she would go meat free for two weeks. I must admit I felt a bit sorry for her finding herself in that relatively no win situation.

But just how hard is it going to be. How much will Julia have to avoid when humans use 99% of the cow for example and only 65% of that is the meat. (Don’t let me start on pork. See this very insightful Ted Talk How pig parts make the world turn)

The following lists give you just a very brief insight into the plethora of beef by-products.

Beef in the home

  • boots and shoes
  • cosmetics including anti wrinkle creams
  • deodorants
  • shampoo
  • shaving cream
  • detergents
  • fabric softeners
  • textiles
  • toothpaste
  • leather sporting goods
  • Lollies
  • Cakes
  • biscuits
  • luggage
  • crayons
  • glue
  • upholstery
  • violin strings
  • bone china
  • paint
  • candles
  • pet foods

Beef in the Medicine Cabinet

  • Insulin – treatment of diabetes
  • Heparin – prolongs the time needed for blood to clot
  • Corticotrophin – used in the treatment of allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, and respiratory diseases
  • Thyrotrophin – stimulates the thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid hormone – used to treat parathyroid deficiencies
  • Thrombin – promotes coagulation during surgery
  • Glucagon – treats hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Sodium levothyroxine – thyroid replacement therapy
  • Fibrinolysin – treatment of blood clots within the cardiovascular system
  • Pancreatin – treatment of infants with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and related pancreatic deficiencies

Beef on the Road

  • Tires
  • asphalt
  • car polishes and waxes
  • hydraulic brake fluid
  • upholstery

Beef in Industry

  • All sorts of lubricants and fluids.
  • industrial cleaners
  • cement blocks
  • fertilizers
  • printing ink
  • high gloss paper for magazines
  • whitener for paper

Beef in Parliament

Leaving aside the leather chairs et al just looking at the 2E’s let alone the social and cultural ramifications on rural and regional Australia if we all stopped eating beef for even two weeks.

Economic terms:

The Australian beef industry

  • Contributes 17 percent to total Australian farm exports.
  • Accounts for 50 percent of all farms with agricultural activity.
  • The gross value of Australian cattle and calf production in 2009-10 was $7.27 billion.

Environmental terms:

  • Australian beef farmers are stewards of more than 50% of Australia’s land

And just what we are going to replace all this with. Everyone knows artificial anything leaves heavier footprints!!!!

Going back to Dutch Designer Christien Meindertsma ( listen to her Ted Talk here ) who found over 185 products made from pigs. She finishes her Ted Talk with this

Firstly its at least odd we don’t treat pigs like kings and queens.

Secondly we don’t have clue about what all these products that surround us are made of.

In order to take better care of what’s behind our products, the livestock, the plants, the crops, the non renewable materials and also the people who produce these products the first step would be to know that they are there

Yes it is very hard indeed to avoid meat and keep everyone happy. I wish you luck Julia


Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

7 thoughts on “Its so hard to be vegan Julia”

    1. Yes Sam I know. Just using Beef as an example as the example is out there. Dutch Designer Christien Meindertsma wrote a whole book about pork by products Perhaps we can ask all the other livestock industries to share with us as well

  1. Going meat free doesn’t necessarily mean going completely vegan but it’s a great thing to ponder. We do have very little awareness of the number of animal products in our everyday lives. I’ll thank the cow that donated skin to my emery board later when I fix up my nails.

    Personally, I’d like to see Julia Gillard live for two weeks on Newstart Allowance. Then she would pretty much be forced to go meat-free because she couldn’t afford it. The only way I manage to afford meat is by growing a substantial amount of my own vegetables and fruit. That way I can buy meat that fits my criteria for ethical treatment of animals (free-range and/or organic) and support of local producers. I’d like to see her manage on Newstart even without a dependent child.

    Thanks for your informative blog on this subject.

    1. Thanks Joanne I grew up on a beef farm and we always had plenty of great quality meat. This led to me being a cuts of meat snob I love my fillet steak which these days cost me anything upwards of $30 a kilo
      I really wish I ate more veggies and could grow them without the bugs eating them before me
      I admire your ethics

      1. Thanks Lynne. I spent many of my formative cooking years as a vegetarian and as a result am a lousy cook when it comes to meat! I’m afraid I’d probably overcook your fillet steak so I stick to curries, sausages or things I’m less likely to stuff up. I’d be happy to help out with your vegetable growing woes sometime if you like. I’ve been wanting to catch up with you for a while now. Always good to make connections in person!

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