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