Monday, February 11, 2013

Meat Free Week (18th - 24th March) + Harvest Monday

One upon a time meat used to be a luxury item – a roast chook was a special occasion meal maybe once or twice year. It was expensive because there weren’t a lot of chickens around...it was before factory farming. It was before we expected to eat meat for nearly every meal.

Free range chooks at a friend's farm. Most chickens don't get to roam in lush paddocks like these - they live their lives out in crowded sheds with limited or no access to the outdoors.

It’s no secret that in the last few years my eating habits have changed. Since I became aware of the awful + inhumane conditions factory farmed animals live in I’ve cut a lot of meat out of my meals and started to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet. The Boy and I participate in Meatless Monday every week and this year we’re going to be participating in Meat Free Week (18th – 24th March).  

Growing my own veggies on my little balcony has helped me incorporate more vegetables and more vegetarian meals into my diet. It's fun to cook with produce that I've grown myself.
Australia has the second highest consumption of meat in the WORLD and two thirds of the world's meat comes from factory farms! Our bodies are not meant to be eating meat three meals a day, seven days a week. As well as the negative health implications the demand for a constant source of cheap meat has led to the rise of factory farming where animals live in terrible, cruel, uncomfortable, squalid and unkind conditions – if you could see inside a factory farm for just one minute I’m sure you’d change your mind about eating so much meat. You’d make better purchasing decisions, choosing free range and going with meat for a few meals every week.

Some sheep (aka lamb chops) being put through their paces at the Gulgong Show. Most sheep have a better life than factory farmed chickens + pigs but there are still some issues that you can read about here.

When I first starting making more vegetarian meals I found it REALLY hard to cook a meal that didn’t involve meat. I struggled...a lot. I had no concept of cooking a meal where meat wasn't the "star attraction"  Gradually, with the help of blogs like VegeTARAian, She Cooks She Gardens and good old Pinterest, I started to see how simple meat-free cooking could be. When I heard about Meat Free Week I knew I could cut meat right out of my diet for a week. Easy! Especially as they have tonne of recipes on their website to help us along.

A Vietnamese salad with vegetarian springs rolls made from carrots, mint, coriander and shallots grown on my balcony.
For this week's Harvest Monday I’ve attempted one of the recipes from the Meat Free Week website – Stir Fried Curry Brown Rice with Cashews (by Bill Granger) as it looked so super simple, plus I had a few of the ingredients growing out on my balcony.  I'd been having a bit of trouble getting my bok choi past the caterpillars and mould, but after about 3 months I FINALLY had three little bunches of bok choi that would go perfectly in this dish.



Meat Free Week is not asking us to become vegan or vegetarian...the message is simply to think about where the meat you are eating comes from, to make compassionate choices and to try and eat less meat to better serve your health, the environment and the animals suffering in factory farms.


Meat Free Weeks aims to increase awareness about factory farming as well as the health and environmental impacts of our huge reliance on meat. It also aims to raise funds for the animal advocacy group, Voiceless.

If you’d like to sponsor me in this years Meat Free Week you can do so here.

21 comments:

  1. Such a great idea and cause. I do love my meat but I've also trying to cut down on it as well. Loving your recipe and it would be soo yummy with homegrown veg!

    ReplyDelete
  2. im joining u in meat free week! really need to get the message out about the poor poor conditions that the animals live in! and under your influence i've started growing my own veges too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, good on you! I'm happy for you to follow in my footsteps on this one - and the gardening too. Both good things to do.

      Delete
  3. Good one Mel! I'm hoping Meat Free Week raises lots of funds to help Voiceless put an end to factory farming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I can raise a few bucks for this good cause. Thanks for your donation.

      Delete
  4. This is a great idea! I don't think I could ever become vegan or vegetarian but being more aware and thinking about the meat and the amount of meat that we consume can only be a good thing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think being a Vegan would be difficult but I can do my part like you say by eating less meat...it's a pretty easy thing to do really.

      Delete
  5. I think this is such a wonderful idea! We mostly go meat free Monday-Friday then have some meat on the weekends, but not always. My family and I love vegetarian meals, and Im slowly getting my mum onto the idea of meat free days!
    I hope there is an end to factory farming, it upsets me to see animals in such distress, sickening. And too many people are ignorant to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It upsets me too...and until I saw the 4Corners show on live export a few years back I was one of those ignorant people.

      Delete
  6. Yes, this is food for thought. I'm a meat eater but for quite a while now have been making more meat free dishes during the week, which I and family have really enjoyed. I abhor factory farming and always by free range. Thanks for this reminder Mel and well done for hanging in there at the beginning of your meat free journey. Btw, thanks for your comment about Bali..I actually read your Bali post a couple of times before we left to get an idea of the restaurants over there..it was a great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad my Bali posts helped you (and thanks for your yummy Nasi Goreng post - that I made without chook, but just a few prawns).

      Delete
  7. When I saw the scenes in Samsara of the meat processing production lines, it sure made me wonder. I grew up being primarily vegetarian, so that's what I fall back to, but but it would take big steps to push me to not eating meat. Thanks for pushing me to think about it some more...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree we eat way too much meat than we wold naturally if we had to kill for it ourselves. i gave up meat for 3 years and there are many things to make especially involving diary products. hello pizza! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if we had to kill our own meat I bet there'd be a lot more vego's out there. Don't forget there are a lot of issues with Dairy Farming too - cows have to constantly be pregnant (have given birth) to produce milk and their male calves are a waste product of that industry. Sadly there are issues with all animal products we consume...dairy and eggs as well.

      Delete
  9. I think it's such a shame that animals are treated so inhumanely and this issue is kept from the consumers. I try to buy organic free-range wherever possible xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's a shame too...it's just unnecessary and unkind and if we all ate less meat it wouldn't be this way.

      Delete
  10. I know I could never give up meat but I try to eat as many meat free meals a week that I can - especially meat free mondays. good luck with the full week Mel.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those look SO good! Well done on your less meat. So far so good on the vego front for us. I dont miss it like I thought I would. Still eating fish here and there, although eating sustainable as much as possible.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving your comment!

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Free Blog Template by June Lily