It sounds like a simple question, where does the food you eat everyday come from? Whether it’s the bacon and eggs you had for breakfast or the chicken parmigiana for dinner, do you know how it got from the paddock to your plate?
Food Production in Australia
Australia produces large quantities of fruit, vegetables and meat that are exported to foreign countries, but a lot of it does end up in the mouths of hungry Aussies. In terms of agricultural strength, Australia is one of the mightiest. We have around 2 arable hectares per person, which happens to be one of the highest in the world. Despite that, the government actually imports a lot of things to cover what we cannot grow or produce here in Australia. We receive live animal imports from the UK, Indonesia and Japan but our largest live animal imports actually come from New Zealand. When it comes to cereals and grains, Australia relies heavily on countries like Peru, Bolivia and China.
There is some confusion surrounding what factory farming entails. Basically, factory farming is a nice way of saying intensive animal farming and essentially means it’s a low cost way of producing more meat at an efficient rate. Although a lot of Aussies think factory farming doesn’t occur in our country, it definitely does.
- Around 95% of pigs and chickens raised for meat in Australia are factory farmed
- Decades ago, meat was a luxury and stock was usually raised in open pastures by family run farms. Because of the high demand for meat these days, it’s now turned towards factory farming.
- In Australia 500 million animals are raised in factory farms for meat each year
- More than 40% of Year 10 Aussies surveyed believed cotton came from an animal
- 92% of children surveyed didn’t know bananas grew on plants
- Between 2012 and 2016 the number of Australians that adopted a vegetarian lifestyle increase from 1.7 million to 2.1 million.
Does It Really Matter?
Do Australians really care about where their food comes from? Or what conditions it was raised in? Since the recent animal rights protests across the nation, it’s become quite clear there is a divide between Aussies. On one side there are the radical vegans forcing everyday Aussies to endure protests on a Monday morning and on the other side there are people that don’t really care where their food comes from as long as it’s affordable. Then, in the middle of these two sides are Aussies that want better conditions for animals but don’t know (or can’t) how to make the changes. What side do you sit on LiveTribers?