Experts

"Reducing the amount of meat that we eat can make a real difference to our health and the environment. Many of us eat more meat than we need, so there are health benefits to reducing excessive meat consumption. Producing meat can also use up large amounts of water and other resources. That's why it's important to take part in Meat Free Week or our Meat Free Mondays campaign. It's a great way to help the environment as well as your health."

Jon Dee

Jon Dee is one of Australia’s most influential figures on environmental issues. The Founder and Managing Director of Australian advocacy organisation ‘Do Something!’, Jon was NSW’s 2010 Australian of the Year, and founded the organisation Planet Ark with Pat Cash, which he headed up for 15 years. Jon initiated the lobbying campaign that led to Australia's three-year phase out of incandescent globes and has been the driving force behind the campaigns to ban plastic bags and phosphates in cleaning products. Also an author, Jon’s Sustainable Growth book has become the key sustainability guidebook for Australian business, selling 80,000 copies since 2010. A committed advocate for improving society’s relationship with food, Jon’s Do Something! FoodWise campaign aims to reduce the $7.8 billion that Australians spend on food waste each year and encourage sustainability.

 

 

“As a nutritionist and health coach, I am passionate about mindful eating and living, understanding where and how your food is grown, if it’s in season, what it contains, how you respond to it and how much you need of it in your daily diet. I also believe the words balance, variety, quality and moderation are synonymous with a healthy diet.

“We all know that having a diet rich in plant food promotes health and reduces your risk of chronic disease, but many Australians do not eat the recommended five serves of daily vegetables. So I encourage participants to see Meat Free Week as an opportunity to not only improve your health, but to also discover the smell, sight, texture and taste of a wider variety of plant-based foods.”

Jan McLeod

Jan McLeod is a nutritionist, health coach and founder of Mad for Health, a business that delivers personal and business nutritional consulting services. She believes that food is nutrition and partnered with mindful living creates a foundation for a long, healthy life, and is interested in lifestyle-related health challenges, including those caused by stress. Jan is passionate about educating clients on food fundamentals, enabling them to understand what they consume and the impacts of their daily activity on their quality of health. With an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine and a Bachelor of Commerce, and being a registered practitioner in Whole Brain Thinking, Jan is skilled in in strategy, change management, relationship and general business management.

 

"Sustainability is an issue that is often talked about, but not many really know what it means and more importantly what as individuals we can do. To me, sustainability is about using our resources wisely and most importantly not wasting them or using what we don’t really need. It is also about ensuring that we maintain the health of the planet and all that use it.

More and more research is demonstrating a strong link between what we eat, our health and how we impact on the planet. We can no longer to continue to consume meat at the rate we currently do – but it is about sustainability and having a balanced approach. Reducing meat consumption is something we can all do to be sustainable and healthy."

Dr Trevor Thornton

Dr Trevor Thornton is currently a lecturer at Deakin University and has had an interest in ecological sustainability issues for many years. Commencing his career with EPA Victoria, Trevor has had a long history on identifying and providing solutions to a broad range of environmental issues for many sectors of the industry and community. His research interests include management of healthcare environmental impacts, development of environment management systems, life cycle assessment, education for waste management (particularly waste minimisation) and municipal waste management. Interests also lie in linking issues such as social aspects, risk assessment and occupational health and safety to environmental management, especially in areas where implementing management techniques may disrupt current social structures.

"Why go meat free? No one likes causing harm to others – whether they be humans or animals. In Australia, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to act compassionately in our food choices. By choosing to eliminate meat from your diet you are simply extending the same care and respect to farm animals as you would to wild animals or your cat or dog.

Australians eat more meat per capita than almost any other country, contributing much more than we should to the billion plus farm animals that are killed every week to satisfy global appetites. Livestock industries are bigger than ever before with over one third of the world’s non-ice terrestrial surface devoted to production; being a key driver of deforestation, water and land degradation, biodiversity loss, and global climate change.

So if you are a compassionate person and don't like causing harm to others - human or non-human - consider eliminating meat from your diet - there has never been an easier or tastier time to join the plant-based food movement."

Andrew McGregor

Andrew McGregor is Associate Professor and Director of Postgraduate Coursework in the Department of Environment and Geography at Macquarie University, and is trained as a human geographer and conducted research on environment and development issues in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, New Zealand and Australia. Andrew has recently been researching climate mitigation programs, particularly the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation program in Indonesia, and is commencing research on plant-based food movements. He also teaches environmental ethics.

"I first visited Paraguay in 2005, and I have seen the destruction of the Gran Chaco forests first hand. This great wilderness was one of the last places on earth where uncontacted tribes lived as hunter gatherers, but they, along with all the wildlife on which they depend have been pushed to the brink of extinction. All to provide cheap beef and the feed for cattle.

The destruction of the Gran Chaco forests, which stretch across northern Paraguay into adjacent Argentina and Bolivia, is almost entirely due to the demand for cheap beef and cerals to feed the beef. The fragile souils once exhausted will almost certainly become deserts."

John Burton

Formerly a journalist, author and broadcaster, John Burton has over 40 years experience in international conservation, including working with Friends of the Earth and as the Chief Executive of Fauna & Flora International for 12 years. John set up the first TRAFFIC offices for IUCN and founded the World Land Trust in 1989, being its CEO ever since. The Trust has raised over £19 million for conservation since its inception 25 years ago, purchasing and protecting land in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America. John also received an Honorary Doctorate from University Campus Suffolk in 2012, honouring his work for international environmental organisations.

"Less is more (healthy) when it comes to the amount of meat we eat, with the variety and types of meat consumed also playing a large role in what is considered healthy.* Consuming large amounts of red meat is considered to be a factor for increasing the risk of bowel cancer. If you eat more than one hundred grams of red meat per day, every day, you raise your risk of the disease by seventeen per cent. Additionally processed meats compound the risk.* While we can't change some risk factors for bowel cancer such as our genetic makeup, family history of the disease or increasing age, we can make some changes to our diet and physical activity starting today."

Teresa Mitchell-Paterson

Teresa Mitchell-Patterson is Bowel Cancer Australia's qualified nutritionist who holds a Masters of Health Science in Human Nutrition and is a bowel cancer survivor herself. Teresa first became aware of bowel cancer when a close relative was diagnosed with the disease. She keeps a vigilant eye on the scientific developments regarding food and bowel cancer, including risks linked to the consumption of red and processed meats. As a member of the charity's advisory services team, Teresa provides evidence-based, best practice nutritional advice and dietary tips for bowel cancer prevention and treatment. Also, she contributes regularly to published health articles and is often quoted in the media on topics such as nutrition, natural therapies and wellbeing.

“Voiceless is pleased to support Meat Free Week and its aims to get people to carefully consider their consumption habits and their impacts on animals, themselves and our planet."

Elise Burgess

Elise Burgess joined Voiceless in April 2012 as Senior Communications Officer before taking on the role as Head of Communications. With a strong professional background in media, Elise joined Voiceless to fulfil a lifelong passion for animal protection. Before joining Voiceless, Elise worked as a journalist and editor of finance industry publications for six years in Australia’s financial management sector. She graduated from Avondale College in 2006 with a Communications degree with experience in broadcast and print media.

"The scientific evidence is now incontrovertible that unless we reduce meat consumption worldwide, we are heading for a major environmental, animal welfare and human health disaster."

Professor Clive Phillips

Clive Phillips studied agriculture at Reading University and obtained a PhD in dairy cow nutrition and behaviour from the University of Glasgow. He also lectured in farm animal production and medicine at the Universities of Cambridge and Wales; and conducted research into cattle and sheep welfare. As the inaugural holder of the University of Queensland Chair in Animal Welfare, Clive is involved in animal welfare and ethics research; and the development and implementation of state and federal government animal welfare policies. He has written a lot about animal welfare and management in scientific journals, books and on blogs; along with editing a new journal in the field, Animals and a series of books on animal welfare.

"My work and personal life is based on living a more sustainable lifestyle and I am concerned at our over-consumption and the immense impact this is having on the planet. I am proud to be part of of MFW 2015 and to help spread the message of Meat Free Week and provide the link of meat consumption to environmental issues. I am often asked, "But what can I do?" - we as individuals can do so much to change and when you go on a change journey with your family, neighbours and community, imagine the impact we can all have on saving the planet.

Not only is eating meat on a daily basis a huge burden on our health, think about the amount of animals needed and our land and water resources to meet this demand. Nothing wrong with eating meat, I do, but how about challenging ourselves to reducing our intake, buying free-range and being more aware of our actions to curb climate change. I am in...are you?"

Jennifer Croes

Jennifer Croes is a ‘rare and endangered species’- a qualified Conservation Scientist and Business professional with 17 years work experience. As a Change Manager at top-tier, global consulting firm, Accenture Jennifer worked with clients to change the way they operated; successfully merging Top 100 companies and assisting with culture change. Being passionate about wildlife and conservation, she had an epiphany in 2005 whilst working to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife in South America’s Amazon Basin. Since then, Jennifer has worked as a Conservation Consultant at various NGOs including WWF, had campaigning and advocacy experience while running Earth Hour; as well as field experience, working with orang-utans, pandas and birds. Working on curbing illegal wildlife trade, Jennifer undertook ground-breaking research for her thesis ‘Closing Shop’ – an analysis of the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia through traders’ eyes, integrating social science and socio-economics with conservation science. Following her research, she has been invited to speak at science, animal welfare and conservation conferences, and recently presented at TEDx.

"The world's one billion richest people account for the consumption of about half of the world's total meat and fish, while the world's one billion poorest consume just five per cent. And it is many of the one billion poorest people that so often face the ravages of famine and hunger.

The evening TV media news around the world arouses our conscious and we do stand up and help, but that help is only to keep the hungry alive for a few days or weeks. Without tackling the fundamental changes needed - increase food cereal supplies through all means including reducing if not stopping feeding cereals to livestock and feeding cereal biofuels to cars.

Let Meat Free week be that first step to enable a giant leap to end world hunger and suffering. Yes, Eat Less Meat, Reduce Farmed Animal Production, Feel Good and Be Healthy!"

Dr Mahendra Shah

Dr Mahendra Shah has over 35 years of professional experience in academia at the University of Nairobi and University of Cambridge; in Multilateral Policy Institutions such as the United Nations organisations and agencies; as well as the Wold Bank and international scientific and policy research institutes, IIASA and CGIAR. Dr Shah's professional work is centred on food security- hunger and obesity; rural poverty, sustainable agricultural development, climate change, responsible international agricultural investments, international negotiations and trade policy. In 2009-2011 he was Qatar National Food Security Programme’s Director of Programme and Senior Policy Advisor, and was the coordinator of the Global Dryland Alliance, an initiative of the State of Qatar and the United Nations Secretary-General. Dr Shah has been the advisor to World Bank and FAO, alongside numerous Private Investment Funds focused on Food Security and Agriculture Investments.

“As a scientist involved in research on the relationship between diet and environmental impacts, I can say that moderating the consumption of meat in the developed economies must be a priority for both environmental and health reasons.

A very large proportion of meat consumption in Europe, North America and Australia is in excess of public health guidelines. A re-orientation of our food systems to jointly address health and environmental goals would bring benefits for everyone and would also open up new opportunities for farmers.

Recent public debate has made it clear to me that the policy community is struggling with the idea of sustainable healthy eating and tackling over-consumption of meat in particular. The major goal is moderating excessive consumption, and Meat Free Week can play a useful role in promoting that change”.

Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern

Dr Murphy-Bokern has a broad agricultural science background, which covers the farming sector, policy boundaries, economics and social science. He studied agricultural science at University College Dublin and holds a PhD in agronomy from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. After leaving Ireland in 1985, he conducted agronomic research for farmers in northern England, worked on farming systems research for the German government and led a range of research programmes whilst working for the UK Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs in London. Dr Murphy-Bokern is now an independent agricultural scientist based near Bremen, Germany, where the common theme of his work is supporting excellence in the interactions between the science base, public policy and users of research in the private sector. This focuses on strengthening the dialogue around the use of science in policy development and innovation in agricultural systems, particularly regarding food systems and consumption; farming systems development, bioenergy systems and nutrient cycles.