Greens NSW MP and Health spokesperson John Kaye has today introduced a motion to the Upper House to mark the inaugural Australian Meat Free week which begins on Monday.

Dr John Kaye said: “The Greens warmly welcome the beginning of Meat Free Week in Australia and urge all community members to get involved in this important health, environmental and animal protection initiative.

“Meat Free Week shines a much needed spotlight on the role of meat in our diets and the impact it is having on individual health.

“At a time when Australians are confronted by rising obesity and incidences of preventable diseases, we need to take a good hard look at the amount and types of meat that we are consuming.

“By reducing or eliminating meat from your diet you can cut your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and avoid future weight gain.

“All members of the Legislative Council are invited to consider the overwhelming evidence linking higher meat consumption with increased rates of disease and mortality and support the Greens motion endorsing Meat Free Week when it comes before parliament next Wednesday,” Dr Kaye said.

Notice of Motion – Meat Free Week

Dr John Kaye to move

1. That this house notes that:

a. the 18th to the 24th of March 2013 is the inaugural Meat Free Week;

b. Meat Free Week is part of a campaign to encourage Australians to reduce meat consumption  and to raise awareness about the health, environmental and animal welfare costs of meat, in particular the consequences of factory farming; Australians consume approximately 120kg of meat per person which according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is three times the world average;

c. studies undertaken by the Harvard School of Public Health, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and researchers from the University of Zurich have also demonstrated a strong link between consumption of red and processed meat and premature death;

d. elevated mortality rates among people who eat increased quantities of meat is a result of higher rates  of heart disease and cancer;

e. people on low meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices and that reducing meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain;

f. over half of all antibiotics produced globally are given to factory farmed animals to promote growth and prevent diseases spreading in cramped and unnatural conditions;

g. overuse of antibiotics in farm animals has been linked to antibiotic resistance in animal and human population

2. That this house congratulate:

a. members of the community participating in or sponsoring someone who is participating in this year’s Meat Free Week

b. the organisers of Meat Free Week for introducing this important initiative and highlighting the significant health, environmental and animal welfare benefits of reducing meat consumption