Survey to better understand animal welfare issues

CSU Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) student Ms Erin Stranks is calling on people aged over 18 who are vegan to take part in an online survey. Photo: Graham Centre
CSU Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) student Ms Erin Stranks is calling on people aged over 18 who are vegan to take part in an online survey. Photo: Graham Centre
  • Charles Sturt University research aims to understand the shared values of vegans and livestock producers
  • Vegans and people involved in meat,poultry, pork, egg, fleece, and aquaculture production are invited to take part in an online survey
  • The survey will inform research on public opinion on the ethics and future of meat production in Australia

Charles Sturt University research is canvassing vegans and livestock producers to better understand their opinions about animal welfare and to identify any shared values.

Charles Sturt Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) student Ms Erin Stranks is calling on people aged over 18 who are vegan or associated with the Australian livestock industry for their livelihoods to take part in an online survey.

Ms Stranks said the research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation aims to learn more about opinions on the ethics and future of meat production in Australia.

"Recently we have seen increased scrutiny of animal welfare, radical protests by activists on farms and abattoirs, and veganism gaining social licence and influence globally," Ms Stanks said.

"A 2019 Food Frontier report on meat consumption has shown that one-in-10 Australians are reducing their meat intake.

"The report found that 57 per cent of vegans are millennials, aged between 23 and 38 and that the baby boomers, aged between 56 and 76 are leading the reduction in meat consumption, with 43 per cent of meat reducers fitting in this age bracket.

Ms Stranks said livestock production is an important part of Australia's agricultural systems and contributes to the nation's economy, with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) valuing production from Australia's livestock industries at more than $30 billion last year and 172,000 people are employed in the red meat sector alone.

Given this, Ms Stranks said it was important to "understand the differences and similarities in beliefs held by vegans and livestock producers, as they can provide insight into consumer preference to see if there's opportunity for a collaborative approach to animal production in Australia".

"We hope that people who are actively involved in the production of meat, poultry, pork, egg, fleece, and aquaculture in Australia, along with people who are vegan will take part in the survey," she said.

Survey responses are anonymous and the research has been approved by Charles Sturt's Human Research Ethics Committee.

Ms Stanks will also speak about her research at the online Graham Centre Livestock Forum on Friday 31 July.

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