Many commentators believe 2019 is the year veganism will finally go mainstream.
Driven mainly by a mounting millennial awareness of animal and environmental welfare, more than 2 million Australian adults now live completely meat free.
With the health benefits of plant-based diets endorsed by Hollywood stars and commissions of scientists alike, the rise of synthetic “meat” and supermarkets selling vast ranges of vegan-friendly products, a lifestyle that was once casually dismissed as “extreme” is now chic, more accessible and widely practised than ever.
Advocates say shifting from the farming of animals for meat to the factory production of synthetic alternatives could significantly reduce the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, and largely end the cruelties of industrial farming.
Is a vegan diet sustainable? Is an exclusively plant-based diet really better for the planet? And does synthetic meat stand a chance?
Join a leading diet researcher, an agri-food and environmental expert and a political scientist committed to animal welfare as they consider what the rise of veganism might mean for us all.
*ticket prices include drinks and catering
I've spent most of my academic career working on the way new media and politics interact. This has included both the regulation of new and emerging media and the way the logics of media shape the political behaviour of citizens and political institutions. In recent years, my work has focused on the politics and policy making processes around animal welfare in Australia, a topic that asks how the political system delivers justice for non-humans.
Is food political? Go ask a farmer! Food is where the social, the technical, the cultural, the economic - and the environment - meet. My research focuses on how ordinary people can have more say in our foodways. I want my work to give voice to those making our local foodscapes fairer and tastier and healthier. That means respecting many choices based on culture, capacity, nutritional needs, and preference in diets. Can we do so within planetary boundaries that respect the non-human too?
Alana is a graduate of the University of Sydney (MMediaPrac(2005) PhD(2012) CertEdStud(2013)).
As an obesity expert, I’ve worked with patients from all walks of life. The one thing they all have in common is how many diets they have been on; 4-5 diets every year and more than 60 diets by age 45. Determined to put an end to this madness, I translated a piece of science into two best-selling books called Interval Weight Loss and Interval Weight Loss For Life – to disrupt the weight loss industry and to stop people turning to celebrities and the internet for weight-loss advice. It works because it overcomes what every diet fails to do – our evolutionary propensity to regain weight. Anyone can follow the Interval Weight Loss plan and it can be applied to different eating patterns such as veganism. However, there are many nutritional factors that need to be taken into consideration when following a vegan diet of which many are unaware of. Social media influencers are trumpeting dairy-free and vegan health fads and it’s having serious consequences.
Nick is a graduate of the University of Sydney (MNutrDiet(2006) PhD(Research)(2014) Ph.D(Medicine)(2014)).
Banner image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash