2019 Summer - What is the future for animal agriculture? John Ralph Essay Competition 2019

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Farm Policy Journal: Vol 16 No 4 2019 Summer - Full Journal - What is the future for animal agriculture?

Australian Farm Institute (2019), What is the future for animal agriculture? John Ralph Essay Competition 2019, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, Summer 2019, Surry Hills, Australia.

ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web)

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FPJ1604B - Ramsden, J (2019), Same same, but different: creating positive futures for Australian animal agriculture

Ramsden, J (2019), Same same, but different: creating positive futures for Australian animal agriculture, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, Summer 2019, pp. 4-11, Surry Hills, Australia.

Australia’s animal agriculture industries are a major contributor to Australia’s GDP, a significant earner of export revenue and a major employer both on-farm and indirectly. They have nourished our nation by providing food and fibre to generations of Australians and occupy an important place in our nation’s history. With seemingly endless headlines like “why Australians are turning away from meat” and “the best way to save the planet: drop meat and dairy”, it is easy to feel despondent about the future of animal agriculture in Australia. Whether or not you agree with those headlines, it is impossible and unwise to ignore them. Instead of feeling angry or overwhelmed or defensive, it can be helpful to understand the bigger picture context in which they occur (both philosophically and over time), and to keep that in perspective. Though while perspective can be comforting, its value lies not in justifying a status quo, but in revealing potential futures – and the choices and opportunities we have to create them. 

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FPJ1604C - Mansfield, W (2019), What is the future for animal agriculture?

Mansfield, W (2019),What is the future for animal agriculture?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, Summer 2019, pp. 12-19, Surry Hills, Australia.

The future of animal agriculture is at a critical juncture as are many other foundations that we have built our society upon. The source of everything we consume is under scrutiny amid the irrefutable science of climate change. The complexity of the challenge facing humanity in overhauling our way of our life goes beyond fossil fuels and animal agriculture. There are no easy answers amidst the mire of this existential crisis but make no mistake, big change is coming and time for how that change can be managed is running out.

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FPJ1604D - Van Eenennaam, A (2019), Sheep brains for breakfast

Van Eenennaam, A (2019), Sheep brains for breakfast, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, Summer 2019, pp. 20-30, Surry Hills, Australia.

Simply put, Australians now consume around one-fifth of the amount of sheep meat they did in 1963. The sheep population has decreased by more than a half, and those remaining are more than twice as productive, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of a serving of lamb, while bringing in more than A$4.3 billion in export revenue in 2017–18. What an amazing all-around sustainability win for agricultural science and Australia! Yet, that is not how these developments play out in popular discourse. Red meat has become public enemy number one, despite the fact that lamb and beef consumption have decreased since the 1960s, while market share of less-expensive chicken has trebled, and pork has doubled.

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FPJ1604E - Mills, G (2019), The future of animal agriculture

Mills, G (2019), The future of animal agriculture, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, Summer 2019, pp. 32-37, Surry Hills, Australia.

The vegan and vegetarian diet has long been a part of modern society. Through religious observance or other personal or cultural beliefs, the possibility that the body can be sustained by a diet excluding animal products has been established for generations. Animal-free diets are not without their challenges and proper attention to the diet to ensure nutritional sufficiency is very important. Replacing animals on a plate with other sources of nutrition is definitely a possibility but replacing the role of animals in society would represent a far greater challenge.
Animals do not exist in our society simply because they taste good. Primarily animals have become an integral key to the success of human society as animals convert food we cannot eat, into food we can. Examination of historical or modern villages shows animals are an integral part of the community’s functionality.

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FPJ1604F - Champness, M (2019), What is the future for animal agriculture?

Champness, M (2019), What is the future for animal agriculture?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, Summer 2019, pp. 38-44, Surry Hills, Australia.

Animal agriculture in Australia has historically been a prosperous industry, with the national economy proudly ‘riding on the sheep’s back’ throughout the mid-20th century. Despite shifts in specific industries’ contribution, overall, animal agriculture is a significant employer and contributor to the Australian economy. Yet the future of animal agriculture in Australia is uncertain. Increasing climatic variability, enormous social pressures, competition with alternative protein sources, difficulty sourcing labour and capital, and small farming returns are just some of the challenges facing animal agriculture. However, except for dairy, there is no mass exit from the animal agriculture sector. This highlights the complexity of the topic, as well as indicating hope for the industry.

 


 


 

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