Australia’s National Food Plan may include vegan issues  »

That’s the way to do it, Vegan Australia.

The magical island of Australia (or as we think of it, Evil New Zealand), is right now creating a national food plan. The government wants “to foster a sustainable, globally competitive, resilient food supply that supports access to nutritious and affordable food.” Which is admirable!

The leader of NFP project, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, has been meeting with interested parties nationwide, and taking public comment since releasing his ministry’s first issues papers on the subject in June 2011. This week Vegan Australia submitted its own set of recommendations to the NFP, because vegans care a lot about the direction of food production. As quoted in the International News Magazine, Vegan Australia recommends the NFP should

Ensure all Australians have access to affordable and adequate fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant foods irrespective of income by 2015.

Improve the health of Australians and lower the burden on the health system by reducing the incidence of dietary related diseases.

Use Australia’s land resources more effectively and sustainably.

End the use of animal agriculture systems within the next 20 years by building up and supporting Australia’s fruit, vegetable and grain producers.

"End the use of animal agriculture systems within the next 20 years"! As in, TURN AUSTRALIA VEGAN. I love it. I love that the first tenet is "food justice" and the last is "National veganism." Those are big goals! Read them all in the official submission [pdf].

Would our Australian readers (or any antipodean readers, if you follow Australian news) please tell us your opinions on this? Is it a tiny issue? Is the country abuzz with cries of “Let us eat steak!”? Are Australian vegans like the ideal-world version of the silent majority? OK that can’t be true—no vegan is silent. But I don’t know anything about anything, so let your favorite pink dinosaur know: What is up with the National Food Plan? Will Australia be vegan within our lifetime?

[Photo of (and recipe for) vegan lamingtons by penguincakes via Flickr]

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