From pad­dock to plate

Matthew Evans tells DANIELLE McGRANE about his se­ries For the Love of Meat.

Sunday Territorian - - TV -

Were you ner­vous that you’d find some el­e­ments of meat pro­duc­tion shock­ing?

I wanted to know if some­one who had cho­sen to eat meat – such as my­self and most peo­ple in Aus­tralia – whether they could eat meat with a clear con­science. I guess I was pre­pared to be shocked be­cause of some in­for­ma­tion that’s out there, but all that in­for­ma­tion can be con­sid­ered to be push­ing one agenda so I wasn’t sure if it was ac­cu­rate.

Will view­ers be sur­prised at how meat is be­ing pro­duced?

Yeah, I think they will. But I think what’s im­por­tant is, if we want peo­ple to rear an­i­mals on our be­half, it’s in­cum­bent on meat eaters – not ve­g­ans and veg­e­tar­i­ans – to care more about the an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment and the health im­pact of eat­ing meat, be­cause ul­ti­mately we’re the ones who are re­spon­si­ble.

Did you have any shock­ing mo­ments in the mak­ing of this show?

Yes. I guess when you’re stand­ing in a chicken-pro­cess­ing plant and they’re kill- ing 100,000 birds in a day, it drives home the scale of what they’re do­ing.

I didn’t walk out of there think­ing, ‘I’m gag­ging for a roast chook din­ner’ – although the owner of the fac­tory was shocked I wasn’t in­ter­ested in eat­ing chicken for din­ner.

Did it change how you con­sume meat gen­er­ally?

Yes, it made me re­ally con­scious. I was very wor­ried through the mak­ing of the show that I’d be­come the world’s big­gest bar­be­cue bore be­cause you’re look­ing at meat and think­ing, ‘Oh, I won­der which farm that came from?’, and, ‘I won­der in what sys­tem that was reared?’, and, ‘I won­der what the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences were?’, and, ‘I won­der if the an­i­mal got to ex­press its nat­u­ral in­stincts?’.

What changes have you made as a re­sult of tak­ing part in this se­ries?

Mak­ing this show has made me far more con­scious of mod­er­at­ing my meat in­take. I know it’s fine to have that big, juicy T-bone, but there’s no ne­ces­sity for me to eat meat three days ei­ther side of that.

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