Australians Are Ditching Meat As Cost Of Living Bites

Halloumi steaks, anyone?

Australians Are Ditching Meat As Cost Of Living Bites

Image: Concrete Playground

We’ve all been feeling the crunch of the cost-of-living crisis and, regrettably, adapting our habits accordingly. Maybe you’re cutting down on luxuries or looking to postpone the next trip abroad… one overlooked area of change, however, is the eating habits of meat-mad Aussies.

This wasn’t an easy article for us to write here at DMARGE, given that we’re pretty fond of meat ourselves: Australia’s best surf n’ turf, a Negroni-aged steak, and even a futuristic mammoth meatball have all been on our minds recently…

However, it seems that things are set to change. Australia may be known for its love of a good BBQ and all the meaty goodness therein, but it seems that even the most carnivorous Aussies are looking to reduce the amount of meat they’re consuming.

Newly released data commissioned by No Meat May – a non-profit organisation that encourages consumers to switch to plant-based eating for 31 days – shows that 61% of Australians are considering increasing their plant-based intake in light of the cost of living crisis.

WATCH: Still a committed carnivore? Check this out from the one and only Salt Bae…

The survey, which asked the opinions of over 2,000 Australians, found that 37% of respondents are already buying less meat to save money, and 35% would happily cook a plant-based meal if they had only $20 to feed their family.

Jim Chalmers’ upcoming 2023 federal budget may be set to provide $14.6 billion worth of cost-of-living relief, including energy relief for households and small businesses, cheaper medicines, and restoring single-parent payments until children turn 14, but many Australians are still looking for ways to save money on their grocery bills.

RELATED: How To Get Enough Protein Without Going Over Your Calories

Though only a third of Aussies are already cutting back on meat, the same survey reveals that a staggering 81% of shoppers would consider a shift to more plant-based eating if they could shave a third off their shopping bill.

Chalmers is set to announce his budget on Tuesday 9th May… But can it change the fortunes of the Aussie meat market? Image: Sky News

As well as the aforementioned budgeting benefits, the myriad health and environmental upsides of a nationwide shift towards plant-based eating could be a good enough reason for the government to promote this idea a little more openly.

Though there would likely be some ferocious pushback from the meatier corners of the agriculture lobby, it could be a long-term winner if the government can effectively communicate the micro-economic benefits of reducing meat production alongside the macro benefits of reduced environmental impact and health costs alongside increased global food security.

You may, however, make the argument that Aussies should be able to eat what they want, when they want, without having to take on the burden of economic and environmental crises created by industries and elites far away from home. Frankly, it’s hard to argue with that.

For now, grab a beer, grab a snag, and buckle up for a budget that will, as always, ruffle a few feathers…