Would it surprise you to learn, ladies and gentlemen, that Australia has the highest rate of deforestation in the developed world and that, although direct comparisons cannot be made. rates of land-clearing are on a par with Brazil?  Land-clearing is accelerating the growth in Australia’s carbon emissions.

“Australia has made national and international commitments to conserve biodiversity and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but current land clearing policies are not consistent with these commitments.”

While urban sprawl accounts for a hefty amount of land-clearing, it is dwarfed by the amount of land cleared for agriculture, especially beef production.  However, the (public and private) cost of land-clearing does not appear to be matched by a commensurate increase in beef production productivity.

Anyway, I’m sorry for sounding bitter and twisted.  I would like to say that is because I’ve just hung up from my father.  Any “chat” with my father inevitably ends in a lively discussion about tax and development costs.  Yes, in many ways we are very alike.  However, as much as I would like to, I cannot blame my attitude on him.

To calm down, I am sharing a couple of photos I took at our beautiful Australian National Botanic Gardens (Canberra, Australia).

pinknew holland honey eater

And here is a photo of a female scarlet robin taken by my True Love at one of Canberra’s bushland nature reserves.  Isn’t she sweet?  Scarlet robins are very shy and prefer woodland to suburbia.  Let’s protect our forests.  Our planet and the continuation of many bird and other woodland species depend on it.

female scarlet robin

As the wattle is flowering so beautifully at the moment, I’m taking the advice of John Williamson’s song, Cootamundra Wattle.  (Note:  the Cootamundra wattle has become a bit of a weed in parts of Australia, but let’s not worry about that.)

Don’t buy the daily papers any more woman,
Read all about what’s going on in hell.
They don’t care to tell the world of kindness,
Good news never made a paper sell.
There’s all the colours of the rainbow in the garden woman,
And symphonies of music in the sky.
Heaven’s all around us if you’re looking,
But how can you see it if you cry.


Kind Regards

For the Ragtag Daily PromptBush.

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33 thoughts on “What’s Your Beef?

  1. Such a beaut shot of the scarlet robin, she’s so sweet! Amazing song lyrics, I looked at the Pink Galahs one as well. Really feels like Australia when I read the words. Powerful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracy, on the Wilderness Society website you can sign a petition to support their campaign for nature-protection laws that actually work. I think they’re making a submission to the federal government in October. Our rate of land-clearing and extinction is distressing. While I have been trying to saver the orangutan, it seems we may lose the koala…

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  3. I needed the birds and flowers to lift my spirits which are often downcast by the news of wanton destruction of wildlife habitats in this country. Although I know that every method of feeding the population has its downside, I’m hoping that the current trend towards veganism and vegetarianism will help people think about cutting back on the amount of meat they eat.

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    1. Sorry to depress you further, Jane, but global demand for protein is growing. Australia exports about 60% of beef produced here. The beef industry is highly corporatised in the top half of Australia. This is where much of the deforestation is occurring. Much of that land is marginal and can’t be used for cropping. They’ve also got big feedlots up north, where many of cattle spend quite a bit of time before they are either slaughtered and exported or live exported. If you want to learn more about the industry this 2011 PWc is interesting. https://www.pwc.com.au/industry/agribusiness/assets/australian-beef-industry-nov11.pdf. And you may have guessed that Brazil is the largest exporter of beef. I’m not a vego but I can’t afford to eat beef. There is a huge and growing middle class that can afford it. Just try getting out a reduce your meat consumption message to our third largest export market. It ain’t gonna happen. https://www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/prices–markets/documents/os-markets/red-meat-market-snapshots/2019/mla-ms-greater-china-beef-sheep-2019.pdf . That is what we are up against.


  4. Enjoyed your John Williamson song, thank you for the introduction to his music. On the West Coast of Canada, for decades the forests have seen an ongoing battle of various competing interests: Indigenous Rights, Forestry Jobs, pristine forest preservation, recreational access, reforestation needs, carbon transfer banks and the rights of the Canadian people who own the forests on public lands to have their forests properly regulated. In many communities the removal of a tree requires an assessment and a permit. The raising of cattle is taken by many as a “God given right” like one’s personal choices of all kinds. Many of Canada’s cattle raising areas are deeply Conservative and while they would fight to their last breath to preserve their personal rights, but they would take away the rights of others to control one’s body, marry whom one pleases. An interesting sidebar is that Alberta, our most Conservative province buys the most legal psychoactive hemp products per capita. Back to the cattle discussion; there appears to be a move on the West Coast or as Alberta calls us, “The Left Coast” toward more meatless options. We have a ‘fast food’ ad running here featuring a teen chomping on a meatless burger exclaiming, “I can’t believe it’s not meat!” So the move to meatless choices for some is ‘a thing.’ The move towards meatless might be partly due to rising environmental awareness but it is also an economic one. Canadian thinking on many of these profound issues might be evolving but I’m not overly hopeful! 😞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. The problem is that meatless options are mostly seen as trendy and hip. So probably a lot of the population don’t think of themselves in those terms. Also people don’t want to make changes if they can’t see the sense in it, or they can’t afford it, or they will be worse off in some way. I know I wouldn’t be happy with that. I’m not overly hopeful either.


  5. I have to agree that trying to talk to our politicians, state or federal about the environment is like talking to a brick wall. I don’t know what’s to be done. Especially here in Tassie where hatred for green policies feels very strong. I do support the Wilderness Society, ACF, Get Up, Change.Org etc in spirit and occasionally with money when I can afford it. I live on the pittance called Newstart so that’s not often. I feel that we need these squeaky wheels because if we say nothing there is no hope at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry I was so negative, Vanda. Those advocacy groups do such great work and of course we should support them where we can. Diana mentioned in another conversation she had with me about the work that some groups were doing to raise consumer concerns directly with big food businesses like McDonalds in hope that they will use their purchasing power to force suppliers to clean up their act. And of course without the good work of the likes of the Wilderness Society, these issues might never see the light of day.

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  6. I’m shocked to hear that Australia is also into deforestation because of rising demand on protein. 😯 I’m not a vegetarian but don’t eat meat that often, maybe twice a month. And to safe the planet I wouldn’t mind refraining from it totally. The sad thing is that this isn’t true for most Europeans, no matter recent veggie trends.
    What happens in Brazil at the moment had me in tears last weekend – this is just too much for me and I feel so utterly helpless and angry.

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      1. Don’t be, Tracy, we all have our lows and it helps to write about it, I feel. But I do look forward even more to your August post now. 😉


  7. I think that many of us are feeling frustrated with the state of the world and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid being negative about the future. This is not the 21st century I imagined when I was younger. At least it is a comfort knowing that there are still like-minded people who support change. Unfortunately, not enough of them are in politics.

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  8. How lucky for me that you and True Love went to Canberra, because I get to see the fruits of your excursion. Love your photos, especially that beautiful little robin,
    The Williamson poem reminds me how fleeting all the beauty is – especially if we don’t take care of this Earth.
    I’ve been so upset about the Brazilian rain forest fires, didn’t know about all the Australian deforestation.
    (And very sorry about misspelling your name, Tracey.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We live in Canberra, Sharon. 🙂 It is Australia’s national capital but the population is only about half a million people. This is changing though as the biggest capital city, Sydney, is spreading inexorably towards us. And it is Tracy, not Tracey. 🙂 But I answer to anything really. Except mum. For some reason or other, I’m oblivious to that. 🙂

      Cutting down the Brazilian rainforest is hugely upsetting. As it is in Indonesia, Australia, etc, etc. I guess if China can’t buy their beef and soy from the US, they will buy it from places like Brazil instead. I despair.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the photos and the message. No wonder the whole country is burning, given that there has been so much land clearing. That’s what happens when you “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot” in the wise words of Jodi Mitchell…

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