Vegan MP wants Parliament's restaurants to go meat-free on Mondays

14 August 2019

An animal-loving crossbench MP will campaign for the Victorian Parliament to go vegan every Monday, arguing there is a hunger in the community for measures that will avert a climate emergency.

Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick is testing the appetite of fellow politicians to see if they would support a new menu.

He wants the Parliament to set an example in its dining rooms and cafes by adopting his meat-free plan.

Mr Meddick, who is vegan, cited a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as evidence that food production needs to change for the good of the planet.

"This is a common-sense and reasonable measure," he said.

"As leaders of the state, members of Parliament should be setting an example and acting on climate science before it is too late."

He said less reliance on meat was one of the most effective ways to combat the environmental damage humans are inflicting on the planet.

"The chefs and dining room staff within Parliament House make some fantastic vegan options that I am sure all of my colleagues would enjoy."

However, the proposal received a lukewarm response from Attorney-General Jill Hennessy on Wednesday morning.

"Parliament usually doesn't sit on a Monday, so I'm pretty relaxed about what's on offer on a Monday," she said.

"I usually bring my lunch [from] home, so I'm not that troubled. But I imagine there'll be a bit of colour and movement around tofu versus roast lamb."

Staff, visitors and some MPs use the Parliament's dining room and cafe on Mondays.

The proposal is set to be debated in the upper house and could eventually go to a vote. However, it could proceed without the support of a majority of MPs.

Mr Meddick's team will lobby the Victorian Parliament's house committee to make the change, but they believe the proposal would carry greater gravitas if it were passed in the upper house.

His motion says raising animals for human consumption "is a leading cause of the climate emergency" and meat-free Mondays would be a step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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