‘Get a steak into you’: Deputy PM slams Beef Aus critic
“Get a steak into you, put some tomato sauce on it, maybe mushroom sauce...yum!”
That was Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s response to activists calling for Rockhampton’s iconic Beef Australia event to be canned.
Launched in Australia’s Bicentennial year, 1988, Beef Australia, Rockhampton’s flagship triennial event, has injected countless millions of dollars into the region’s economy and advanced the nation’s beef industry throughout its 33 year history.
But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has labelled Beef 2021 “a gruesome event”.
Spokeswoman Emily Rice said the organisations motto was “animals are not ours to eat”.
“It’s unbelievable that in 2021, Rockhampton is still treating animals like commodities, not the feeling individuals they are – who, like us, don’t want to be confined or injured,” she said.
“We can only hope that one day, attendees of this gruesome event will make the connection and realise that just like the animals with whom some of us share our homes, cows don’t deserve to be used, killed, and eaten.
“Given all we now know about animal sentience, the adverse effects of meat consumption on human health, and the link between animal agriculture and climate change, it’s clear that it’s well past time for Rockhampton to move on from Beef Week.”
Having grown up on a cattle property, Mr McCormack said Beef Australia was vital for the industry nationwide.
“PETA wants to shut down everything that rural and regional Australia have fought so hard to develop, over so long,” he said.
“Of course animal welfare is important and that’s why our farmers are the best in the world.
“They are the best environmentalists in the world, they are the best at what they do in the world in the way they care for our animals.
“PETA, that’s just an organisation that wants to shut down Australia as we know it.”
Mr McCormack said the government had worked with the industry to ensure effective animal welfare standards.
“That’s why when it comes to live exports we’ve got that export security and quality assurance scheme in place to make sure our animal welfare is what it needs to be,” he said.
“Here in Queensland where you’ve got the Beef Capital of Australia, our farmers, of course they are going to put the welfare of their cattle first and foremost.
“If they don’t, they won’t have a business. If they don’t, they won’t have an industry.
“So PETA needs to know, our cattle farmers are the best in the world at what they do and there’s plenty of people out there who want to have a steak.”