The Federal Election can be a very confusing time—especially if you’re not really sure what to do, who to vote for, or what the major parties are even saying. It can be pretty overwhelming—particularly researching what it is you want to find. Here’s a guide on what the major parties are saying to help you decide:
- Stronger animal welfare standards and legislation with tougher penalties.
- Ending unnecessary use of animals for testing and education.
- Clear definitions of “free range eggs”.
- Abolish animals in circuses.
- Ban the slaughter of whales, greyhound racing, recreational shooting, selective breeding, race jumping and shark culling.
- Stop the importation and exportation of zoo animals unless it will assist the continuation of the species.
- Establishment of a national animal welfare body.
- More power given to RSPCA and animal cruelty investigations.
- Plans for habitat management, species loss, and protecting native plants and animals.
- Ratify international environmental law.
- End broad-scale clearing.
- Increase educational resources.
- Cleaner oceans and protect costal zones.
- Ban dumping and creation of new coal mines.
- Detailed emission targets each year until 2050.
- Net zero or net negative emissions within a generation.
- 100% stationary electricity to be sustainable as soon as possible.
- Renewable energy implementation and research.
- Aim for a nuclear-free world.
- Cease uranium mining and exportation.
- Eliminate nuclear weapons.
- Banks to make greater contribution to public purse through taxes and levies.
- Minimise ATM fees.
- Programs introduced to improve Australian financial literacy.
- Tax and superannuation reforms to benefit low-income earners.
- Reduce excessive executive salaries.
- Housing affordability and availability.
- Stronger protection of worker’s rights.
- Protection for casual and fixed-term probationary workers.
- Childcare incentives.
- Paid parental leave scheme.
- Minimum of 5 weeks leave for all employees.
- Shorter standard working hours.
- Expenditure increase of 3% to support science and technology research.
- End criminalisation of consensual sex work.
- Protection of journalism sources and regional independent media.
- Ratify international human rights legislation.
- Global disbarment strategies and promotion of non-violence.
- Close foreign defence bases within Australia.
- Stronger support for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
- Reform restrictive “counter-terrorism” legislation.
- End global death penalty.
- More funding for schools based on equity.
- More infrastructure and specialised teachers.
- Free university education
- 16 and 17-year-olds can vote.
Health and mental health:
- Universal publically-funded Medicare
- Universal access to public dental care
- Funding for mental health services.
- Anti-vilification disability laws.
- Ban of junk food advertisements on children’s television.
- Decriminalise abortion.
- Legalise the right to die.
- Allow same-sex marriage.
- Equal access to adoption, fostering and assisted reproduction regardless of sex, sexual orientation or marital status.
- Transgender rights.
- Remove religious exemption for anti-discrimination laws.
- Create commissioner for sexuality, gender and intersex rights with the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- More funding to domestic violence and women’s shelters.
- End the gender wage gap.
Workplace and tourism:
- $20 million in funding to protect vulnerable workers.
- Tax cuts for small businesses.
- Tax incentives for innovative start-ups.
- $23 million investment for small businesses.
- Trans-pacific trade agreement and free trade with Indonesia, the European Union and Pacific Islands.
- $20 million investment for infrastructure for tourist regions.
- Planting 20 million new trees by 2020.
- $70 million investment for green spaces.
- $30 million to support local parks.
- Emissions reduction fund.
- $15,000 to community groups for renewable resources.
- $5 million to a threatened species recovery fund.
- $3 billion to invest in the Great Barrier Reef and clean water over 10years.
- $100 million aim per year for Smart Cities program.
- Additional $60 million in funding for sport programs.
- STEM funding of $73.6 billion over 4 years.
- $4.6 million for alternate education pathways.
Technology and science:
- A further $60 million to upgrade or create 499 new telephone bases to tackle an additional 3,000 mobile phone service black spots.
- $50 million to the MyGov website.
- $7 billion in funding for clinical trials.
- $650 million in 4 years for medical funding, including $20 million for childhood cancers.
- $1.1 billion for the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
- $2.5 billion boost to law enforcement and security.
- $1 billion to strengthen borders.
- $40 million Safer Communities Fund,
- $37.3 billion investment for education.
- Girls Into Code initiative with $4.5 million in grants.
- Safer Schools program of $6 million over 3 years.
- Increase in child care benefits for low-income earners.
- $50 million to support family day care systems.
- $31 million funding for tertiary education.
- Additional funding for undergraduates.
- Restore medicare benefits.
- Legalise medical cannabis.
- Give citizens the right to die.
- $72 million funding for mental health.
- $7 million for breast cancer, $10.6 million for prostate cancer.
- $25 million for dementia research.
Climate Change and Environment:
- $500 million to the Great Barrier Reef.
- 50% renewable energy by 2030.
- Net zero pollution by 2050.
- $17.4 million in funding for Climate Change Authority.
- Ban cosmetic testing.
- More investigations and sanctions to breaches.
- Establishment of animal welfare body.
- NBN to premises.
- $400 million Western Sydney rail package.
- $1.2 million National Cycling Strategy.
- High-speed rail between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.
- Protect weekend penalty rates.
- $4.5 million for Fair Work Commission.
- No baby bonus.
- Paid parental scheme leave.
- Tax reductions for small businesses.
- Crack down on multinationals.
- More jobs and courses available.
- Creative Australia Policy.
- Building 12 submarines in South Australia.
Gender and sexuality:
- Marriage equality.
- $70 billion to family violence services.
- $8.4 million investment for indigenous girls.
- Paid parental violence leave of 5 days.
- More coverage for women’s sport with $21 million in funding to the ABC.
Despite all of these lovely promises, there’s no promises they will be put into place. I would encourage each and every one of you to think for yourselves–and to do your research: because your vote matters.
I’m vegan, and like many other vegans, I am asked incredibly stupid questions all the time. Last week, while at a friend’s wedding, a person came up to me and asked, “what do you even eat?” while I was holding a massive plate of food. So, to clear it up for you, here’s a list of questions, along with answers.
You’re vegan? Why?
I love animals. I don’t want them to die. I don’t want them to suffer. I don’t think they should be mistreated or killed for a human to have a snack. I also care about the environment.
The meat and dairy industry is not sustainable. According to the United Nations, one billion people do not have enough food. This is expected to rise to three billion within the next 50 years—and animal consumption is a leading cause of this. How? It takes around 9034L of water to produce 0.5kg of meat, compared to 923L for the same amount of tofu. To produce 3.8L of milk, 2585L of water is needed. Furthermore, it takes 4kg of grain to produce 0.5kg of meat. This is because these animals are raised purely to be slaughtered—if the demand did not exist, neither would the strain on resources. These resources could then be used elsewhere and actually solve world hunger.
By converting to a vegan diet, you can save around 829,000L of water per year. Simply decreasing the amount of meat and dairy you consume is incredibly beneficial to the environment and your body. Please, be mindful.
What, do you think you’re better than me or something?
No. Vegans don’t think we’re better than any human or animal. Hence why we don’t eat either.
But if the animal is already dead, you may as well eat it, right?
Where do you get your protein?
You do realise there’s protein in more than just meat, dairy and eggs, right? Like, in vegetables? Same thing with iron. Shitloads of veggies is more than enough to be incredibly healthy. There’s also tofu (but not all vegans like tofu!) and other meat and dairy alternatives.
I bet you’re iron deficient.
My iron levels are fine, thank you very much.
Pigs are cute! Why would you want to murder them? They are living things. They think. They feel pain. They have emotions. They have the will to love. Why should they lose their life so you can have a snack?
Apparently, humans taste like bacon too. Are you going to eat them?
What do you even eat then?
Air. I eat air. And sunlight. Because it’s not like 75% of the average omnivore eats fruits, veggies and grains in their diets anyway.
FYI, the answer is shitloads of vegetables, fruits, pastas, breads, wraps, lasagnes, soups, curries, desserts, chocolates, ice creams cookies . . . Sound familiar? We miss out on nothing. There’s delicious, cruelty-free and healthy alternatives to everything. OREOS ARE ALSO VEGAN!
You’re just one person, you can’t change the world.
Are you serious? How do you think any kind of change happens? We recognise that something is wrong. We change it. We explain it to other people, and they agree. As more and more people come to realise the environmental and health impacts, if they’re reasonable people, they will change—or at least be mindful and decrease the amount of meat and dairy they consume.
We’re supposed to eat meat.
No. We’re not. And it’s destroying the environment. And a whole heap of other health problems.
But plants are living things too, why do you eat them?
Do you tie your own shoe laces in the morning?
Vegans are always trying to shove their beliefs down my throat!
Yeah, because your beliefs are destroying the environment.
My food poops on your food.
You’d eat it too, then, moron. And no, no they don’t.
Do you guys ever shut up about veganism?
How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
Damn straight, i’ll friggin’ tell you. I’ll tell you until the cows come home. Oh, wait. You ate them. Also, that’s a stupid joke.
Vegans are weak!
Arnold Schwarzenegger is (sometimes) vegan. He also advocates for meatless diets. This guy is also vegan:
Did you have to Google how to spell that last name?
Check out other celebrities who have ditched meat and dairy: