Vegan blogger blames Aussie fires on 'flesh fetish' meat eaters...

Freelee the Banana Girl has sparked controversy with her direct and insensitive words, but many claim that this is the message we need to be hearing.

39w ago

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Controversial vegan diet and lifestyle blogger, ‘Freelee’ has sparked controversy with a new video that suggests a correlation between the Australian Bush fires and the meat-heavy diets of average Australians.

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The main argument of the video addresses the ‘Sausage Sizzle’ fundraiser in Australia, which Freelee considers to be a flawed concept. Like many vegans, Freelee’s question simply is: why must Australians raise money for the fire by selling meat, given that meat has the greatest effect on global warming and so will ultimately make the fires worse?

"let's save some animals!" Even leaving the environmental matter aside the absurdity is clear.

"let's save some animals!" Even leaving the environmental matter aside the absurdity is clear.

The video is unmistakably emotionally loaded; at one point, Freelee states that the amount of animals burnt to death in the fire is equivalent to ‘the entire world’s population of dogs gone forever… including yours’. As she says this, there is a still shot of a frightened cow stuck behind barbed wire with the fire approaching on screen.

But, it is hard to argue that she hasn’t got a point; scientists are largely in agreement that cutting out meat is the ‘single biggest way’ individuals can reduce their carbon footprint. Handy, when scientists have observed global warming pushing 1.5 degrees celsius for the past few years. Freelee claims that “Each day, a vegan saves 4,100 litres of water, 20 kilos of grain, a 30 square foot of forest and 20lbs of C02 equivalent and one animal's life.” Some might argue that’s worth switching for.

But Freelee’s video is unmistakably blunt. She specifies that she’s ‘not going to sugar coat this for you’, but even so, her claims seem irresponsibly brash: "If you are Australian, and you eat animals and their secretions, then you are a big part of the problem," she says at one point. Those are hard words to hear for many who have fallen victim to the fire, and harder still for those who are trying their best to help.

As a result, many have found these words insulting and insensitive, and quite rightly. In the comment section under the Daily Mail Australia’s reportage, one commenter writes: “I formally refuse to acknowledge anything Leanne Ratcliffe has to say.” Another, quips that, “She's not the ripest one in the bunch.”

Some met the claims with confusion: one commenter from Australia writes, “I don't recall any animals spontaneously combusting and starting a bushfire.” Some might say comments like this demonstrate the tide of education and change still needed before vegan activists can convey their message.

Much to my amusement, when I went to watch the video I was shown a HelloFresh advert of their latest beef recipe. Perhaps this is another indicator of how far Freelee's message is from hitting home.

The advert I got shown before watching was for HelloFresh's new steak dish.

The advert I got shown before watching was for HelloFresh's new steak dish.

But for many, the video has struck a chord. One commenter wrote under the video itself: “This is genuinely the most inspirational video I’ve ever watched, my eyes literally filled with tears as I realised how much of an impact I’m really making by eating animal products.” Another writes, “'1 billion animals were burned to death so let's go burn more to fundraise', yeah that's productive”. I suppose what else can we expect given that the majority of commenters are subscribers to the vegan blogger?

Freelee’s usual content is a mix of diet and exercise tips and vegan activism and she is a proponent of the rare ‘raw-till-four’ diet. This is a diet in which the user doesn’t eat cooked or heated food until 4pm, to ensure they are eating enough unprocessed and nutritionally complete foodstuffs. This, along with her high sugar vegan diet (Freelee rose to fame as a result of eating over fifty bananas a day and winning the nickname, ‘Banana Girl’) has, according to her ‘saved [her] life’, and now she hope that it can save the planet too.

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Comments (5)

  • Bloody rubbish

      9 months ago
  • Uuuhhm. People who eat and use animals DO actually contribute to the fires in Australia (and Brazil last year as well)...

      9 months ago
  • Does this count as cospiracy theory?

      8 months ago
  • Dr. Joseph Banks, ships physician , on the Royal Navy ship , Endeavour, was also an avid botanist and identified many useful plants in Australia.

    Later RN chaps introduced fruit trees which required irrigation.

    In order to provide water and feed for livestock, irrigation is required.

    If you have the means, the preferred irrigation equipment is a very high efficiency centre pivot irrigator .

    This will enable perhaps 12 harvests of Lucerne across a given summer.

    Another way of looking at this question ,

    is to examine the attempts at growing lemons, limes , avocado, oak , persimmon, quince, apples, stone fruit, raspberries, mulberries, blackberries, hedgerows ,

    ( rare in Australia at this stage, but there is an economic case to made for them )

    , strawberries, and pawpaw, mangoes, and tamarind, just to name a few wet climate trees that require a well organised irrigation system, and unquestionably , with out a doubt, provide a refuge for wildlife during bushfires.

    So in theory ,and also by viewing the evidence, any food production which involves irrigation, appears to save some wild life from bushfires.

    The British Royal Navy and Royal Marines are famous for their edible food transport projects.

    The creeks along Brisbane have mulberries, mangoes, and tamarinds.

    And the Royal Australian navy has just recently been rescuing Australian residents from bushfires.

    I can't thank the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and the Royal Australian Navy enough.

    So here's to sensible , sturdy irrigation systems for the colonys food supply.

    There discussion of whether or not to consume meat needs to be separated from the discussion on how to improve the water supply, which at this point appears inadequate for fighting bushfires .

    Another way to look at this question is to consider that if strips of eucalypt forest could be replaced by irrigated orchards, it may , emphasis may, be possible to slow the spread of bush fires.

    This may buy some time for fire fighters, and also for those fleeing the fires by road.

    Perhaps in the future,

    multilane , dual carriageway highways ,

    with 50 metre wide grass verges in between the opposing directional lanes,

    and with service roads set back,

    and parallel to the highways ,

    with irrigated orchards set back say 100 metres from either side of the highways ,

    and with a variety of pie shops , apple, meat, potato, or blackberry, to suit all tastes,

    located at the petrol stations , on said service roads,

    would become the more popular development model as Aussies develop inland Australia ?

    Thanks again.

    All calm and reasoned comments are welcome.

      9 months ago
  • Yes, there's been plenty of stupid claims about these bushfires, I can assure you.

      9 months ago
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