The effect the cattle industry has on the environment is well documented, and a group of restaurants in Sydney are doing their bit to make a difference by ditching meat from their menus and serving strictly vegan and vegetarian options.
According to a recent report, grazing takes up close to 60 per cent of Australian land, which means forests must be cleared, leading to the exploitation and destruction of native bushland as well as the displacement and death of the animals that call it home.
A group of restaurateurs are attempting to make their mark on the industry and have turned their restaurants into vegan and vegetarian establishments.
"The idea came from a dinner we did last year during Good Food Month, where I stood in front of a room full of vegans asking where are the restaurants for them?" Yellow co-owner Brent Savage said.
"My wife is a vegetarian, so I know what's it's like. I remember being in Spain, and they refused to serve her an eggplant, capsicum and anchovy dish without the anchovies."
Yellow announced their meat-free menu in February with the hopes of changing people's perception of vegetarian food as being nothing but salads.
"I've always loved cooking with vegetables, and having a solely vegetable-driven menu gives me the opportunity to focus on interesting and heirloom varietals, grown by local suppliers."
Soul Burger in Randwick switched their menu to only plant-based options in December.
"The mission statement of Soul Burger is to popularise plant-based food," says owner Amit Tewari.
"I want everybody to realise how insane and downright filling plant-based burgers can be. It's the single most effective thing we can do for animals."
They look like big, greasy, delicious burgers that are worth saving the environment for:
Gigi Pizzeria owner Marco Matino, who recently became vegan himself, decided it was time to follow his personal beliefs and merge it with his business pursuits.
"When I learnt about the reality of what happens to animals and what it's doing to our planet and our health, I just couldn't justify using meat and cheese anymore. It's not necessary," he said.
Pizzas like this look worth giving up cheese for:
With animal agriculture and food consumption having such a big impact on the environment, including contributing to 50 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, restaurants like these are doing a great job to get everyone eating less meat and embracing a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
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