at The Wheeler Centre

Green Cleaver

Discussions around eating meat tend to gravitate quickly towards polar positions. We often talk in terms of total abstinence – vegetarianism or veganism – or unexamined, carnivorous abandon.

But this conversation, hosted by Sam Cooney, will be free of both finger-wagging and caveman-style chest-beating. Our panellists – including food writer Richard Cornish, author of My Year Without Meat, ‘ethicurean’ pig and cattle farmer and food blogger Tammi Jonas, and Sam van Zweden, who is currently writing a creative non-fiction book about food, family and memory – will explore the rich middle ground of this issue, focusing on degrees of eating meat. They’ll discuss the cultural, environmental and health implications of our dietary choices. Should we eat less meat? Why and how could we do it? What would a more mindful approach to eating meat look like and how might it alter our social lives and our identities?

Join us for a nuanced discussion about an issue that cuts close to the bone.


Portrait of Sam Cooney

Sam Cooney

Sam Cooney is publisher and editorial director at The Lifted Brow. He has worked with several journals and publishers, and his own writing has featured in various publications including Meanjin, Island, The Saturday Paper, the Australian, and as a founding part of the McSweeney’s Silent History geofiction project.

Portrait of Richard Cornish

Richard Cornish

Richard Cornish is an award-winning food writer who penned the much loved and irreverent Fairfax Media column Brain Food for more than seven years. He has co-authored the bestselling MoVida cookbooks with Frank Camorra, and Phillippa’s Home Baking with Phillippa Grogan. My Year Without Meat was published by MUP in 2016.

Portrait of Sam van Zweden

Sam van Zweden

Sam van Zweden is a Melbourne-based writer of creative nonfiction and poetry, and recent Honours graduate from RMIT. She has worked as the online editor at Writers Bloc, and her work has appeared in The Big IssueKillingsTinctureFeminartsy, Voiceworks and others. Her writing is most often interested in memory, family, food and mental health. 

Portrait of Tammi Jonas

Tammi Jonas

Former vegetarian academic Tammi Jonas is resident Mistress Meatsmith at Jonai Farms, where she and her family of 'ethicurean' farmers raise pastured rare breed Large Black pigs and cattle on 69 acres of volcanic paddocks just outside Daylesford, Victoria.

Tammi has been writing about food since 2006 at her blog, Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics, and has been widely published in both academic and popular texts, including a recent chapter detailing her journey from mindless industrial eater to vegetarian to ethical omnivore and mindful meatsmith in the anthology Fair Food: stories of a movement changing the world, published by UQP in 2015.

She is also the current President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) where she advocates for everybody’s right to access nutritious and culturally-appropriate food grown in ethical and ecologically-sound ways, and their right to democratically determine their own food and agriculture systems.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.