Bondi Inspiration, Meat Free Week Founder, Lainie Bracher
Meet Lainie, the inspirational, beautiful and super smart co-founder of Meat Free Week. Lainie is the embodiment of how to create a movement, galvanise a community, and bring a belief system and vision to life through sheer determination and strength. The team at Bondi Baker is thrilled Lainie has agreed to share her story with us, so sit back and be inspired by Lainie's exclusive interview below.
What inspired you to start Meat Free Week?
I was really shocked by the animal welfare issues associated with meat production, particularly the treatment of pigs and chickens. Most of my friends had no idea what ‘factory farming’ (intensive farming) even was and I felt it was time more people knew about it. My good friend Melissa also felt the same way - we just knew we needed to stand up for these poor creatures.
What is the core message and purpose of Meat Free Week?
To reduce meat consumption. We ask people to consider where the meat they eat comes from and what impact did have on animal welfare, the environment and on human health.
How were you able to grow awareness?
As a ground swell movement much of the awareness was via social media however traditional media such as magazines, press, TV and radio also played a significant role. PR really drives the campaign.
What do you find most fulfilling about being part of the meat free movement?
That’s easy! Knowing that we are making a positive contribution to the world in which we live. And for me personally it’s also being able to stand up for animals who are completely vulnerable to human activity.
You recently moved to Byron Bay, what inspired you to make a lifestyle change?
I have been visiting Byron for nearly 20 years and with the Meat Free Week office being in Mullumbimby it seemed like a logical step to take. I also love the Byron lifestyle and environment, every day in Bryon Bay is magnificent – the natural surrounds are just sublime. It is also very close to my family. And you really can’t beat its laid back vibe – there actually is something called ‘Byron Time’ – rarely are people on time and rarely do people care – I love that!
What are your goals for the future?
The longer term plan is to see Meat Free Week become a global event. In the short term to launch successfully in the UK (2015) and then into USA / Canada in 2016
Who do you find inspirational?
I find people working in the NGO / Not for profit sector so inspiring – it’s opened up a whole new world to me. I also find Lyn White from Animals Australia one of the most inspiring women I have ever come across. She has done so much for Animal Welfare, which as you can imagine is not always easy (especially if you are at the forefront of it). Jamie Oliver is another favourite. His energy and intension is just fantastic I love him!
What is your favourite meat free dish?
Bill Grangers chickpea and eggplant dish (can be found on the meat free week recipe pages ) is pretty much the perfect meal. My other favourite is the vegetarian lasagne from a local shop in Byron called Cardamon Pod – and their Sagos (dessert) are addictive.
What three ingredients could you not live without?
None of these actually make anything in particular but I cannot live without:
And.. you guessed it – coconut water!
Yes I LOVE coconuts!!
A huge thank you to Lainie for sharing her time and knowledge and make sure you stop by https://meatfreeweek.org/ when you have a moment!