Some one in four Britons say they are considering cutting down on meat.
That’s according to a new YouGov survey released as part of National Vegetarian Week (May 16-22), which revealed that more than a quarter of people in the UK (27 per cent) are considering reducing the amount of meat they eat – with health and climate change given as the main motivations. For respondents under 34-years-old, climate change was a particularly strong motivator, at almost 50 per cent.
A fifth of people (21 per cent) who said they were considering eating less eat gave animal welfare as their main reason.
The annual week this year is focused on climate change; evidence shows plant-based food is better for the planet, has far less carbon emissions than meat, and for households on tight budgets it can also be a cheaper, healthy choice.
Richard McIlwain, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society, which hosts the week, commented: “We aren’t surprised to see climate change as a key driver for people reducing the amount of meat they eat. The Government’s own Climate Change Committee suggests we should be eating 20 per cent less meat by 2030 and the recent National Food Strategy, led by Henry Dimbleby, suggests this figure should be even higher at 30 per cent. The good news is, if you currently eat meat every day, you can achieve a 30 per cent reduction by going meat-free on just two days a week.”
Despite growing awareness of how the food we choose impacts the planet, it appears the message could still be clearer – especially among men. Nearly half of women (48 per cent) and almost two-thirds of men (63 per cent) surveyed said they are not considering reducing the amount of meat they eat. Nearly a third of those not already following a vegetarian/vegan diet (32 per cent) said they would not reduce their meat consumption, even if it meant the extinction of any animal species.