Millions of Brits are taking on the vegan challenge for January and giving up meat for a month, but could saving money also be a major perk of giving up meat products?
Research by Linda McCartney Foods, who polled 2,000 UK adults, found 26 per cent reduced their meat intake during the past 12 months – and in doing so, saved an average of £209 each.
Cutting down on the animal products saved Brits more than £2.8 billion last year, as well as providing many with health benefits and the satisfaction of helping reduce the impact on the global environment.
The study found the proportion of vegetarians will increase from a fifth to a third by 2050 if present trends continue, with more than a third predicting a time when there are more vegans and vegetarians in the UK than meat eaters.
Over 50 per cent of those polled believe 2019 will see more people turning to veganism and vegetarianism than ever before – could this food ‘trend’ be here to stay?
“Vegetarianism has been growing over the last few years at a previously unseen rate,” said Charles Banks, director of The Food People. “There are a number of motivations driving people to alter their behaviour, from ethics, economics, environment, health and accessibility. Therefore it is most often a combination of factors that are forcing consumers to rethink their daily diets.
“The accessibility of vegetarian and vegan food that has had the biggest impact, as it moves towards a more inclusive, mainstream lifestyle choice.”
UK’s meat-eaters currently eat meat five days a week on average – but more than a fifth have it every day. During a typical year, they’ll spend a whopping £752 a year on meat.
Of those who have eaten less meat over the past year, a third believe the change to their diet has had a positive effect on their health. The study carried out through OnePoll found a quarter simply don’t like meat as much as they used to – partly due to the availability of better vegetarian alternatives.
Banks added: “Food without meat is no longer just a ‘plain salad’ – it’s now fun, interesting and fully loaded with the latest trends and flavours.”
Most people couldn’t imagine giving up meat long term but managing the amount of meat we consume as individuals can have a huge impact on our health and the environment. If we start to view meat as a treat – such as chocolate and alcohol, we’ll enjoy both the benefits of a largely meat-free lifestyle and the build-up of excitement to having a steak or bacon sandwich once a week.
Do you think you could give up meat completely? Have your say via our poll on Twitter: PA Life Twitter Poll