According to new statistics from YouGov, almost three-quarters of Britons (73%) say they eat meat. The number of meat eaters is higher in men. Eight in ten men in Britain (80%) describe themselves as meat eaters, compared to two-thirds of women (66%).
What is a flexitarian diet?
Among other diets practised in the UK, flexitarianism has recently gained the most popularity. A flexitarian diet is a mainly vegetarian diet with occasional meat or fish meals.
Currently, flexitarians account for one in eight (12%) of the British public (8% of men and 15% of women), while 6% say they are strictly vegetarian.
Pescatarians account for 3% of the population, while 2% of Brits say they follow a vegan diet and lifestyle.
Plant-based diets more popular among younger generations
Plant-based diets are more popular among younger generations. Only 53% of 18 to 24-year-old Britons describe themselves as meat eaters compared to 77% of those aged 45 and over.
One in nine of those aged 18 to 24 (11%) consider themselves vegetarian and do not eat any meat, including poultry, fish or shellfish. This number is more than double the share of those aged 55 and over who say they are vegetarians (4%).
How many Brits are vegan?
A vegan diet that has become more popular in recent years does not include dairy, eggs, fish mean or any other animal product.
According to data from YouGov, only 2% of Brits describe their diet as 100% vegan. However, a further 3% say they will likely join the Veganuary campaign and take up a challenge to follow a strictly vegan diet and lifestyle throughout the month of January.
The younger generation is more interested in doing so, with one in eight Britons aged 18 to 24 who aren’t vegans yet (12%) saying they’ll try a vegan lifestyle in January compared to just 1-4% of the older generations.
People should reduce meat consumption
Doctors and nutrition experts advise people to reduce eating meat for health reasons. Scientific and medical evidence confirms that consumption of red meat and all kinds of processed meats can lead to an increased risk of numerous diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
In 2021 the Climate Change Committee and UK governments advised that people should reduce meat-eating also for environmental reasons. Animal farming and the meat industry are responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.