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Is the UK going green? Over two-thirds of Brits ‘would consider’ a vegan diet, a new survey reveals!

Is the UK going green? Over two-thirds of Brits ‘would consider’ a vegan diet, a new survey reveals!

In a country where the Full Monty is synonymous with breakfast and Fish and Chips are pub staples, it’s difficult to imagine the majority of the population considering giving up meat and animal-related products… but that’s precisely what a recent survey by Upfield has shown!

In line with a global trend towards vegetarianism and veganism, British citizens were not too far behind in considering a major change in their dietary habits. But is this just a fleeting ‘trend’ or is there a strong argument for this shift? Let’s take a closer look.

Consumer Awareness of Health Benefits

The explosive growth of social media in the past few years has certainly impacted numerous aspects of society, especially the consumption patterns of people. With the latest information available at the tip of their fingers, people around the world are well aware of the things they consume and the pros and cons of their consumption habits.

A vegan diet is highly nutritious and reduces the risk of a number of chronic ailments. The diet which is high in fiber also aids weight-loss. The Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2019 which stated that plant based foods reduce the risk for chronic disease as they are packed with phytochemicals including powerful antioxidants.

Plant-based diets are associated with lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer and diabetes. A recent article by PETA UK highlighted a 11-year long study in Germany which involved over 800 vegetarian men and found that their likelihood to get cancer was half than that of the general public.

Ethical Motivation

A lot of people are moving towards veganism because they view the practices involved in driving animal products to be on par with animal cruelty. Unethical treatment of animals and the outright commodification of animals for meat and by-products has driven many people towards a vegan diet and lifestyle.

Further, people are aware of their carbon footprint and understand the implications of a meat-based diet on the environment and climate. A study published in New Scientist magazine stated that an individual can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that his/her diet contributes to climate change by upto 60% just by going vegan!

In April 2022, BBC published an article where they stated that upto 75% of British citizens feel that it’s important to eat sustainably.

To this end, they carried out a two-week study to check for emissions between a plant-based, vegetarian and omnivorous diet and found that a vegan diet offered significantly lower emissions.

The Vegan Community

Today, veganism is not just a diet, it’s a philosophy and a lifestyle. People on plant-based diets deeply relate to one another and feel a shared bond of empathy for the planet and all living things.

The ‘community’ aspect of the vegan lifestyle is a strong motivator for people to onboard the vegan bandwagon and stay on it.

Within the vibrant vegan community, people support each other with sustainable food sources, diet tips, as well as pointers on how to maintain key vitamin levels like Vitamin B12 which a vegan diet is generally said to lack.

Taste, Variety and Convenience

 A major deterrent for many people trying the vegan diet has usually been that they don’t like the taste of alternatives present in the market. WIth major companies now solely focussing on vegan diets and major breakthroughs like plant-based burgers, food options have gone up multi-fold for vegan consumers.

Earlier, it would be a difficult task to find vegan or vegetarian options on a restaurant’s menu. But now, dedicated sections for vegan food are a norm. The massive improvements in these areas have definitely aided adoption of plant-based diets.

As per B2B online marketplace, ShelfNow, plant based food sales increased a staggering 230% year-on-year ahead of the National Vegetarian Week in May ’22.

As per The Vegan Society, the number of vegans quadrupled in the UK between 2014 and 2019. So it’s safe to say that the UK is a lot ‘greener’ than it used to be. As the above trends play out and the willingness of the British populace to adopt a plant-based diet starts finding practical expression, the day won’t be far where a Vegan English dish as popular as the Shepherd’s Pie finds its place on the global stage!

If you’re looking to find vegan options in your area, download the Gaston App for the best restaurants, dishes and meal-kits around you as per your needs and preferences.


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