Almost a quarter (20 percent) of British vegetarians and vegans have been tricked into eating animal products, according to new research.
The data, collected by plant-based food brand Gosh!, reveals what it describes as 'society's anti-veggie mentality'.
Among the other findings were that 50 percent of vegetarians actively avoid social situations where dietary choices will be ridiculed, 10 percent admit to hiding their dietary choices from parents or family, and 53 percent have been 'bullied or shamed'.
'Surprised and shocked'
"We were quite surprised at the results of the research and shocked by some of the answers we received. As a plant-based food brand it is our mission to make eating healthy, wholesome vegetables as easy and convenient as possible," Gosh! brand manager, Jenny Robertson, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"Our goal is to make life easy for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians, and those who are cooking for them. No one should be ridiculed or veggie-shamed for their dietary choices, which is why we are launching a nationwide campaign to encourage a flexitarian dietary choice.
"Our range of Burgers, Bites and Sausages are available in most major supermarkets and are suitable for most people as they are made simply from vegetables, herbs, pulses and spices and contain none of the top 14 allergens."