'30% Of British Meat Eaters Planning Meat-Free Easter Meal', Says Poll

More and more people are ditching animal products at meal times - but what impact will this have on the number of vegans?
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Family eating a meal

More people are opting for a meat-free main for Easter according to the poll (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Nearly a third of meat-eating Brits (30 percent) are planning a meat-free main meal this Easter, according to a new poll.

The One Poll survey of 1,000 people, conducted on behalf of British start up The Meatless Farm Co, found that people in the North East were most likely to ditch meat for the meal (43 percent), followed by Londoners (37 percent).

In addition, around half (49 percent) of all 18-24 year olds plan to eat a meat-free meal this Easter and 17 pecent of 18-24 year olds have given up meat for Lent this year.

Flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan

"Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today's world, and the numbers reveal a huge shift towards plant-based eating in the UK, with one in eight people now identifying as vegetarian or vegan," Rob Woodall, CEO of The Meatless Farm Co, said.

"Small changes can have a big impact and it’s great to see that so many meat-eating Brits are taking action. If people switched just one meal a week to meatless, they could make a big difference. But there must be tasty, familiar alternatives.

"Plant-based diets are currently very topical, however for many people it isn’t a fad or about giving up meat altogether, it’s about finding a balance that is healthy, tasty and good for the planet."

Going vegan?

While the growing number of flexitarian consumers are often credited with increased sales of plant-based foods, recent research claims these types of eaters are unlikely to become vegan.

A white paper by international research and data analytics group YouGov suggests that most people following a flexitarian diet are not planning to become vegan - or even vegetarian - within a year.

The paper, titledIs the future of food flexitarian?, describes Flexitarians as being 'somewhere in the middle' consuming meat occasionally, but eating a mainly plant-based diet. It says 14 percent of Brits identify as eating this diet.

Of the flexitarians polled, 93 percent said they were 'not at all likely' to ditch all animal products within a year.

Flexitarian

"This indicates that being a flexitarian is a conscious and deliberate long-term choice and not just a gateway to a fully meat-free diet," says the paper.

"This group wants to eat less meat but they are not going to give up the occasional burger. Our data reveals that flexitarianism is a legitimate dietary choice in its own right, rather than being a stop on the road to giving up animal products altogether."

The data shows that 69 percent of flexitarians are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption, and that 26 percent of meat-eaters who don't identify as flexitarians would like to cut down on the amount of meat they eat. But the report doesn't talk about how many people are looking to reduce other animal products including dairy and eggs.