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Young People Driving Meat-Free Charge - As 8 Million Brits Stop Eating Animals

But 80 percent of people aged 55 and over have no plans to change their diet
Young people cited animal welfare issues and the environment as reasons to change their diets (Photo: Matheus Ferrero)

The number of Brits ditching meat has tripled since 2012, according to a new poll - with young people driving the charge towards veggie and vegan diets.

Almost 8 million British residents - around 12 percent of the population - identify as vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian according to research by Harris Interactive for food trade journal The Grocer.

The 12 percent breaks down into six percent vegetarian, four percent pescetarian, and two percent vegan. 

In addition, a further one in four is set to cut their meat intake over the next year, says the survey.

Veg-heavy diets are less environmentally-intensive

Young people

Younger people are driving the move, according to the data, with 18-44-year-olds most likely to have stopped eating animals.

According to Harris Head of Research, Lucia Juliano: "It isn't surprising that young consumers are thinking about changing their ways.

"But the over-55s aren't so concerned - 80 per cent of them plan to make no change."

Animal welfare is cited as the biggest motivating factor, with 31 per cent changing diet because of the treatment of farmed animals. Around 20 percent cited the environmental impact of meat eating (including the destruction of rainforests) as a key reason.

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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