A new report by The Vegan Society has found that a huge number of British people are eating fewer animal products than when the pandemic began. This includes 1 in 5 people reducing their meat consumption.
12% of people have cut down on eggs and dairy, while 7% are eating less of all three (meat, eggs, and dairy products). In total, this adds up to a quarter of people cutting back on animal products.
A second survey interviewed only those who had cut back. Of these, 35% were motivated by health concerns and 30% by environmental issues. Another 21% were primarily concerned about animal rights.
In this survey, 54% said they had bought alt-meat products for the first time during lockdown, and 78% intended to continue buying them. Among dairy reducers, oat milk was extremely popular — 43% had bought it for the first time, and 69% of these planned to keep buying it.
32% of those who had cut down on animal products had bought pulses such as beans and lentils for the first time during lockdown. Of these, a huge 74% intended to continue doing so.
Several recent studies have shown that British people are increasingly aware of the issues surrounding animal product consumption. At the start of the year, a survey showed that 85% of people in the country want to see an end to factory farming. In 2020, 39% of Brits said they wanted to eat less meat, and a quarter of millennials said the pandemic had made plant-based eating more appealing.
A similar study by the Vegan Society a year ago also found that 1 in 5 British people were reducing their meat intake.
“It’s fantastic to see that not only are people consciously cutting back on animal products, but that this trend has continued over the last twelve months,” said Louisianna Waring, Insight and Commercial Policy Officer at The Vegan Society. “It’s no surprise that the pandemic has inspired so many consumers to make the switch to plant-based alternatives and adopt a more planet-friendly diet. Covid-19 has certainly made people think twice about what they’re eating and where it’s coming from. This is highlighted by the large number of people cutting down on animal products because of their own health concerns.”