A survey conducted on behalf of the Vegan Society has examined attitudes to plant-based diets in all four UK nations. The findings suggest that support for plant-based diets is strongest in Scotland.
30% of Scots said they believed the government should promote plant-based diets to address climate change, higher than any other UK nation. When asked about specific policies the government could use, Scots showed more support than average for all of them.
67% of those who wanted the government to promote plant-based diets thought there should be public awareness campaigns on the health and environmental benefits. This compared with 61% in England, 52% in Northern Ireland, and 47% in Wales.
65% thought there should be at least one healthy plant-based meal on every public sector menu, while 59% wanted to see plant milks offered in public health initiatives for children. 61% thought there should be financial incentives for locally-grown high-protein crops such as beans, nuts, and seeds.
While some may find it surprising that support for veganism is so strong in Scotland, Glasgow was named the third-best place in Europe for vegans to live in 2020. In recent years, Scottish companies such as Daring Foods have launched new vegan products, while Scottish restaurants like KCal kitchen have added innovative new menu options. And last September, surprising plans were announced to open a vegan restaurant on the grounds of Perth Prison, which will be run by the prisoners.
“We believe this data is hugely positive for the vegan movement,” said Louisianna Waring, Insight and Commercial Policy Officer at The Vegan Society. “It is fantastic to see that so many people in Scotland are listening to the science on the impact of dietary choices. Many of the climate solutions on offer can only be achieved if implemented together, and promoting plant-based diets is one solution that unlocks several others including reduced deforestation and less water and land use.”