A new study has found that meat eaters actually support veganism, viewing it as ethical and good for the environment. The findings were contained in studies conducted by the University of Bath in the UK.
73% of meat eaters surveyed said veganism was ‘ethical’, 70% said it was good for the environment and 50% considered it healthy. 60% said veganism was ‘acceptable’.
So why weren’t those 73% of meat eaters going vegan? The surveys found that over 80% of respondents thought veganism was not easy. 77% thought it was ‘inconvenient’ and 60% said it wasn’t enjoyable.
The study, which involved 1,000 men and women with an average age of 34, was conducted in September 2018. Participants were recruited online through the survey platform Prolific. The work was partially funded by the charity Viva! as part of Chris Bryant’s ESRC PhD.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Mr. Bryant said that, “At a time of year when many people are considering switching to plant-based diets with ‘Veganuary’, this study shows that most people already agree with the ethics of veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment.“
“That many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviours we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste. “
Given the time lapse between the survey (December 201) and now, much has changed in the world of veganism. Vegan foods are much easier to come by with major brands rushing to bring out vegan alternatives of their products. Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Goodfella’s Pizzas, Galaxy Chocolate, Greggs Vegan Bake Steak, Burgerking Whopper (though cooked on a meat grill) and even a KFC vegan burger – these are all brands that have launched vegan products in the last year – and that trend is growing.
The perception that it is ‘hard’ to be vegan needs to change. Although many vegan mass produced products are no better than their ‘traditional’ brothers and sisters, that they are available may help to ease the transition for many. The best vegan diet is still a wholefood diet, as close to what nature produces as possible without the artificial manipulation of ingredients by mega corporations intent on making money.
Veganuary in the UK has far seen 200 products launched in January and over 500,000 people have taken up the challenge since 2014 across 159 countries. Over 350k participants is the goal for Veganuary 2020.