Dutch people are turning away from meat more than ever. More than 30 percent of people say they have lowered their meat consumption significantly, according to research
A study of 20,000 individuals revealed that one in three Dutch cut down on steak and burgers last year, according to research from Nu. Plant-based food is increasingly popular: two percent participants call themselves vegetarian and one percent are vegan.
Animal rights and the planet were the main motivators for those living meat-free. Ninety percent of vegetarians and vegans said animal welfare issues were their main reason for eschewing meat, whilst environmental concerns was the main reason that meat eaters reduced their intake. Around 50 percent of meat eaters also cited animal welfare as a concern.
The Dutch Are Ditching Meat
Vegan and vegetarian meat is becoming more popular among the Dutch. In the first 11 months of 2018, €97 million was spent on meat-free meats, DutchNews highlighted.
This March, the Netherlands’ National Week Without Meat is set to be held for the second time. The annual campaign encourages people around the country to forgo meat for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. In 2018, when the first National Week Without Meat took place, spending on vegan and vegetarian meat spiked by 50 percent, DutchNews reports.
According to the organization behind the initiative, every adult that ditches meat for the week will save 770 grams of animal meat, 130 litres of water, and the equivalent environmental impact of 76 kilometers of driving.
The Netherlands’ Council for the Environmental Infrastructure, an advisory board that offers advice on the outlines of policies, has also acknowledged the potential of a plant-based diet. It recommended that for sustainability and public health reasons, the government and parliament should help citizens cut back on meat. “A healthier diet will have a positive impact on the costs of healthcare, while a more sustainable diet will benefit the natural and human environment,” the Council wrote.
In response to increasing interest, Dutch-founded grocery store chain Spar Supermarket just launched its own vegan range with more than 100 products including plant-based meat and dairy-free ice cream.
Another supermarket chain, called Jumbo Foodmarkt, added more than 30 feet of dedicated vegan shelves. Even Dutch meat company Kips, known for its traditional liverwurst, introduced its first range of vegan food including plant-based liverwurst, pâté, and filet Americain.