Sweden is heading toward a meat-free future, according to a new report released by The Swedish Board of Agriculture.
In the largest annual decline of meat consumption in nearly thirty years, Swedish residents consumed nearly three percent less meat overall in 2017. “There are many reasons for the reduced consumption of meat, but the [vegan] trend, climate debate, health aspects and ethical reasons are some,” said Asa Lannhard Oberg, an agricultural investigator, in a statement.
A recent poll by Animal Rights Sweden also revealed that the country has become more open to living a more cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly lifestyle. One in ten Swedish residents are now following a vegan or vegetarian diet, the poll showed. And for people under the age of thirty, this statistic is one in five. Furthermore, whilst the new McDonalds McVegan burger performed as expected in Finland, in Sweden, sales were far above estimated.
Sweden is not the only European country witnessing a shift toward a greener lifestyle, either. In Germany, residents are now eating far less meat than ever before. According to a new survey reported on by Handelsblatt Global, only 21 percent of German residents are now choosing to consume meat every day.
In the UK, the story is, once again, similar. Back in February, it was reported that 30 percent of meals in the country are now meat-free. And, according to data collected by Kantar World Panel, from November 2016 through to October 2017, residents consumed a staggering 4.3 billion meat-free evening meals.
Much like Sweden, the dietary changes happening across Germany and the United Kingdom are due to environmental and animal concerns, but also predominantly for health reasons. “We’re more focused on foods that are natural and less processed and eating a varied diet,” said usage expert for Kantar World Panel, Richard Allen, in a statement. He added, “High profile celebrities and social media influencers are also raising awareness and promoting eating less or no meat as a healthy lifestyle choice.”