A newly published study shows that more than 70 percent of meat-eaters think veganism is an ethical lifestyle choice.
The University of Bath conducted the study—recently published in the journal Sustainability—back in 2018. It involved 1,000 participants with an average age of 34-years-old.
Partially funded by the UK animal rights organization Viva!, the research also found that 70 percent of meat-eaters felt that veganism was better for the environment.
However, more than 80 percent said the lifestyle was not easy. More than 75 percent felt that veganism was inconvenient. More than 60 percent said they believed it was not enjoyable.
If the study were conducted in 2020, however, the results could be different. Back in 2018, vegan options in fast-food chains were still scarce. Now, KFC has its own vegan chicken burger, Greggs offers its vegan sausage roll and steak bake, McDonald’s has vegan veggie dippers, and Subway offers several animal-free options, including the Meatless Meatball Marinara.
Supermarket shelves are now also packed with vegan options. Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and even the Co-op have launched vegan ranges—with plant-based meat options, grab-and-go sandwiches, and ready meals.
‘Things Have Changed Substantially’
Psychology Ph.D. student Chris Bryant—who led the study—recognizes that times have changed since 2018, but believes the findings are still insightful.
“We need to acknowledge that for many, [veganism] has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient, and a sacrifice in terms of taste,” he said in a statement. “interestingly, in the time since this study was conducted, these things have all changed substantially.”
He continued, “having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products. If we are to reduce animal product consumption in the UK and around the world, the development of high-quality affordable alternatives to animal products is key.”
According to more recent findings by veggie brand Linda McCartney, meat-eating Brits are now frequently opting for plant-based foods.
More than 12 million meat-eaters consumed less pork, lamb, chicken, and beef in 2019 compared with previous years; saving them around £550 each. In 2020, more than one-fifth intend to keep reducing their meat intake.