Article Jan 11, 2020

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Most meat eaters support veganism as 'ethical'

Most meat eaters view veganism as "ethical" and good for the environment, new survey findings show.

In a new study, psychology PhD student Chris Bryant from the University of Bath investigated attitudes to vegan and vegetarian diets among meat eaters.

After analysing the views of 1,000 men and women with an average age of 34, Bryant found that 73 per cent of meat eaters considered veganism to be ethical, 70 per cent said it was good for the environment and half considered the practice to be healthy.

However, the results also showed that most meat eaters consider a vegan diet to be inconvenient, expensive and a sacrifice in terms of taste. For instance, over 80 per cent of respondents thought veganism was not easy, 77 per cent felt it inconvenient and over 60 per cent thought it was not enjoyable. Attitudes from respondents towards vegetarianism were significantly more positive on almost all topics.

"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," commented Bryant.

"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."

While the survey was conducted in late 2018, the researcher went on to note that there has been a boom in new vegan products since then.

"Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast food outlets have developed numerous high quality and affordable vegan options. 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 U.K. and around the world, the development of high-quality affordable alternatives to animal products is key," he added.

Full study results have been published in the journal Sustainability.