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The number of Brits ditching meat has tripled since 2012, according to a new poll – with young people driving the charge towards veggie and vegan diets.

Almost 8 million British residents – around 12 percent of the population – identify as vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian according to research by Harris Interactive for food trade journal The Grocer.

The 12 percent breaks down into six percent vegetarian, four percent pescetarian, and two percent vegan. 

In addition, a further one in four is set to cut their meat intake over the next year, says the survey.

Young people

Younger people are driving the move, according to the data, with 18-44-year-olds most likely to have stopped eating animals.

According to Harris Head of Research, Lucia Juliano: “It isn’t surprising that young consumers are thinking about changing their ways.

“But the over-55s aren’t so concerned – 80 per cent of them plan to make no change.”

Animal welfare is cited as the biggest motivating factor, with 31 per cent changing diet because of the treatment of farmed animals. Around 20 percent cited the environmental impact of meat eating (including the destruction of rainforests) as a key reason.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.