A groundbreaking new survey by a team at Dalhousie University found that more than half of Canadians are interested in eating less meat, with one third planning to reduce their meat consumption within the next six months.
The survey of 1,027 Canadians examined people’s attitudes about meat consumption. It revealed that while some Canadians still regard meat as a staple of their diets, particularly older men, most plan to reduce the amount they consume.
Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University and the study’s co-author, remarked:
I can’t remember the last time I saw a study that actually encourages people to eat more meat. It’s usually the opposite for a variety of reasons.
The study cites health and environmental concerns as the main reasons for cutting back but mentions animal welfare as another common concern.
Canadians are ditching animal products in droves. Earlier this year a study from Dalhousie University found that nearly 10 percent of Canadians considered themselves vegetarian or vegan. And another study by leading market research firm Mintel found more than half of Canadians consumed vegan meat alternatives.
The rise in plant-based eating has resulted in a surge of vegan options across the country. With the rollout of the Beyond Burger at A&W Canada, the opening of 24-hour vegan drive-thrus, and an entire neighborhood dedicated to veganism, Canada is becoming more vegan-friendly every day and a place many vegans want to live.
Canada isn’t the only country making headlines for its growing plant-based population. A whopping 7 percent of the U.K. population identifies as vegan, while a 2016 study found that 4.3 percent of the German population between 18 and 79 identified as vegetarian. In comparison, only 3.3 percent of people in the U.S. consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
With more people becoming aware of the environmental havoc wreaked by animal agriculture and the cruelty farmed animals endure, veganism has become part of a cultural shift toward more sustainable and compassionate practices. Over the past decade, veganism has seen consistent growth as millennials, the largest generation and the one with the most self-identified vegetarians, purchase their own food. But if you think millennials are vegan AF, you should know that Generation Z is even more into plant-based foods! As this generation grows older, we can expect to see a boom in vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs.
The demand for vegan products worldwide is already rapidly increasing. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of new vegan food products rose by an astonishing 92 percent in Australia. And the research firm GlobalData reported there were six times as many vegans in America in 2017 as in 2014.
This is all great news for the billions of animals who suffer at factory farms each year. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.