A significant number of Canadians are looking to lower meat consumption and are switching to plant-based protein alternatives, according to the latest food price report from the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University.
The news comes just weeks after a report on public trust from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity found that a whopping 61 percent of Canadians were unsure whether meat came from farms where animals were treated “humanely.”
In fact, meat prices are expected to decline as much as 3 percent due to lack of demand.
The food price report states:
Over the last few years, we’ve seen an overwhelming interest in alternatives to meat and dairy, shifting the focus towards vegetarian and vegan eating patterns.
In 2018, Canadian farmers seeded 3.75 million acres for peas, 2.23 million acres for lentils, and 282,800 acres for chickpeas, accounting for about 10 percent of all major commodities grown in the country.
This comes as no surprise to Canadian officials, who set aside $153 million to enable the country to provide more plant-based protein for products like the Beyond Burger.
Frank Hart, chair of Protein Industries Canada, explained:
The consumer demand is clearly there and companies want to produce these new products but they need the raw material to produce them. That is actually holding back food companies from moving forward on developing innovative products.
Even the meat industry is taking notice. Maple Leaf Farms, a major Canadian meat supplier, launched an independent subsidiary called Greenleaf Foods that is 100 percent plant-based. The company also owns plant-based businesses Field Roast and Lightlife.
Canada is proving to be one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world! A study conducted by Dalhousie University found that nearly 10 percent of Canadians considered themselves vegan or vegetarian. According to the research, 2.3 million Canadians are vegetarian, an increase from just 900,000 in 2003, while about 850,000 label themselves vegan.
What’s even cooler? Most of these people are under 35, leaving the meat industry scared of the inevitable growth in the plant-based market.
The rise in plant-based eating has sparked a surge in 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 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. considered 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.
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 behind closed doors: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.
Thankfully, with the growing demand for plant-based options, this is the perfect time to switch to a compassionate vegan lifestyle.
Join the millions around the world fighting to protect our environment and animals by choosing vegan meals. And check out our Pinterest page for thousands of vegan recipe ideas!