Veganism and Vegetarianism. The media constantly tells us that snowflake millennials are rejecting old values like patriarchy, tea and shunning meat in favour of avocado on toast. According to Yougov 25% of millennials are either Vegetarian, Vegan or “flexitarian”.
This seems to be reflecting a change in the rest of society with it, 2.9% of UK households are vegetarian, and 0.5% of them vegan. In addition to this, a study by the Mintel Group suggested that up to 10% are “meat avoiders” meaning that they consume a largely plant based diet with occasional meat.
So why is this relevant now? It stands to reason that people are more liberal than the generation before them and this is simply the logical conclusion of this process, but many people cite the environmental and health benefits of making the change to a vegan diet. 35% of British consumers avoiding meat at least one day a week, with 25% citing environmental reasons.
Approximately 30% of the world’s non icy surface is used to rear livestock and uses ⅓ of the world’s total fresh water and 59 million tons of buffalo and cattle meat produced every year and livestock farming contributing to at least 18% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Of course the planet is being destroyed in many ways besides this, oil spills in the oceans filled with islands made of plastic are common sights on our TV and social media. The sight of a bird trapped in a discarded 4 pack of wife beater is something that many of us seem to acknowledge, but then turn away and ignore.
But like many other people, I choose to turn away and ignore because I like the taste of meat, the hole in my life left by bacon, steak and cheese would be so vast, no amount of kale or quinoa could fill the void.