The eating habits of the population of the United Kingdom have been changing for a while, according to the annual report prepared by Britain’s premier supermarket chain called Waitrose. It seems like more people in England are reducing or completely cutting out meat, especially beef, from their diets. The vegetarian and vegan population is increasing, and it’s partly because of the risks of climate change.
Countering Climate Change
The number of English people turning to a meatless diet has been increasing along with the rest of the western world. Becoming vegan or vegetarian is as fashionable as it has been known to be healthy, and the English population is not immune to this trend. However, the reason behind this growth in numbers has to do with how the beef industry has been reported to be a leading factor in climate change.
The beef industry has been accused of being a leading contributor to the deforestation that is directly linked to climate change, particularly global warming. Along with the vegetation it takes to feed millions of cows around the world, the methane gas released from these animals at such a highly concentrated level has added to the warming of the atmosphere.
Fourfold Growth in Vegan Population
According to research conducted by the Vegan Society of England and Wales, the number of vegans, those who avoid all meats and their byproducts or derivatives, has grown from around 150,000 to 600,000 in as little as four years total. The restaurant industry in England and Wales is attempting to accommodate their growing population of vegans by offering new and creative vegan as well as vegetarian choices.
Climate change isn’t the only reason for the growing population of vegans in the United Kingdom. It has to do with animal welfare concerns as well as health improvement. It’s also, notably, the younger generation that is making the change. The male and female citizens of the UK aged 50 and older are less enthusiastic about this swift change.
Whatever the reason for the rise of veganism in the UK, reducing the area of land on the planet set aside for raising livestock can significantly reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and increase oxygen levels. It takes a large population committed to this in order to notice any tangible results in the future.