New Scientist article A recent study has found that, while the vast majority of us have the option to stop eating meat, the vast bulk of us are still going out to eat and still not getting any meat-free alternatives.
In a survey of almost 2,500 British adults, researchers found that the vast numbers of vegans who said they had already stopped eating meat were actually saying that they had a lot more options, like other types of veg or vegetarian dishes, that they were not yet eating.
The authors of the study, Dr Jennifer Jones and Dr Anna Jost, said: “The fact that vegans can say they have plenty of options, while also not actually having the meat-eating lifestyle, suggests that we are living in a time of transition for meat consumption, but are not yet ready to transition to a vegan diet.”
In a world of ever-growing and ever-more varied plant foods, we may be in a position where vegans, as individuals, can still make a big difference in our environment.
“For some, the vegan diet is a relatively new option, but others have been following it for decades and it is a great way to keep up with the times.”
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, also revealed that many vegans had a positive view of the environment, but did not necessarily think the environment was improving.
They said: “[Vegan] individuals often cite the environmental benefits of plant-based foods, as well as their health benefits and social impact, but this view is not universally shared.”
“However, our research shows that a significant number of vegan individuals see their environmental contribution as important to their vegan lifestyle, and that a vegan lifestyle can be more sustainable for them than a vegan food.”
However, not all vegans are happy with the direction that the research has taken them.
“Our results show that a substantial number of vegan individuals see environmental issues as an obstacle to their lifestyle,” they said.
“This could reflect a misunderstanding of what environmental concerns are, as we cannot be certain how well our environment is currently managed and managed.”
More generally, the fact that many of our respondents view the environment as an impediment to their plant- based lifestyle may be related to the fact they have less information about the environmental impacts of their diets.”
What’s the best vegan food?
Vegan food is often compared to a diet in terms of nutrition, but Dr Jones and Jost said that, on the vegan side, a lot of the differences between vegan and meat-based diets can be accounted for.”
There are many different types of plant foods that you can choose from, and it can be very hard to find vegan foods that do not contain some meat or animal products,” they told the BBC.”
Vegan foods that are high in fiber and contain less fat are also more nutritious.
“We can make a huge difference to our environment by eating a lot less meat, but the best choices are the ones that don’t include the meat, like organic veg, or meat- and dairy-free options.”
Why are vegans so desperate for meat-containing foods?
While there is currently a lot that can be said about why people are looking for vegan alternatives to meat, there is a lot we still don’t know.
There are a number of reasons that veg-eaters are so desperate to be vegan.
First, there are many people who have the desire to stop using animal products, and who have found that a vegetarian diet is actually quite good for them.
“They are very concerned about environmental impacts, and the environmental impact of eating meat is often very important to them,” Dr Jones said.
Second, the amount of plant food available in the supermarket is becoming increasingly limited, as more and more consumers have gone vegan.
“A lot of vegs are finding that they don’t want to buy meat and that they are able to eat a lot fewer of the products that are available,” she said.
“They can also eat a variety of plants, and so there are more options available for vegans than for non-vegans.”
And third, a recent report from the World Health Organization has concluded that, because of climate change, more and better options for people to make the transition to veganism are being introduced.
“The UK is one of the few countries where a lot is happening in the UK on this issue, and one of those areas is food,” Dr Jost added.
So why are veg people so desperate?
Vegetarians can be seen as a “second wave”, according to Dr Jones.
Many people, she said, want to give up meat and dairy altogether and, while many veg food products are delicious, they are very expensive.
And the cost of a vegan meal can be really high.
“Many veg diets are very simple, which means