A new psychological study by a team at the University of Bath, UK, has revealed that the belief long held by Vegetarians and Vegans, that Meat eaters don’t like them, is not true at all. Carnivores have laudable things to say about Veggie fans, but stress that life without Animal Protein isn’t for them…
PhD Student Chris Bryant wanted to determine what average people feel about Vegetarianism. His overall interests address what it will take to get Meat Eaters to convert emotionally to a Vegetarian diet as production of Animal Protein Foods becomes less and less environmentally viable.
What they did
Bryant mounted as survey of 1,000 average men and women with an average age of 34, probing their attitudes about Vegetarianism and Veganism.
What they found
An abstract of the survey findings says, “73 percent of meat eaters surveyed considered veganism to be ‘ethical’, 70 percent said it was good for the environment and half (50 percent) considered it healthy. Sixty percent thought veganism was ‘acceptable’.
“By contrast, over 80 perccent of respondents thought veganism was not easy, 77 percent thought it ‘inconvenient’ and over 60 percent thought it was not enjoyable. Attitudes from respondents towards vegetarianism were significantly more positive on almost all counts.”
Bryant explains: “At a time of year when many people are considering switching to plant-based diets with ‘Veganuary’, this study shows that most people already agree with the ethics of veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment. […] That many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviours we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste.”
‘Veganuary’ is the annual month-long UK campaign by Vegetarianism supporters to convince Meat Eaters to at least try Vegetarian alternatives to traditional Animal Protein sources. It’s estimated that last year, more than a million Brits tried Vegetarian foods as a result.
Bryant notes: “Interestingly, in the time since this study was conducted, these things have all changed substantially. Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast food outlets have developed numerous high quality and affordable vegan options. Having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products. If we are to reduce animal product consumption in the UK and around the world, the development of high quality affordable alternatives to animal products is key.”
I agree wholeheartedly. But I am disappointed that Bryant, in his study, did not address the cost of Vegetable Protein alternatives. That’s a major objection many carnivores have to trying, let alone adopting Vegetarianism. Perhaps the cost factor will be a focus of future studies by Bryant and his team.
~ Maggie J.