Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Britain Beats America in the Veggie Stakes

Figures Boost for Viva!'s Third Annual Go Veggie Month

Release date: 
Monday, September 3, 2007

Percentage wise, there are over twice as many vegetarians in the UK as there are in the whole of America. Proof, Viva! " the national campaigning vegetarian group " says, that the UK leads the way when it comes to making ethical choices about what we eat. More Brits than ever before are going veggie to save animals, fight global warming and improve their health. The number of animals killed in the UK for meat has also declined significantly.

Throughout September, local supporters will be participating in Viva!'s third national Britain Goes Veggie Month. Campaigners will be erecting vibrant, colourful stalls, chock-full of information on everything you could ever want to know about going vegetarian or simply cutting down on meat consumption.

Viva!'s past two Britain Goes Veggie Months have been huge successes, with hundreds of stalls held throughout Britain " and thousands of people requesting information on how to go vegetarian.

According to Mintel (2006), five-six per cent of the UK population is now vegetarian and the number is rising " this compares to just 2.3 per cent of Americans*. In Britain the number of vegans has increased 10 fold in the last 10 years, up to a million **. According to a 2007 survey for Linda McCartney Foods, around 10 per cent of Brits eat no red meat, and there is a huge amount of "meat reducers', with 31 million people eating vegetarian most of the time.

An annual drop in slaughter shows that 20 million fewer chickens were killed in Britain, and two million fewer turkeys ***. Even taking into account all imports, exports and domestic production, poultry meat consumption in the UK fell by 32,000 tons. 70,000 fewer pigs were slaughtered, representing the lowest number of animals killed since Defra records began in 1973 ****. Overall pig meat consumption fell by 43,000 tons.

According to a recent report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent than transport. Viva! maintains that one of the best ways to fight global warming is to stop eating animal products.

Viva! campaigns manager Justin Kerswell says: "Britain is at the front of the ethical vegetarian revolution! More and more people are discovering that one of the most effective things they can do to improve the world around them is to simply change what they put on their dinner plates. Around a billion animals are killed for meat each year in the UK. It's an amazing fact that, by going veggie, the average Brit can, in their lifetime, save around 11,047 animals!

'For the increasing numbers of people who want to find out more about improving their health, saving animals and protecting the environment, Viva!'s Britain Goes Veggie Month is the answer " a mass of free information on going veggie.'

Viva! "s It's Time to Go Veggie! magazine is also available free to all, simply ring Viva! on 0117 944 1000, email info@viva.org.uk or write to Viva! at 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH. Web: http://www.viva.org.uk.

For further information on Viva!'s Britain Goes Veggie Month, contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or justin@viva.org.uk

Notes for editors

Anyone can check their own animal slaughter rate at http://www.timetogoveggie.com

* http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue4/vj2006issue4poll.htm

** http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/food_and_drink/reviews/article351374.ece

*** http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/auk/2006/excel.asp (note: these are the most up to date figures provided by Defra and will next be updated in March 2008).

**** http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/datasets/slaughm.xls

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