Boost for Vegetarian Week as Meat Sales Slump | Viva!

Boost for Vegetarian Week as Meat Sales Slump

Fewer animals killed as Britain continues to go veggie

Release date: 
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fewer chickens, turkeys and pigs are being killed for meat in the UK and the drop is significant according to the government's latest agricultural figures*. Vegetarian campaigns group Viva! maintains that despite publicity claiming that people are forsaking vegetarianism the opposite is true and that an increasing number of Brits are embracing a kinder, healthier lifestyle.

The timing couldn't be better and gives a boost to National Vegetarian Week (21 " 27 May). This annual national event is immediately followed by the second Incredible Veggie Show " the biggest vegetarian event in Europe " at Royal Horticultural Halls, Lawrence Hall & Conference Centre, Greycoat Street, London SW1 on Saturday, June 30.

'It's great news that so many people are going veggie!', says Viva! campaigns manager Justin Kerswell. "Almost a billion animals are still killed for meat each year in the UK, most of them living appallingly short lives in squalid conditions and facing a terrifying death so we clearly have a long way to go but we are winning. The last Incredible Veggie Show saw 5,000 people come through the doors in a single day and this year's event promises to be much, much bigger. Concerns about animal cruelty, health and the state of the planet are growing daily and vegetarianism provides a solution to all of them. It's needed like never before.'

The annual drop in slaughter shows that 20 million fewer chickens were killed in Britain, and 2 million fewer turkeys. Even taking into account all imports, exports and domestic production, poultry meat consumption in the UK fell by 32,000 tons. 76,000 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 Mintel (2006), 5-6 per cent of the population is now vegetarian and the number is rising. The number of vegans has increased ten fold in the last 10 years, up to a million ***.

The average Brit eats 11,047 animals in his or her lifetime: 1 goose, 1 rabbit, 4 cattle, 18 pigs, 23 seep and lambs, 28 ducks, 39 turkeys, 1,158 chickens, 3,593 shellfish and 6,182 fish. Viva! provides help for those wishing to give up or cut down on meat. Anyone can check their own animal slaughter rate at

The Incredible Veggie Show will have over 100 stalls, free food tastings, talks and cookery demos by celebs, including Heather Mills and Rose Elliott and advice by qualified health experts. Click here for more details.

For more information on Viva!'s campaigns or The Incredible Veggie Show, go to or contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or email

* (note: these are the most up to date figures provided by Defra and will next be updated in March 2008).