Meat sales slump boosts Vegetarian Week | Viva!

Meat sales slump boosts Vegetarian Week

Fewer animals killed as Britain continues to go veggie

Release date: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Government's latest agricultural figures* show that over nine million fewer animals were slaughtered in the UK last year " and meat consumption is falling.

Vegetarian campaigns group Viva! maintains 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 (May 19-25).

To celebrate, and keep things moving in the right direction, Viva! are offering a free "Go Veggie' pack. Containing the popular L-Plate vegetarian guide, with delicious recipes and everything you could ever wish to know the animal saving, planet protecting and health giving veggie lifestyle! These free packs are available to all by visiting or call 0117 944 1000.

'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. 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.'

All-in-all 9,237,000 fewer main land animals were killed in the UK in 2007 compared to 2006. The annual drop in slaughter shows that five million fewer chickens were killed in Britain, two million fewer turkeys and two million fewer ducks. Even taking into account all imports, exports and domestic production, poultry meat consumption in the UK fell by 117,000 tons (a huge reduction of seven per cent). Overall pig meat consumption fell by 27,000 tons (a reduction of six per cent).


Notes for editors

According to Mintel (2006), 5-6 per cent of the population is now vegetarian and the number is rising. A 2007 survey for Linda McCartney Foods, found that 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. 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

For more information on Viva!'s campaigns go to or contact Viva!'s press officer Helen Rossiter or Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000.

* (note: these are the most up to date figures provided by Defra and will next be updated in March 2009).


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