Are we eating less meat? A British Social Attitudes report

Document type
Lee, Lucy; Simpson, Ian
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
1 February 2016
British Social Attitudes; Eating Meat
Health Services, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This report concerns attitudes to meat-eating, and explores public perceptions of dietary choice and was prepared for The Vegetarian Society. It relates to health, animal welfare and environmental issues.

A sample of 2,878 respondents were asked about their eating habits.

Key findings:

  • Three in ten people in Britain (29%) say they have reduced the amount of meat they eat in the past 12 months.
  • Women (34%) are most likely to have reduced their meat intake but nearly a quarter of men (23%) have also reduced the amount of meat they eat.
  • Older people were more likely to have reduced their meat consumption: 39% of 65-79 year olds have done so, compared to 19% of 18-24 year olds.
  • Over half (58%) of people in this group cited health reasons as a reason for consuming less meat.
  • Other reasons for consuming less meat include, saving money, concerns over animal welfare, food safety in relation to meat, and the environment.