Bath, Somerset, UK—There’s widespread support for the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism and vegetarianism among meat eaters, according to a new study from the University of Bath. The barriers? Taste, price, and convenience.
The study, published in Sustainability, found that 73% of meat eaters surveyed considered veganism to be ethical, 70% said it was good for the environment, and half considered it healthy. However, over 80% of respondents thought veganism was not easy, 77% thought it inconvenient, and over 60% thought it was not enjoyable. Attitudes towards vegetarianism, according to a press release, were “significantly more positive on almost all counts.”
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The study was conducted in September 2018, and included 1,000 men and women with an average age of 34. Conducting the study was Chris Bryant, a Psychology Ph.D. student at University of Bath.
Bryant said in the release: “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 behaviors we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient, and a sacrifice in terms of taste.”
Acknowledging that much has changed since September 2018, he added: “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.”