How important is meat in your diet? Could you happily live without ever eating any meat? In the UK vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular.

Vegetarianism is increasing in the UK as more and more British people are deciding not to eat meat and animal products. According to the UK Vegetarian Society, 2,000 people are giving up meat and ‘going veggie’ in Britain every week. There’s even a National Vegetarian Week organised every year to encourage people to try a meat-free lifestyle.

Vegetarians and vegans

In 1989 a poll indicated that three per cent of the UK’s population was vegetarian. A more recent poll put it at 5.7 per cent. This means there are over three million vegetarians in the UK today.

Vegetarians (people who don’t eat meat) and vegans (people who don’t eat or use any animal products) are both becoming increasingly common in UK culture. Visit a British supermarket and you will see a wide range of vegetarian ingredients and prepared meals on the shelves, including vegetarian sausages, vegan cheese (it doesn’t contain milk!) and meat-free burgers.

A healthy diet

So why are Brits cutting out meat from their diets? Many vegetarians and vegans choose not to eat meat or animal products for ethical reasons. They are unhappy about the bad treatment of the animals and the effects of meat and fish production on the environment. Worries about food safety (for example BSE, or ‘mad cow disease’, as it is commonly known) cause many people to stop eating meat. Others choose to change their diet to improve their general health. According to the Vegetarian Society, a meat-free diet could help reduce the risk of certain cancers and the possibility of heart disease, as well as other health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Organic farming

Another rising trend in the UK’s food culture is related to how our food is produced. Many people are rejecting GM (genetically modified) food and intensive farming procedures. They want their food to be organically farmed. What exactly does ‘organic’ mean? Organic food is produced in a more natural way. Organic farmers use no or very few chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers. Organic farming isn’t only for plant crops: animals can also be farmed organically. Organic meat is produced without the use of drugs and antibiotics. Organically farmed animals also have better living conditions, for example more space and more nutritious food.

Organic food

According to the Soil Association, the UK’s leading organisation for organic food and farming, three out of every four households in the UK now buy some types of organic food. Some people buy organic meat, fruit and vegetables from farmers’ markets, where local farmers sell their products directly to the consumer. Others have a box of organic mixed fruit and vegetables delivered to their homes each week. Many people buy organic produce in their local supermarket. As with vegetarianism, people choose organic foods for health reasons or because of concern for the environment. Although it’s often more expensive, fans of organic food say it tastes much better!

Discussion

Do you think the world would be a better place if people ate less meat? How much meat do you eat in your diet?

Comments

dzeni's picture
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dzeni 28 April, 2014 - 18:30

Hi Jonathan!
Yes, I have just seen it. When I read it I realize that tastes are different and food which is normal for me is weird for others and vice versa. Text is quite interesting and I really like it. Thanks on it!

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Ayan's picture
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Ayan 4 March, 2014 - 18:12

İ like vegetable very much. I like banana,orange,apple and so on.....................

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Kittylove's picture
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Kittylove 19 February, 2014 - 20:17

I am sorry too that we are killing animals to live but think of that:

People will always kill them and eat it to be healty,you eat or you don't eat...

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beyourself15rock's picture
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beyourself15rock 22 January, 2014 - 21:22

I would like to be a veggie, but i don't like vegetables a lot .So i'll wait some more time :)
I really hate ,that we need to kill animals for us ,But i don't think it would be better for everyone

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260344's picture
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260344 6 January, 2014 - 08:09

I dont eat a lot of meat, but I am not a vegetarian. Yes, I think the world would be a better place then.

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AFK2000's picture
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AFK2000 16 December, 2013 - 12:00

Im not a vegetarian and i like meat,its good for you but people today have no limits and instead of meat being healthy they eat too much and become fat.

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cranberry's picture
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cranberry 9 December, 2013 - 19:49

I don`t eat a lot of meat, becouse i don`t like it very much and i think it`s sad that we are eating animals like there is no other food in the world. Eating meat once in a while is ok, and eating other animal products (like milk and eggs) is ok becouse it dosen`t cause the animal pain. Eating a lot of fruit and veggies is very important for our health. thats mu opinion

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ivonayoo's picture
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ivonayoo 16 October, 2013 - 19:58

Well I don't eat much meat, only wihite chicken meat and smoethimes fish. And yes, our body needs meet to funciton normally, but world would be way better place if people wouldn't selfishly kill those poor animals in that amount. What I want to say is that animals are creaturs too, and they aren't as inteligent as us to stand up for their rights, so someone has to do it, and that people are vegeterians. As I said, we need meat, but we are becoming greedy, and that needs to stop, we must protect those animals.

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cupcakegirl's picture
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cupcakegirl 6 October, 2013 - 17:03

I was vegetarian since I was born. It is part of my religion/cast. I cannot stand looking at any meat or seafood. It is just so sad that people eat animals and poor animals are killed just for their taste. I just wish some people would realize that eating animals and killing them is really cruel.

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bahati's picture
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bahati 19 August, 2013 - 19:14

of course the world would be a better place if we didn't eat meat. People would be healthier, animals wouldn't be harmed and tortured etc. I think there should be respect for all kind of lifes.

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Pitaloka's picture
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Pitaloka 16 August, 2013 - 11:49

Maybe the world will be better if we ate less meat. But I can't. I love chicken! It taste good!

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elphie46's picture
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elphie46 16 July, 2013 - 11:04

I cant imagine a life without meat and especially red meat :) Not to speak of its taste our body needs it ! But we have to be careful and shouldn t eat a lot :D

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AHMED_K's picture
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AHMED_K 3 July, 2013 - 11:34

people eat meat from the begining of life so why we should stop now ? I think stop eating meat may make the world less balanced and no one wants that

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Souby's picture
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Souby 28 June, 2013 - 23:31

I think, meat, is also important in our live ;thank to his benefits , I think I can't avoid eating meat,
but also eating vegetables is significant , cause it is very important and it contains many vitamins :) and it's a best solution to make a good Diet !! :)

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alvhernandes's picture
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alvhernandes 17 May, 2013 - 17:42

I respect but sometimes i don´t understand very well because meet is good too !!

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