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

Gabby's picture
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Gabby 22 February, 2013 - 23:43

I don't think it's necessary to stop totally eating meat. I think if people just decrease the amount of meat in their diets would be enough. It would be good for the planet and for people's health. Remove all meat of the diet can cause protein deficiency and it's not good, mainly for children and teenagers. The right thing to do is to find an equilibrium.

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aida's picture
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aida 22 February, 2013 - 17:27

Being vegetarian is a very good thing because begins to eat as many vegetables necessary for the human body...
but people need to eat and foods of animal origin because they contain more proteins necessary for human growth and development... :))

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Student11's picture
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Student11 11 May, 2013 - 00:30

I think that all peaple have a diet. In your case is a poor, unhealthy diet, or whatever. A vegan life, I support it diet.

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ramy123's picture
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ramy123 14 February, 2013 - 06:40

i like both of kind food vegetable and product of animals it is build our body the meat give us Protein Energy ...

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ronaldostar's picture
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ronaldostar 10 February, 2013 - 17:29

i think the world would be a better place if people ate less meat and we should eat more vegetarian foods ,it s better for our body .I dont really like meat .

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Amaiak13's picture
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Amaiak13 10 February, 2013 - 11:18

Last year I was thinkig of becominng a vegetarian but I decided that I can't do it. I like eating meat but I don't like thinking that animals are dying...

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julen3e's picture
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julen3e 5 February, 2013 - 15:59

I can't avoide eating meat. It is important to eat healthy but a good steak is better. If you have eaten a good steak you won't give up eating meat!!!!!!!!!

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Sunovnica's picture
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Sunovnica 24 March, 2013 - 13:36

i hope that is a joke....MCdonald is the worst kind of "food" that you can choose . Please ,be more careful about your healt.

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itzimur's picture
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itzimur 5 February, 2013 - 15:58

I'm not a vegetarian but i think the world would be a better place if people ate less meat and less animals will die. I love meet and i'm not going to be vegetarian.

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Ilda G's picture
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Ilda G 30 January, 2013 - 17:29

I like eating meat..
I have never tried to be a vegetarian..
I think I couldn't stand without meat

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gayter0203's picture
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gayter0203 25 January, 2013 - 05:42

I am a vegetarian since birth. Just as I look at cooked meat or something like that, my mind pictures the animal being cooked alive.. So I never turn to it..

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