The Impact of UK Meat Consumption on the Environment

“Bacon is too good to resist”

“100% omnivore, gotta have my meat”

“If we didn’t eat them, they would eat us!”

Those are all comments we received from a survey we conducted on meat consumption in the UK.

Opinions are split, with some claiming that meat consumption destroys the environment and should be banned from our diet, while others insist that this is nonsense and everyone should enjoy their beef burger guilt-free. 

So, who is right?

Should Brits go vegan to reduce their carbon footprint? Or is it all just nonsense?

We cut through the beef and finally give a definitive answer to this question and more in this article.

Let's dive right in...

In order to understand Brits’ meat consuming habits and their readiness to change, eco- conducted a survey with several hundred participants. The results of the survey show that Brits are huge meat consumers, in fact, 71% of respondents are meat consumers and 38% eat meat daily.

Shocking Findings on UK Meat Consumption and Its Impact on The Environment

“By not eating burgers, Brits could save CO2 equivalent to driving 616,154 times around the Earth”

Bad news for hamburger lovers, burgers are bad for the environment! In fact, by ditching burgers, Brits could save CO2 equivalent to driving 21,609,655,040 miles per week, since producing one burger has the same carbon footprint as driving 320 miles.

This corresponds to driving 616,154 times around the Earth. If driving around the Earth is not exciting enough, they can drive to Neptune and back 3 times, but they’d still need to find a road for the journey!

According to our results, 34% of Brits eat 1 burger a week while 10% eat 2 burgers, and 4% eat 3 a week, which is still a huge number when you add it all up across the population.

“Almost half of Brits are willing to reduce their meat consumption”

With concerns about the safety of the planet rising, a significant portion of the population is willing to change their eating habits.

41% of respondents claimed they’re ready to reduce their carbon footprint by going vegan for a few days a week or for a whole year, while others do their best by trying Meat Free Mondays. And yes, even one day can make a difference.

If the remaining 59% of the population decides to remove meat from just one meal a week, it will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 million tonnes which is the equivalent of taking 9 million cars off the roads.

The results of our survey show that Brits are ready to reduce their meat consumption to combat environmental concerns such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, or excess water use.

When asked about their main motivation to reduce meat consumption, 57% voted for environmental concerns.

“Animal welfare is less important than it used to be”

Did you know that cows can live for around 20 years? Impressive, right?!

Well, unfortunately they are sent for slaughter at around 10 to 12 months old. However, this doesn’t seem to bother Brits as only 18% of the respondents voted for animal welfare when asked about their main motivation to reduce meat in their diet.

Furthermore, cows are quite intelligent animals, and can be just as clever as dogs. So, would you eat your dog if he’d make a good steak?!

“Anything but going vegan or vegetarian”

Surprisingly, out of the people who are willing to reduce their meat consumption, changing eating habits is not their preferred way of reducing carbon footprints.

Only 18% would go vegan to reduce their carbon footprint, while others would prefer to switch to a hybrid/electric car (45%) or stop travelling by plane (16%).

Brits would opt for many alternatives before giving up their meat.

So, What’s the Point?

We conclude that meat consumption in the UK has a real impact on the environment. Fortunately, Brits are open to changing their eating habits to take good care of the planet.

However, it is important to remember that every single action counts, you can start by switching to a hybrid car, stop travelling by plane, or simply choosing to be a more responsible consumer.

At the end of the day, no matter which you choose, protecting the environment should be the main objective.

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