This blog post includes data from research into seven UK-based reduction and vegan campaigns, drawing on the largest sample of meat reducers, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans in any research project to date (n=1,587). Research was conducted for my PhD in Social Policy at the University of Kent, using a mixed-methods, longitudinal approach.

Participants in UK-based meat reduction and vegan campaigns were extremely likely to report already reducing their animal food product (AFP) consumption over the previous six months and were unlikely to report plans to newly abstain from AFPs (e.g. pescatarians planning to become vegetarian).

Planned and reported changes tended to follow The Reduction Hierarchy, with participants most likely to plan to reduce red, then white, meat, before dairy, and finally fish and eggs. For abstention, fish generally preceded that of dairy or eggs.

Additional trends:

  • With the exception of vegans, on average vegetarians reported consuming the fewest servings of dairy and eggs.
  • Pescatarians generally consumed the most fish.
  • Meat reducers and non-reducers consumed similar amounts of AFPs, except that meat reducers tended to eat less red meat.

DIETARY TRENDS BETWEEN CAMPAIGN SAMPLES

Clear differences emerged between the current and planned dietary habits of campaign participants, suggesting that they may be reaching different populations and serve distinct purposes in the transition process. While reduction campaigns included more meat reducers and non-reducers, vegan campaigns tended to draw more vegetarians and pescatarians.

Participants in two of three vegan campaigns generally did not plan to be following a vegan diet in six months, including 78% of those in Animal Aid’s Great Vegan Challenge and 70% of those in their Great Vegan University Challenge. Viva!’s 30 Day Vegan instead drew more who were already vegan (21%, compared to 4% of Great Vegan Challenge and 5% of Great Vegan University Challenge participants) and only 31% did not plan to become vegan.

Over the upcoming weeks I’ll be sharing more of my findings and what this means for campaigners, researchers, and policy makers. So make sure to click “follow” and stay tuned!

11 thoughts on “The dietary habits of participants in meat reduction and vegan campaigns

  1. Hi Trent, thank you for this research. Are you saying that 48% of those in the Viva! 30 Day Vegan Challenge were planning to go vegan? And at what point during (or after) the challenge did you survey them?

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    1. Hi Jack, thank you and great question! As “only 31% did not plan to become vegan” in the 30 Day Vegan, 69% did plan to become vegan at the campaign start. Initial survey was conducted when participants signed up to the campaign or, for campaigns with set time frames (not the 30 Day Vegan) in the month preceding. With the 30 Day Vegan this would mean they were given the survey when signing up on Viva!’s website, at which point their 30 Day Vegan would start the next day. Hope that answers your questions!

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  2. Hi Trent,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Here’s my confusion: You say that 21% of those in Viva’s study were already vegan and that only 31% were not planning to go vegan. So if you add 21% to 31%, you have 48% left over who were planning to go vegan—unless you’re saying that the 21% of people who were already vegan were not vegan at the beginning of the challenge. That’s what I’m having a hard time following.

    Thank you for your patience!

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