Key vegetarian facts
• A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or the by-products of slaughter.
•Department of Health and Food Standards Agency (FSA) – National Diet and Nutrition Survey. In a UK-wide survey of 1,491 adults and 1,582 children between 2008 - 2011 2% of both adults and children reported that they were vegetarian
•The number of committed vegetarians has actually remained fairly stable over the last ten years. The real growth area is in meat reducers. These are people who haven't given up meat completely, but are making a conscious effort to eat less of it. The value of the vegetarian food market has grown from £333million in 1996 to £786.5million in 2011 (Mintel), showing that a lot more vegetarian food is being eaten throughout the country.
•Everyday, in the UK alone, more than 2.5 million farm animals are slaughtered for meat.
•A 2006 study, examining the impact of a typical week’s eating, showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat. An organic vegan diet had the smallest environmental impact, but the single most damaging foodstuff was beef. All non-vegetarian diets required significantly greater amounts of environmental resources, such as land and water.
•A well balanced vegetarian diet is known to bestow a wide range of health benefits. Research has shown vegetarians to suffer less heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, various cancers, diverticular disease, bowel disorders, gall stones, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
•The first vegetarian cookbook in the UK was written in 1812.
•The oldest Vegetarian Society in the world was formed in 1847 in the UK.