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Only half of the UK population now consider themselves meat-eaters, according to a recent survey.

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Fruit and veg in a heart shape

With the rise of people opting for a plant-based lifestyle showing no signs of stopping, a survey has revealed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of the UK population now identify as ‘flexitarian’, actively trying to cut down their meat intake on a regular basis.

Of the 2,000 adults polled, vegetarians now make up 10 per cent, with pescatarians (five per cent) and vegans (four per cent) not far behind.

Research by vegan food brands, The Fry Family Food Co.Oumph! and LikeMeat, found attitudes towards plant-based foods were changing among the general population, with over one in three people now believing vegan food can be just as indulgent as meat.

The survey also explored the relationship between food and mood, with one in five Brits reporting thinking that a plant-based diet would make them happier than a meat diet. The effect of diet on sleep was also considered, with 57 per cent of vegans admitting better sleep duration and quality since making the switch to a plant-based diet.

The research was conducted following the vegan community’s most successful Veganuary to date. A total of 582,538 people signed up to the challenge in total, with sign-ups hitting a rate of one person every three seconds at the beginning of the month.

Nicola Yates, spokeswoman for Fry’s, Oumph! and LikeMeat, said: “Gone are the days of limp salads and a side order of plain chips at restaurants, the bar has been raised for vegan alternatives and it won’t be going back.

“We’ve seen some incredible product innovations over the years, and raised the eyebrows of some of even the strictest omnivores.

“Our research shows that it’s not a case of being vegan or not any more, as there are so many fantastic meat-free options on offer for flexitarians and omnivores to try. A plant-based meal is better for you, better for the environment and doesn’t have to compromise on taste!”

Which of the following best describes your diet?

Meat-eater/ Omnivore: 54%

Flexitarian: 27%

Vegetarian: 10%

Pescatarian: 5%

Vegan/plant-based: 4%

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