Meat-eaters are being put off going veggie because of certain aggressive vegans, says survey

dating whilst vegan

Let’s just get this out of the way from the get-go. The stereotype of the shouty vegan isn’t true to all vegans. There are loads of vegans and vegetarians who aren’t at all preachy or judgmental, and will happily be buddies with meat-eaters and cheese-addicts alike. But there are some vegans and vegetarians who give vegans a bad name… just as there are some meat-eaters who give omnivores a bad name.  They do this by making the world of veganism feel exclusionary and harsh, scolding people for dipping their toe in through flexitarianism, or lecturing meat-eaters when they’re quite clearly not in the mood to be swayed.

A recent survey suggests that the small group of vegans who are a little too aggressive in their mission to spread the good word are actually working to put meat-eaters off giving up the animal products.

A survey of 2,363 meat-eating Britons were quizzed about their diets and their attitudes towards making the switch to being vegetarian or vegan.

Two thirds of those surveyed said they’d considered becoming vegan or vegetarian in the past year, noting inspiration such as the health benefits of cutting out meat or seeing photos and videos from the meat industry.

So what’s stopping them from making the switch?

When the people surveyed were provided with a list of possible reasons they were sticking to eating meat, five responses emerged as the most common:

  • I like the taste of meat too much (81%)
  • Meat substitutes are too expensive (58%)
  • I’d struggle for meal ideas (50%)
  • My family eat meat and wouldn’t consider going vegetarian or vegan with me (41%)
  • The attitude of certain vegetarians/vegans has put me off (26%)

While the majority of those surveyed pointed to a love of meat for the reason they weren’t able to come over to the veggie side, it’s worth noting that 26% said that their choice was down to the attitude of certain vegetarians and vegans.

Researchers asked those who pointed to the attitudes of veggies for putting them off what, exactly, vegans and vegetarians had done to prevent them from switching.

The top responses were ‘they were quite aggressive to those eating meat’ (37%) and ‘they consider their way of eating to be the only way’.

A further 25% of all the respondents said they’d been lectured about their diets and why they should make the switch which, clearly, didn’t work to sway them.

Now, a few notes on this.

The study only surveyed people who still eat meat, rather than speaking to those who have made the switch, so we don’t know what actually helps or convinces people to become vegetarian or vegan.

It’s also worth noting that the research was carried out by VoucherCodesPro, who may be more likely to focus on the issue of expense people consider to be part and parcel of vegetarianism and veganism.

But what we can learn from this study is that there are some meat-eaters who believe that aggressive vegans are putting them off making the switch to an animal-free diet.

This could indicate that if you’re really keen to promote veganism, the answer probably isn’t lecturing, judgment, or fitting into the stereotype of the angry, stubborn vegan who won’t allow for the tiniest compromise. Instead, it’s down to making veganism and vegetarianism more accessible.

Exactly 42% of those surveyed said that if meat substitutes were cheaper, they’d consider switching their diets, while half of people said they thought they’d struggle with meal ideas. Maybe the answer is offering help and guidance to those who are open to it, whether it’s pointing out cheap meat alternatives or offering meal plans, and accepting that people may want to test the waters with flexitarianism to start with. Clearly, being hardheaded isn’t working. It might be time to be a little gentler.

By Metro


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