BATH, England — Most meat eaters support the principles of plant-based eating, according to a new study published in the journal Sustainability. Practical barriers such as taste, price and convenience remain the biggest roadblocks to adoption.
Chris Bryant, a researcher at the Univ. of Bath, surveyed 1,000 meat eaters about their attitudes toward plant-based diets and their intended consumption of animal products in the future. One in six said they planned to reduce their consumption in the next month, and 14 percent intended to reduce their consumption of animal products. The study also found 73 percent of meat eaters considered plant-based diets to be ethical, 70 percent said it was good for the environment and half considered it healthy.
In contrast, more than 80 percent said adopting a plant-based diet isn’t easy. Nearly the same amount said it was inconvenient, and 60 percent thought it was not enjoyable. Attitudes toward vegetarianism were significantly more positive than attitudes toward veganism, the study found.
“At a time of year when many people are considering switching to plant-based diets with ‘Veganuary,’ this study shows that most people already agree with the ethics of veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment,” Bryant said. “That many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviors we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste.”
He added that many of these barriers already have changed since the study was conducted in September 2018.
“Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast-food outlets have developed numerous high quality and affordable vegan options,” he said. “Having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products.”