The meat-free market is thriving

As meat consumption falls, the vegetarian and vegan food market is rapidly expanding. Market researchers Mintel say that the number of new vegetarian and vegan food and drink products doubled between 2009 and 2013 (Mintel, 2014). They say that 12 per cent of global food and drink products launched in 2013 carried a vegetarian claim, up from six per cent in 2009, and two per cent of global food and drink launches carried a vegan claim in 2013, up from one per cent in 2009. This is a substantial portion of the market and veganism is now one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements. 

In 2014 Mintel estimated the UK meat-free food market was worth £625 million in 2013, up from £543 million in 2009.  Laura Jones, Global Food Science Analyst at Mintel, says: “Globally, the outlook for the meat alternative market is positive and will continue to be driven by an emerging consumer trend towards meat reduction”.

Viva!’s campaigns over the last 21 years have played a significant role in changing the way many people eat. Viva! was the first group to film the factory-farming of ducks locked in stinking, overcrowded sheds with no access to water in which to clean or swim. Huge press and TV coverage saw duck slaughter figures shrink from 19 million to 14 million, and they’re still falling.

Viva! have filmed in dozens of pig farms and exposed the widespread use of metal farrowing crates for breeding sows (cages so small they can’t even turn around) and showing the filthy concrete cells that piglets have to call home. Viva! have also exposed the constant misuse of antibiotics in animals and revealed the now-established link between factory farms and antibiotic-resistance superbugs like MRSA.

Viva!’s undercover investigators have hit the headlines by showing how the UK’s leading turkey producers treat their animals; thousands crammed into a shed, dim light, billowing dust, dead and dying birds everywhere. Turkey sales plummeted by four million.

Viva!’s kangaroo campaign got UK supermarkets to empty their shelves of all exotic meats. Oh, and we wiped out the British ostrich industry! Viva! also exposed the cruelty involved in fois gras production, showing how ducks and geese are force fed until their livers almost explode, persuading over 1,000 restaurants and Amazon to stop selling this ‘torture in a tin’.  Viva! also shamed Gordon Ramsay and made Heston Blumenthal drop it.

Viva!Health keeps abreast of the science and provides a unique major resource on vegan health and nutrition for health professionals and the public. We have shown that chicken meat is not a healthy alternative to red meat, that all fish contains dangerous pollutants and that cow’s milk and dairy products are not healthy or natural. This report provides irrefutable evidence that meat is not needed for good health and is linked to a wide range of illnesses and disease including the UK’s biggest killers; heart disease, diabetes and cancer.