Half a million vegans in Britain

Can it really be true? According to a survey of nearly 10,000 people aged 15 years and over conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, there are an estimated 542,000 adult vegans in mainland Britain, more than three times the number estimated in a similar survey conducted in 2006 (https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/find-out-how-many-vegans-are-great-britain). The figure* equates to more than one per cent of the 51.8 million people in England, Scotland and Wales aged 15 and over. Almost half the vegans (42%) are aged 15-34, with 14% aged over 65, equivalent to about 75,000 vegan senior citizens. The study also found that around 1.68 million people, or 3.25 per cent of the adult population, are either vegetarian or vegan, with about half of these also avoiding non-dietary animal products such as leather and wool. Thus, vegans constitute nearly one-third of the Britain’s vegetarian population, suggesting that adopting a vegan diet has become easier and more acceptable for vegetarians in recent years.

(* The estimated figure of 542,000 is near the middle of a range of values between 440,000 and almost 648,000 persons, within which the true number of adult vegans is almost certain to lie. Surveys of this sort can only provide an estimate of the true figure because only a small fraction of the total population can be interviewed.)

Paul Appleby

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