More than a quarter of Brits are thinking about reducing their meat intake, suggests a new survey.

Data gathered by market research firm YouGov indicates that 27 percent of people in the UK are considering cutting down on animal products. Most are motivated by environmental reasons.

The meat industry is driving destruction across the planet. It emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases, and it’s also a leading cause of deforestation. The industry also relies on toxic pesticides, which pose a huge risk to pollinators, to grow feed for farm animals.

The YouGov survey, released in collaboration with the Vegetarian Society, also asked participants which at-risk animals would motivate them to give up meat. Around 40 percent said that bee protection could encourage them to go vegan or vegetarian.

The results follow a recent study from the University of Bonn in Germany which revealed that meat consumption must drop by 75 percent in rich countries.

Lead author Dr. Matin Qaim said: “If all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, we would certainly miss the international climate targets and many ecosystems would collapse.”

Are Brits giving up meat?

It is easier than ever for people to choose meat-free options in the UK, with more vegan products on supermarket shelves and more menu items in restaurants. But Richard Mcllwain, the chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, believes more can be done.

He said in a recent statement, “we want to see more vegetarian and vegan options included front and center on all menus,” before arguing that vegetarian options, in particular, are appealing to flexitarian consumers.

Previous data released by YouGov indicated that most flexitarians will not go vegan, but instead see reducing meat as a “conscious” and “deliberate” long-term choice. 

But other reports indicate a different trajectory for people who reduce their meat consumption. Earlier this year, a survey by Veganuary revealed that more than a third of people who gave up animal products for January intended to stay vegan. 

Veganuary’s international head of communications Toni Vernelli said: “These incredible results show that Veganuary is so much more than a one-month pledge as taking part leads to lasting diet change for most participants.”

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