One in ten British children are refusing to eat meat and identify as vegan or vegetarian, survey finds

One in ten British children now refuse to eat MEAT, according to a new survey.

A nationwide study has revealed as many as 10 percent of children aged eight to 16, now identify as a vegetarian or vegan, while 44 percent are trying to eat less meat and dairy.

Kids are increasingly opting for veggie or vegan meals at school
Getty – Contributor

But as a result, almost a quarter (23 percent) of youngsters claim they regularly go hungry at school, because of the lack of vegetarian and vegan options on the dinner menu.

In fact, more than a third (34 percent) admit, when they can’t find anything, they just end up spending cash on unhealthy snacks from the shop or vending machine.

According to the research of 1,500 British children, by Linda McCartney Foods, 44 percent of those who had gone meat-free did so to be kinder to nature and animals, and a further 31 percent said they thought it was better for the planet.

But almost one in 10 (seven percent) admitted they were simply following the footsteps of meat-free influencers on social media, while 29 percent had wanted to be healthier, and 27 percent just fancied giving it a try.

19 percent said they’d taken the plunge as they preferred vegetarian food options anyway.

77 percent of vegan or vegetarian youngsters admitted that they had been forced to eat meat because of the lack of options

One in 10 went meat-free because their friends are veggie, and 17 percent because they have vegetarian parents.

According to the research, schools are failing to keep up with food trends with 70 percent of children polled saying there are not enough vegetarian or vegan options on offer.

In fact, 77 percent of vegan or vegetarian youngsters admitted that they had been forced to eat meat at some point because of the lack of options available to them.

And parents agree, with 81 percent of parents with veggie or vegan kids claiming there are not enough healthy and tasty vegetarian options at their child’s school, and three quarters (73 percent) of all parents saying that they thought school dinners lack variety in general.

Two in ten (21 percent) of the children polled claim they are aiming to go meat-free within 5 years, while a further 15 percent of youngsters insist they will have given up meat within a decade.

Vegan YouTube sensations Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, commented: “Young people really care about the environment and climate change, it is one of the greatest threats to their futures.

“We’re seeing a continuous change in attitudes towards food all around the world and it’s amazing that in the UK one in 10 children are now meat-free, with that number growing.

With Linda McCartney Foods, we are turning Trinity Primary school (Lewisham) entirely veggie this week. The research shows a 70 percent of school children want to see more vegetarian and vegan options at school lunches, which can’t be ignored.

“We hope by working with Linda McCartney Foods we can educate the decision makers within schools on how delicious vegetarian and vegan food.”


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