8 million Britons eat their greens

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The number of vegetarians in Britain is growing by more than 5,000 every week, according to a survey. It also claims that more than 8 million people in Britain have cut red meat completely from their diet.

The study was conducted for Realeat, a food company which caters for vegetarians. It concludes that 13,000 people a week are removing red meat from their dinner tables, while more than half of the population have reduced the amount they consume.

For more than one in five of those questioned, the BSE scare was the primary reason for dietary change.

According to the research, three million people are now vegetarian, with the proportion of male vegetarians at its highest since the annual survey began in 1984.