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Meat losing appeal for the young

MEAT-EATING will vanish as a mass-market activity within a generation or two, it was predicted yesterday. Young people are turning to vegetarianism in increasing numbers, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

At the launch of what is claimed to be the biggest campaign to promote vegetarianism mounted in the UK, Peter Cox, a former chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said that a quarter of young women in the 16 to 24 age group, who would be a key influence in future consumption patterns, now regarded themselves as vegetarian.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 2,000 people a week have been making the switch to vegetarianism, with 45 per cent citing health benefits. The number of vegetarians is put at 4.3 per cent, or nearly 2.5 million people. This rises to 11 per cent, or 6 million, if people who have given up red meat are included.

The campaign, backed by the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society, will include a six-month 'vegevangelical' roadshow to 50 towns and cities to promote The Realeat Encyclopaedia of Vegetarian Living, written by Mr Cox and published yesterday by Bloomsbury at pounds 16.99.