Vegetarians launch week of persuasion

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The Independent Online
Veggie bangers and crispy fried tofu were offered as breakfast alternatives to sausages and bacon yesterday at the start of the first National Vegetarian Week, an attempt by the Vegetarian Society to wean Britons away from meat eating.

Every week, 28,000 people become vegetarian, according to a University of Bradford survey commissioned by the society. Women converts outnumber men by two to one, with younger people, aged from 11 to 24, and those in the 55-64 age group the keenest to change their diets.

According to the survey, the findings of which are disputed by the Meat and Livestock Commission, there are 3.6 million vegetarians in Britain, about 7 per cent of the population, compared with 1.5 million in 1985 and an estimated 100,000 in 1945. The society says another 6 million no longer eat meat or poultry. The commission says the figure for vegetarians is 3 per cent.

A society spokesman said the meat industry had its 'backs to the wall . . . Meat eating may have made economic sense in the Stone Age but nowadays the logic of growing food to feed to animals so that you can eat the animals is an environmental nonsense.'

National Vegetarian Week aims to show vegetarian food can be colourful, exciting and varied. The society is distributing Seven Delicious Days, a booklet of breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.

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