Is it true? (Nancy Russell-CBC)

Canadians going meatless

Well, not quite, but on the eve of World Vegan Day (Nov 1), a new national survey shows Canadians attitudes towards meat are changing

The survey estimates 6.4 million Canadians (out of a population of just over 36 million) have either given up on meat or have reduced the amount they are eating.

The study is called, “Plant-based dieting and meat attachment: Protein wars and the changing Canadian consumer”, by principal investigator Professor Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with support from Simon Somogyi, Arrell Chair in the Business of Food at the University of Guelph, and Janet Music from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management.

Principle investigator, Sylvain Charlebois- Dalhousie University. (supplied)

While 40 per cent said they eat meat daily, another 40 per cent say meat is in their diet once or twice a week. However just over half say they are willing to reduce meat consumption, and a third say they’ll likely do so within the next six months.

There was also somewhat of an age divide over meat consumption with younger Canadians more likely to have adopted a plant-based diet with 63 per cent of respondents listing themselves as vegans were under age 38

There was also a gender divide with women more likely to say meat protein can be replaced by other source, and are also more likely to be concerned about animal welfare.

A bowl of nuts and mill worms served at a event in 2013 at Montreal’s Insectarium- insects as a protein source and meat replacement hasn’t really inspired many Canadians sdo far (.Karine Jalbert-Montreal Space for Life)

Men, especially older ones, were more likely to talk about the enjoyment of a meat dinner.

Science has begun to enable the creation of artificial “lab-based” meat, but that idea has not caught on with Canadians, nor has the idea of insect-based proteins

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