A new report by British company Compare the Market, Limited—with support from Gersham College—found that seven percent of United Kingdom residents, which amounts to 3.5 million individuals, now consider themselves vegan, with 14 percent (seven million people) identifying as vegetarian. The new report focused on changes that UK residents have made—particularly in relation to dietary habits and modes of transportation—in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. When presented with the choice between not eating meat and not being able to drive, the report found that nearly half of the population chose the former. “From farm to fork and beyond, food accounts for about 20 percent of all of our greenhouse gas emissions,” Gersham College Professor Carolyn Roberts said. “Estimates suggest that if all of our meat eaters-switched to a vegan diet, it would roughly halve total greenhouse gas emissions associated with food.” The vegan population in the UK has grown exponentially in the previous decade. In 2016, The Vegan Society found that vegans comprised just one percent of the UK’s population (or 542,000 people)—a number that then represented a 360-percent increase since 2006.
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