More Than a Quarter of UK Meals Are Now Vegetarian, Study Shows

*Smug vegetarian look*

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09 February 2018, 2:40pm

Photo via Flickr user Stijn Nieuwendijk.

You first suspected it when your mum came home with Linda McCartney sausages after her Tuesday shop. “Oh, I just thought we could try something new,” she said, placing the soya protein bangers in the freezer. After that, it was when your colleagues rejected your offer to pop out for a cheeky Big Mac at lunch instead of whatever was in their sad Tupperware box curry. A sad chickpea curry, in fact. Finally, it was when your boyfriend—a man who shares an emotional connection with chorizo—announced that he would be doing Veganuary that you knew it was over. No matter how hard you resist, the truth is painfully clear: vegetarian world domination is coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it

While vegetarianism and veganism have been on the rise for a while now, new stats prove the diet’s gradual, impending dominance, as over one quarter of meals consumed in the UK are now meat- and fish-free. According to the BBC, in the 12 weeks up until the end of January this year, 29 percent of British meals were vegan or vegetarian. Vegetarian ready meals are also on the rise, with sales up 15 percent from last year.

The research comes from Kantar World Panel, who polled 30,000 households on their eating habits. It shows an increase of 2.1 percent from 2014, when only 26.9 percent of meals eaten in the UK were vegetarian.

This rise in the consumption of meat-free products comes at a time of increased scrutiny around meat production, and an expansion of vegetarian and vegan options in large supermarkets. Quorn, which produces a range of vegetarian and vegan meat replacements, saw global sales rise by 16 percent last year and Tesco has introduced its own vegan and vegetarian food range. Combined with a growing vegan fast food scene across the UK, access to vegetarian and vegan food has never been so easy.

Be afraid, meat-eaters. Be very afraid.