One-third of Canadians are eating less meat, going vegetarian: study

Jack Choros
Daily Brew

[Photo: Getty Images]

It appears more and more Canadians are learning to love their greens.

A recent study commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society found that approximately 12 million Canadians identify as either vegetarians or at the very least have committed themselves towards eating significantly less meat.

1,507 Canadian adults were surveyed in the study in an online poll. The results revealed that B.C. is indeed the most vegetarian-committed province with 13 per cent of participants saying they’ve gone vegetarian and an additional 26 per cent of participants saying they eat significantly less meat than they used to. The responses of those surveyed in Québec and Ontario were similar. 30 per cent of respondents in Québec stated they consume significantly less meat than they used to while 23 per cent of Ontarians are doing the same.

One of the most interesting conclusions found in the survey is that the idea of being vegetarian or significantly reducing meat consumption is more likely to be adopted by younger adults rather than those over the age of 55. 33 per cent of respondents over 55 say that they are eating less meat now than they have in the past, but only five per cent of those polled identified as being vegetarian.

The study is an example the Vancouver Humane Society’s larger mandate. In addition to rescuing lost pets and homing strays, it also works to educate the public about the impact consuming less animal products can have on  factory-like farming practices and associated climate change:

Being vegetarian not only helps animals and the environmental stability of our planet of course, it also benefits the health of us human beings. Numerous medical studies have demonstrated that reducing one’s intake of red meat can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer and diabetes in women, as well as bowel cancer for both genders.

Adopting a vegetarian diet also means you’re likely to consume a lower amount of saturated fats and cholesterols and a higher amount of carbohydrates, antioxidants and fibre among other healthy nutrients.

While a diet free of meat and animal products may not be right for you, it looks like more and more people are deciding it is, at least in Vancouver, Ontario and Québec.