New research carried out for MFM by market research company YouGov shows that eating fewer animal products is a high priority for many of us.
The national survey of 2,065 adults reveals that a third of respondents (30 per cent) are trying or thinking about trying to eat less meat.
Extrapolating that figure to the adult population of the United Kingdom, it means over 15 million of us could be physically or mentally taking steps to cut back on our meat consumption.
Demonstrating the impact MFM has had on the public consciousness, almost a fifth of respondents (19 per cent) said they were aware of the campaign – rising to 30 per cent for 18 to 24-year-olds – and, of these, a fifth had actively taken part.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those already eating less meat, or considering doing so, who had heard about MFM said the campaign had influenced their decision.
Most of those who said they were cutting back or considering cutting back on their intake were doing so because they wanted to eat more healthily (41 per cent). Enjoyment of meat free meals was key for a fifth of people (20 per cent), while 14 per cent were doing so to save money.
But an awareness of the environmental impact of meat-eating also plays a significant part in people’s dietary decisions, and the research shows that young people are particularly aware of the adverse impact that meat-eating has on our planet.
39 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 agreed that producing and consuming meat and other livestock products has a significant negative impact on the environment. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of adults concurred – a notable increase on the 14 per cent of all GB adults who agreed in a 2007 YouGov survey for Friends of the Earth.
The research for MFM suggests the meat free message is continuing to connect with people concerned about looking after themselves and the planet.
A report by the Eating Better alliance last year included another YouGov survey showing one in three people was willing to consider eating less meat, while one in five had cut back during the year.
Eating Better also highlighted the fact that, while people appeared more than willing to go meat free, governments and food companies were not doing enough to promote the benefits of doing so.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size in 2015 was 2065 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th – 25th September 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Friends of the Earth 2007 survey: Total sample size in 2007 was 2,196 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 8th November 2007
Eating Better 2014 survey: Total sample size in 2014 was 1,782 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 13th October 2014