More people are trying to distance themselves from meat and become flexitarians

An increasing number of people in first world countries are becoming flexitarians, that is, people who still eat meat (and who are therefore not vegetarians), but are trying to limit their consumption and actively look for new vegetarian dishes.

In response to this trend, the number of vegetarian and vegetarian restaurants continues to grow. Vegetarians are getting better services than before. With the rise of flexitarians, restaurants are expanding their vegetarian offerings.  

“Historically, chefs have been less than enthusiastic about vegetarians, but that is changing,” said London-based chef Oliver Peyton. “Young chefs are particularly aware of the need for vegetarian food. More and more people are choosing vegetarian food these days and it’s my job to serve them.” Fueling this trend are health concerns, as well as the environmental damage the meat and dairy industry is doing, and celebrities talk about it a lot.

Peyton and a number of other chefs have joined Sir Paul McCartney’s “Meat Free Monday” campaign to encourage more people to cut back on meat in an effort to slow global warming. A recent UN report states that the livestock industry contributes more to global warming than all modes of transport combined.

Another London chef, Andrew Darju, said most of the customers at his vegetarian restaurant Vanilla Black are meat eaters looking for new types of food. And it’s not just restaurants that are tracking the increased demand for vegetarian food. The meat substitute market sold £739 million ($1,3 billion) in 2008, up 2003 percent from 20.

According to market research from the Mintel group, this trend will continue. Like many vegetarians, some of the Flexitarians are also motivated by the suffering of animals used for food, and celebrities also support avoiding meat for this reason. For example, the granddaughter of revolutionary Che Guevara recently joined the vegetarian media campaign People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  


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