Veganism and vegetarianism in Canada - statistics and facts
Vegetarianism and veganism are the practices of maintaining a meat-free diet. While vegetarians typically choose to not eat meat, poultry, game, or fish, vegans also abstain from other animal and animal-derived products, including dairy, eggs, and honey. By-products of animal slaughters, such as gelatin or animal rennet, are also avoided. There are many different reasons to adopt a meat-free diet; while some opt for this diet for religious reasons, others turn to this practice for health reasons, with many considering the vegetarian diet to be a healthy option. Concerns over animal welfare, as well as the impact of animal agriculture and environmental matters, have also led people to become vegetarians or vegans. Over the last few years, the increasing adoption of meat-free diets has raised awareness of the issues surrounding animal agriculture, thus encouraging many people to rethink their eating choices.
Indeed, the consumption per capita of beef and pork in Canada has witnessed a long-term decrease. However, the consumption of chicken per capita has increased, suggesting that some Canadians are specifically cutting out red meat from their diets. Canadian females aged 55 and over were the most likely demographic to avoid beef and other red meats in their diet in a recent survey. Veganism is also having a visible impact on the dairy industry; along with other factors, veganism in Canada could be a reason for the decline of milk consumption in the country.
Meat and dairy substitutes are popular replacements for consumers looking for the same tastes, flavors and nutritional content as the original products. The retail sales of meat substitutes in Canada were forecast to reach over 220 million U.S. dollars by 2022, an increase of over 100 million since 2015. Beyond Meat was the leading plant-based protein brand which Canadian consumers had tried at home in 2019.
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