A study carried out by SurveyGoo and Ingredient Communications supports the idea that cultured meat could see a significant impact on those following vegan diets. Discover all the details in our in-depth article.
The popularity of the vegan diet has been rising for years.
Since 2014, the number of people who identify as vegan has seen a 500% increase. The SurveyGoo team were keen to uncover what was causing this sharp increase in numbers. In a survey of 1000 people, we sought to gain insight into the unique dietary choices of individuals and what influences their behaviours.
Influences on the Vegan Lifestyle
Animal welfare was identified as the primary reason behind the choice to become a vegan. Cruelty involved not just in the slaughter of animals, but also in the acquisition of other foodstuffs such as milk and eggs, ultimately became a motivating factor in nearly 70% of all vegans surveyed. Other highly influential factors were health concerns (48%) and environmental impacts of the livestock trade (38.5%).
The survey, however, also outlined an unhappiness many vegans experienced with their current dietary options. Nearly half of vegans involved in the study were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the food options available for them. Only 35% were very satisfied with their dietary choices.
As the vegan diet requires giving up all meat, dairy products and eggs, individuals are limited to vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits — limitations that appear to be putting a strain on dietary satisfaction. While vegan restaurants and food outlets are also rising in popularity to meet increasing demand, restrictions at the core of veganism are still difficult for those following the diet.
How Cultured Meat Could Challenge Dietary Choices
Given the dissatisfaction vegans experience with their dietary options, SurveyGoo wanted to explore their thoughts on the existence and consumption of cultured meat.
Cultured meat is organic matter created from animal cells and grown in a laboratory. In 2013, the first lab-grown piece of meat was created in the form of a burger. Since then, interest in cultured meat has increased, becoming a product edging ever closer to our plate. Cultured meat is technically the same as meat obtained from animals, but it does not affect animal welfare — the primary reason behind the rise of veganism. The below chart shows how animal welfare is a major factor for many choosing to become vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian.
As it avoids the ethical dilemmas that many vegans are concerned with, is cultured meat an option for their diet?
60% of vegans stated that they would be happy to include cultured meat as part of their diet. A further 14% were unsure and wanted to learn more about the process. Only 26% were against eating the product. With dissatisfaction in dietary options high and concerns over cruelty and welfare being their strongest motivational factor, it is unsurprising that many vegans would opt to include cultured meat in their diet. Below you can see a breakdown of how vegans responded to the question — would you eat cultured meat? The results are reasonably consistent across the board with all age groups and genders been open to the idea of cultured meat.
Further findings also uncovered some fascinating statistics relating to those who follow vegetarian (no meat or fish) and pescatarian diets (no meat, but eat fish). Both groups were distinctively less interested in the potential for eating cultured meat. Only 24% of vegetarians would be interested in lab-grown products, with 29% unsure, while pescatarians were even less interested, with 22% willing to eat cultured meat and 16% unsure.
The survey noted that both groups were also much more satisfied with their current dietary options than vegans. 69% of vegetarians involved in the study were satisfied with their options, while only 24% of pescatarians were dissatisfied with theirs.
The Future of Diet Trends and Cultured Meat
SurveyGoo’s findings demonstrate a greater willingness to try cultured meat as diets become more limited. We also discovered that veganism is set to see even greater rises in the years to come.
60% of vegetarians surveyed were considering becoming vegan within the next 12 months. 38% of pescatarians were also looking to jump straight to veganism in the same timeframe, with a further 40% considering vegetarianism — the majority of which would then eventually become vegan, according to our results.
The survey reveals that cultured meat could have massive implications for vegans, with major impacts on the type of food consumed under this diet. As more and more people become vegan, especially those already not eating meat, the demand for greater diversity in food options for these individuals will only increase. Cultured meat looks set to satisfy that demand and become a major part of future diets.
What does this mean for the vegan diet? Does the consumption of lab-grown meat mean that somebody is no longer vegan? Share your thoughts and comments on SurveyGoo’s data!