Statistics from the Vegan Society suggest that vegans and vegetarians are set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025 and just under half of all UK consumers will be flexitarians. A flexitarian diet means that although you don’t eliminate any foods, you generally eat less meat and other animal products.

But why are more of us deciding to cut the meat, what exactly are the benefits of including more plant-based foods in our diet, and what can we learn from #meatfreemonday?

Meat Free Monday is a not-for profit campaign which encourages people to have at least one plant-based day each week, so we’re exploring how reducing meat consumption can have a significant impact on our health and the planet.

It’s kinder to the environment
According to a recently conducted study, avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your negative impact on the environment. A plant-based diet has a positive effect not only on reducing greenhouse gases (cows are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions), but also on things such as land and water usage.

A study conducted by Oxford University found that if we all cut meat and dairy completely from our diets there would be a 76% reduction on land used for food production and a 19% reduction in fresh water withdrawals for agriculture.

Save on your shopping
If your diet is currently high in meat, you might find swapping for more plant-based meals could save you money on your food bill. Meat is traditionally the most expensive grocery item, so buying less means your bank balance could see a healthy benefit and you’ll help save the environment at the same time!

Ramp up the nutrients
Eating mostly plant-based foods will give your body a big healthy boost, as whole plant-based foods are more nutrient dense and will naturally contain less saturated fat and additives. If you are eating whole, un-processed plant-based foods you might notice your diet is naturally becoming healthier and getting in your five-a-day is suddenly much easier!

Get flexible
Being open to eating more plants offers greater flexibility in your diet and more control over the amount of meat you choose to eat. A flexitarian diets allows you the flexibility to fit your diet around your lifestyle and your social life.

Adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet can seem overwhelming, but if you’d like to dig into the world of plant-based eating, give the flexitarian diet a go and power up on plants!