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Vegetarian UK

Settembre 2013
Più che una scelta salutare è una scelta etica: rinunciare alla carne, per protestare contro il trattamento degli animali. Oggigiorno esistono moltissimi cibi adatti a questa dieta, soprattutto in Gran Bretagna. I vegetariani aumentano e dal 1 al 7 ottobre, per promuovere questo stile di vita, è stata proclamata la International Vegetarian Week!

di Sally Trowbridge © British Council

File audio:

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

Vegetarianism is increasing in the UK. According to the Vegetarian Society, the numbers of people giving up meat are growing. There’s even a “National Vegetarian Week” organised every year to encourage people to try a meat-free lifestyle.


A recent poll estimated that three million people (5.7 per cent of the population) were vegetarian. Vegetarians (people who don’t eat meat) and vegans (people who don’t eat or use any animal products) are becoming increasingly common in UK culture. Visit a British supermarket and you will see a wide range of vegetarian ingredients and prepared meals on the shelves, including vegetarian sausages and vegan cheese.


So why are Brits cutting out meat? Many are unhappy about the poor treatment of animals and the effects of meat and fish production on the environment. Worries about food safety (for example, BSE or “mad cow disease”) also play a part. Others choose to change their eating habits to improve their general health. According to the Vegetarian Society, a meat-free diet could help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease, as well as obesity and high blood pressure.


Another rising trend is in how food is produced. Many people are rejecting GM (genetically modified) food and intensive farming practices. They want their food to be organically produced. Organic farmers use very few or no chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers, and organic meat is produced without the use of drugs and antibiotics. Organically-farmed animals also have more living space and more nutritious food.


According to the Soil Association, three out of every four UK households now buy some type of organic food. Some get organic meat, fruit and vegetables from farmers’ markets, where products are sold directly to the consumer. Others have a box of organic fruit and vegetables delivered to their homes every week. Many people buy organic produce in their local supermarket. Although it’s often more expensive, fans of organic food say it tastes much better


In Britain “National Vegetarian Week” is a regular event, but the rest of the world has:
International Vegetarian Week from October 1st to 7th.
Veggie Pride was created in France in 2001 and takes place every year on the third Saturday in May. It’s also celebrated in Italy, the UK and the USA.
And November 1st is World Vegan Day.


In the UK food labels state that the contents are either “suitable for vegetarian” or “not suitable for vegetarian.” This makes it easier for vegetarians to identify foods compatible with their diets.

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