Animal Aid


Posted 12 February 2003
Building a Veggie Future, the new report from Animal Aid

More than half of vegetarian parents who have decided to raise their children on a meat-free diet face negative pressure from their relatives. A major new Animal Aid survey reveals that family members - other than their own children - are the most hostile of all the groups with whom veggie parents come into contact. These groups include teachers, doctors, health visitors and other parents. Most support comes from friends of the veggie parents.

Nearly 800 vegetarian parents from around the UK took part in the survey, which is published to mark the start, on March 1, of Veggie Month - the annual nation-wide celebration of the meat-free diet organised by Animal Aid.

Despite encountering prejudice and misplaced advice, the survey results show that most vegetarian parents succeed in bringing their children up veggie without real difficulty.

Of the 81% of vegetarian parents who are raising their children on a vegetarian diet - either from birth or after the parents themselves gave up meat - 54% have faced negative pressure from other family members, while 20% have received encouragement. Many reported that certain relatives or friends secretly feed their children meat behind their backs. Almost all respondents said that they wanted a better service from supermarkets. This included improved labelling and more child-orientated vegetarian products.

Said Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:

"For the first time, veggie parents have spoken out about the prejudice they can face when following their conscience and giving their children a diet that is both healthy and animal-friendly. That most are undeterred by the negative pressure is testimony to the strength of their own convictions and to the common cause they find with a rapidly increasing number of other veggie families."

Notes to Editors

  • Building a Veggie Future: Animal Aid's Vegetarian Parents' Questionnaire (available from 25th February in hard copy or on our website, describes, in their own words, the experiences of veggie parents throughout the UK. Many parents are available for interview. Contact the office for details.
  • The new report is available to the public on request as part of a free Veggie Month pack that includes lots of nutritional, health, recipe and animal welfare information. The pack can be ordered through the group's website, by email (, by post, or via the special Veggie Line: 01732 354032.
  • For more information call Becky Lilly or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.

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