Millions of Brits secretly eat meat while pretending to be vegan or vegetarian

Telling fibs to retain "vegan credibility"

More than six million of us have fibbed about being vegan or vegetarian, a poll has revealed.

One in ten British people has lied about being vegan or vegetarian. That would be about six million people experiencing a serious case of ‘green guilt’, according to a poll commissioned by Kia Motors (UK) Ltd

With the younger generation embracing the change in eating habits, it is hardly surprising that the most liars will be found amongst the Generation-Z demographic – those aged between 18 and 24 of whom 23 per cent have lied about their apparent meat and/or dairy-free status. They are, after all, the demographic who will feel the strongest peer pressure to appear virtuous with regard to animal food consumption. 

“Green Guilt” from social and peer pressure

Interestingly almost half of Britons (49 per cent) suffer from ‘green guilt’. They admit to exaggerating their green lifestyle because of peer pressure from family, friends and colleagues to be greener, and therefore more virtuous.

Kia Motors discovered that seven in 10 Britons feel this pressure to be more eco-friendly. The relevance to the motor trade is that just over a third (34 per cent) want to buy an electric car to increase their “green credentials”. A large majority (77 per cent) plan to buy an eco-car in the next three years, citing climate change as the driving force to go green.

A great deal of anecdotal evidence would suggest that many no doubt tell what they consider to be a “little white lie” to impress members of the opposite sex on dates. 

According to the research, people are far less likely to lie about this subject the older they get. Twelve per cent of Millenials aged 25-34 have lied on this subject, and the figure falls to nine per cent of those aged 35-44. A mere four per cent of people aged have 45-54 confessed to telling this particular lie, whereas very few people over 55 have confessed to having done so.

The research showed that the biggest temptations for the people who want to be seen to be wholly plant-based are sausage rolls, bacon baps, ham sarnies and chicken.

Kia’s Steve Kitson commented: “There is a great deal of attention focused on green issues in society today, and via our research, we found that some of the UK public are experiencing ‘green guilt’.”

Social Media hypocrisy

There are no shortage examples of vegan social media influencers who have cultivated a business promoting veganism, usually of the more extreme variety, who have been found out secretly eating animal products. 

Back in March 2019, a YouTuber who amassed more than 3 million followers across YouTube and Instagram by extolling the life-changing properties of a raw vegan diet got busted when she was filmed eating fish at a restaurant. The story went viral over the internet and was covered from the Washington Times to the South China Morning Post.

When she realised her cover had been blown, she described it as being the worst day of her life. “I felt like someone had died,” said 28-year-old Yovana Mendoza, also known as Rawvana. 

Vegans largely dismissing her 33-minute mea culpa video which went through a list of justifications based on her health problems – she had promoted a raw vegan diet but had stopped having her periods after a lengthy water fast of over 20 days.

Her video quickly racked up about a million views and was dubbed “Fishgate”.

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Nicholas Orosz

Nicholas is a former City solicitor and Cambridge graduate. He has a long-standing interest in health & nutrition, the environmental movement, green politics & digital publishing. He has always loved crafting words. His transition to a vegan perspective has been gradual and an ongoing process of self-discovery. Contact:
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