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130,000 Giving Up Meat For A Month Saved More Than 1.9 Million Animal Lives

130,000 Giving Up Meat For A Month Saved More Than 1.9 Million Animal Lives

by Tiago Pita

No Meat May, the global campaign that challenges people to eliminate meat from their diets for 31 days, released the report summarising its 2021 campaign.

This year, the charity, which encourages participants to make the change for health, environment, animals, and food security – revealed that 130,110 people took part in its campaign. Each of the 65,055 registered participants on average encouraged one friend or family member to join them, with every person saving approximately 31 land and sea animals, a collective total of 1,984,178 living beings.

The statistics – gathered from a post-campaign survey by No Meat May – reveal that the number of participants in the meat-free challenge has almost doubled in the last year. Demonstrating strong support in Britain, a fifth (17%) of No Meat May participants come from the UK and Ireland, while 36% come from the USA, 19% coming from Australia and New Zealand, 15% from Canada, and 13% from other countries across the globe, most notably the Philippines and South Africa.

The worldwide impact of No Meat May has stretched beyond the month itself, with 93% of participants reporting they have continued to reduce their consumption of animal products, and 30% saying that they have eliminated all meat from their diets since participating in the challenge. Collectively participants are reporting a 33% increase in their intake of fruit and vegetables, a 96% increase in their consumption of pulses and a 61% increase in nuts and seeds.

With 2021 characterised by the continuation of Covid-19, the number one reason why people chose to give up meat in May was for health reasons, such as reducing the risk of chronic illness. This was cited by 81% of participants, followed by a desire to protect the planet (62%).

Based on the consumption of an average meat eater in a year, No Meat May participants will collectively prevent the production of 39,033 tonnes of CO2, save 17.81 billion litres of water, and free up land being used to grow 27,650 tonnes of animal feed - for every year they maintain their change in eating habits.

Additionally, in recognition of how vegetarian and vegan food has ‘levelled up’ over the last few years, the fourth most popular reason to take part in No Meat May was for the incredible food – supported by No Meat May recipes, cooking demos and meal plans.

Ryan Alexander, co-founder of No Meat May, says: “This year’s No Meat May has been the biggest yet, and the effect it’s had on changing attitudes has been phenomenal. More than ever, the global population is aware of the need to maintain good health, and by encouraging people to try a diet that is free of meat, we can support people to make lasting change that promotes better health. As well as preserving human lives, the efforts of participants have saved 1,984,178 animal lives in May alone. With so many making permanent changes to their diets, the benefits to animals – including the avoidance of factory farming – snowball quickly. Further, this can help to protect our planet, creating a kinder and more sustainable world.”

No Meat May is a campaign and charity that challenges people to eliminate meat from their diets for 31 days, for four big reasons (health, environment, animals, and food security). Launched in 2013 by Ryan Alexander & Guy James Whitworth, No Meat May started with 30 of their friends all giving up meat for the month of May. With participation more than doubling year on year, No Meat May is now a global campaign. Surveys of participants confirm that more than 90% of people reduce or eliminate meat permanently after completing the 31-day challenge.

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