In the last three years, diners have steadily moved from omnivorous diets towards flexitarian, vegetarian and even vegan diets – with the vast majority of “switchers” moving to flexitarian diets (otherwise known as “casual vegetarianism” as flexitarians still occasionally eat meat).
In our article exploring flexitarian diets in Singapore, we noted that two in five locals are flexitarians. Since it’s important for restaurant owners and chefs to understand what’s on diners’ minds, we think you’ll find it useful to understand why more Singaporeans are leaving animal meat off their plates – so you can continue attracting them with menu offerings that suit their dining (and ethical) preferences.
1. They want to live healthily
Whether it’s avoiding seafood because of gout, or decreasing saturated fat and cholesterol levels, more modern diners are choosing healthier – and animal meat-free – options.
Many believe that plant-based diets reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease – and they’re not wrong. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, excessive red meat consumption can be linked to a variety of health issues, some of which can lead to chronic issues. Plant-based diets, however, generally contain more fibre, nutrients and vitamins – all good news to diners’ ears – as well as less cholesterol and fat.
With this in mind, health-conscious diners are now choosing to keep animal meat off their plates – while plant-based meats are, of course, very welcome.
2. They love animals
As much as people love to eat their favourite beef burgers and chicken tenders, more diners are letting their love for animals decide what goes on their dinner plates – which means less animal meat and more alternatives!
This empathy for animals been accelerated by the more people seeing and reading stories of unethical animal farming practices, or by seeing videos of animals getting slaughtered on social media. Farming isn’t always a pretty sight, but it was previously out of sight. Now, with more diners seeing the harsh reality of how their meat arrived on their plate, more people are choosing to avoid having animal meat in their meals.
3. They want to protect the environment
People now have a better awareness of what goes into rearing livestock – the amount of food, water, land and other resources it takes to grow cows to adulthood, the pollution that’s created, and more. By choosing plant-based food, diners are proud to play their role in conserving the environment for the next generation to enjoy.
These diners believe that plant-based foods are more sustainable – and they’re right. Globally, animal agriculture uses 77% of the agricultural land on earth, while providing us with less than 20% of our food supply. Compared to animal meat, the production of plant-based meat results in significantly reduced levels of water pollution and an almost 90% reduction in greenhouse gases.
Plant-based foods – and plant-based meats – are simply more sustainable than traditional meat, and that’s why more diners are choosing plant-based meats (like those from The Vegetarian Butcher) over animal meat.