Animal Aid


Posted 1 February 1998


In 1990 Animal Aid launched its campaign to convert 10% of the UK population to vegetarianism by the year 2000, and thereby save roughly 85 million animals from slaughter each year, improve human health, help fight human hunger and create a cleaner planet.

According to the 1997 Realeat Survey, 5,000 people are turning vegetarian every week. Over 5 per cent of the population are now vegetarian - an increase of 20% since 1995. More than 14.3% no longer eat red meat, rising to over 25% amongst women.


The Oxford Study (1994) compared the health of 6,000 vegetarians with 5,000 meat-eaters over a 12 year period. The 2 groups were matched to exclude or allow for the effect of other "lifestyle" factors - such as smoking and general fitness.The Study showed that deaths from cancers were 39% higher amongst meat-eaters and mortality from heart disease 28% higher.

Total number of deaths in 1995 (Office of National Statistics) 641,712
Number of deaths due to cancer 159,838
Number of deaths due to heart disease 152,056

It is estimated that 94.4% of the people who died in 1995 were meat-eaters. The Oxford Study indicates that 20% of these mortalities were due to having a meat-based diet. This gives a figure of 121,155 deaths associated with meat-eating. Using similar calculations, 59,675 people died in the same year from meat-related cancers and 40,429 from ischaemic heart disease.


  • Despite the increase in the number of vegetarians, more farm animals are killed each year. This is largely because the poultry industry continues to thrive. In 1996, more than 850 million animals were killed for food in the UK, of whom more than 760 million were broiler chickens.
  • Broiler chickens are housed in huge windowless sheds - holding, on average, 45,000 birds - for the duration of their six-week growing period. As birds grow, space for each individual decreases. By the end of the growing cycle each bird has only 0.5 square ft of floor space.
  • Approximately 2.7 million turkeys (or 7% of the total) die in their sheds every year. Ulcerated feet and hock burns are common - caused by continual contact with litter contaminated by urine and faeces.
  • Of the 744,000 UK breeding sows, approximately 80% are housed permanently indoors. Of these, 95% give birth in barren structures built from metal bars and concrete known as farrowing crates.
  • The figure for early mortality of lambs born in the UK is approximately 20%. Every year some 4 million lambs die from disease,malnutrition, and exposure in their first few days of life (Henderson, Lamb Survival, Farming Press).
  • In order to produce commercial quantities of milk, dairy cows are forced to endure a constant cycle of pregnancies. They are expected to carry milk that may be in excess of 20 litres at any one time - ten times as much as would be required for her calf. (Webster, Animal Welfare - A Cool Eye Towards Eden, 1995)


"Policy-makers in all parts of the world should be informed that increasing consumption of meat and fatty foods will lead to a massive increase in incidence of a large number of diseases that are expensive to treat...

"Vegetarian groups have been shown to have lower overall mortality, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower rates of obesity, and longer life expectancy than general population comparision groups."

From Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective
World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research


Poster locations are listed alphabetically. Some locations have more than one poster. For exact sites, please contact Becky Smith on 01732 364546 or Mark Gold on 01404 831763.

Barnet . Barnsley . Birmingham . Blackpool . Bradford . Brent . Brighton . Bristol . Bromley . Bury St Edmunds . Cambridge . Cardiff . Chatham . Crawley . Croydon . Derby . Doncaster . Dumbarton . Dunstable . Ealing . Easington . Eastleigh . Edinburgh . Ellesmere Port . Glasgow . Gloucester . Gosport . Great Yarmouth . Greenwich . Grimsby . Guildford . Havering . Ipswich . Kirby . Leeds . Leicester . Lewisham . Liverpool . Loughborough . Luton . Maidstone . Manchester . Newcastle-on-Tyne . Northampton . Oxford . Petersfield . Prestatyn . Reading . Redbridge . Richmond . Rochester . Scarborough . Sheffield . Southampton . Southend . St Albans . Staines . Stockport . Stockton-on-Tees . Stoke-on-Trent . Tamworth . West Bromwich . Westminster . Woking . Wrexham . York

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