Meat consumption in China continues to drop as veganism grows, leading the traditionally meat-heavy country to a more plant based lifestyle. China is the world’s largest market for beef, poultry and pork, however, according to Business World, they are “steadily growing wary of meat.”
The more health conscious members of the population in China are prompting this growth of the vegan market, and alongside this, the Chinese health industry released new guidelines advising a lower intake of meat. The new guidelines have seen the pork, beef and poultry industries decline in sales, as well as markets for other products.
Figures for veganism in China are uncertain; however, figures from a report dating back to 2014 suggest that over 50 million people have changed to a vegan lifestyle and diet. Another study published by the South China Morning Post in 2017 claims that the vegan market in Hong Kong is expected to rise by 17 per cent between 2015 and 2020. This would make it the fastest growth rate internationally in that five year period.
Artist Han Lili has been documenting the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants since 2012 told Business World that many of the major cities are rapidly growing in terms of their vegan offerings. The number of vegan eateries in Shanghai rose to over 100 last year from 49 in 2012, and in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, half of the eateries in her count of 80 needed updating.
Despite the decline in meat sales, China’s meat industry remains the largest in the world. Fruits and vegetables are growing in the number of sales, with China consuming 40 per cent of the world’s fruit and vegetables.