Women and young people in particular are eating less and less meat


Just under a quarter of Belgians younger than 34 eat vegetarian at least three times a week. That was just 12 percent in 2016. Women and people from Brussels in particular are also eating less and less animal products, according to an iVox study commissioned by the non-profit organization Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA).

Vegetarian food seems to be on the rise. Only seven in ten Belgians eat meat or fish almost every day. For young people, that is only six in ten. Women also say they eat vegetarian meals more often than men. About thirteen percent of Belgian women and nine percent of men eat vegetarian at least three times a week.

Also in Brussels there has been a clear evolution towards more veggie in recent years. No less than 33 percent of Brussels residents now regularly eat vegetarian, 6 percent call themselves vegan. The city follows the trend of other major cities, according to EVA.

Moreover, we also seem to be more tolerant of a vegetarian lifestyle. Almost half of the Belgians (44 percent) think that no meat is needed on your plate to be able to speak of a full-fledged meal. An equally large group also indicates that they take non-meat eaters into account when cooking for guests.

The iVox study was conducted with 2,000 Belgians, representative of language, gender, age and diploma and has a maximum margin of error of 2.08 percent.


One of the biggest motivations for eating less animal products is that animal welfare and the environment are far less important reasons for Belgians older than 55. They mainly eat vegetarian food for their health.

Yet there are certainly still barriers. The main reasons that prevent Belgians from eating more vegetarian food are taste and insufficient cooking skills. The higher price of meat substitutes also plays a role, especially among young people.

To put vegetarian food in the spotlight, the organization is therefore launching the Veggie Challenge, which starts on 1 March and in which participants try to eat more vegetable for thirty days. They receive professional nutritional advice and access to 700 recipes. Around 8,000 people have already registered in Belgium.

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