MEAT-EATERS are being urged to reap the benefits of a meat-free diet – both to their health and their bank accounts.

As part of Meat Free May, Darlington Friends of the Earth are challenging people to give up meat during May.

Participants can either commit to eating no meat throughout May, or choose certain days to swap meaty meals for vegetarian dishes.

The campaign aims to help the environment, as well as showing people how healthy and cheap a meat-free diet can be.

Kathy Barley, of Darlington Friends of the Earth, said the meat industry is one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change.

She said: “We also hear in the press every day how our diets are having an effect on our health, with eating meat linked to diabetes.

“You can also save money by cutting out meat.”

During the campaign, the group will be posting daily recipes on their Facebook page - – and offering advice to anyone who is unsure about how to cook vegetarian meals.

The Health Warehouse, in Post House Wynd, Darlington, will also be offering 10 per cent off in their new cafe to anyone who mentions Meat Free May.

Ms Barley said: “The point is to get people engaged and taking about it, and getting people to try new foods.

“If anyone has got any questions we can offer all sorts of advice to people.”

Participants can also take up the challenge in return for sponsorship.

For more information email or search #meatfreemay on Twitter.