When it comes to food emotion is king and your average persons love of bacon rules over all things. I suspect we are at a time when vegetarianism and vegan diets are gaining in popularity but we have a long way to go before eating plants becomes mainstream. I've noticed since I went vegan 3 years ago (I was once too a devoted fan of bacon) that more restaurants offer vegan options, more stores sell vegan food and the media reports more on vegan issues. It's possible I just notice more now but I absolutely recall a time not that long ago when eating out was difficult and grocery options were very limited. If you pay attention to the amount of recent vegan celebrities and athletes you can get a sense of the growing popularity of the diet. But I think I will be long dead before the majority of the population takes up plants as the main source of their nutrition.
When we talk about behaviour change and the emotions attached to food (like my admitted attachment to apple pie) there are some big challenges in motivating people. Generally I'm of the belief that people will change when the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of changing. The affect that meat farming has on our environment and the growing financial cost of purchasing meat may help toward that goal forcing people to more often choose beans over steak. A personal health crisis may unfortunately be what is required for the majority of people to consider eating less meat and even then I think we all know smokers that kept at the habit until it was far too late. I'm under no illusion that a vegan diet is inherently healthier than an omnivore one. By it's definition Coca Cola and Oreos are vegan. It's the consumption of whole plant foods that create positive health changes and vegans are (or should be) more likely to consume higher quantities of plants foods.
What is the biggest eye opener for me with the WHO report is the reaction in media and in my own community. It was almost a bad time to be a vegan as I somehow felt accused of a conspiracy plot from my meat eating friends. Their public shaming was somehow linked to a secret vegan agenda. I took to simply saying "it seems like a personal choice" when asked about my opinion on the report just to avoid any debate or insult. I can only hope personally that even one percent of people curb their intake of the meat of concern in the report. I say this after witnessing an elderly person loading up her cart yesterday at the grocery store of hot dogs that were on sale. I also overheard a mother promising her child bacon as a reward for being good while following it up with a comment that the kid couldn't have bread as it was bad for them (it would seem that Wheat Belly still has a strong hold on our minds). Nutrition is elusive to most people, it probably feels like a moving target and they just give up on trying to make healthy choices. That's pretty sad. I certainly don't believe that some meats can't be part of a healthy diet if your personal ethics don't object to consuming animals. But it seems obvious that at the very least processed meats should be avoided at all costs.
If you're looking for a balanced article about the WHO report that really puts everything into perspective this is probably the best one I've found. Ultimately it's your choice who you listen too, just be careful of the upcoming onslaught of rebuttal studies about the health benefits of bacon and take the time to look who funds those "studies."