With movies like Food Inc which expose the way food and meat are produced in the US and fears of Global Warming brewing, vegetarianism is growing. In fact in 2008, there are 7.3 million Vegetarian Americans and 22.8 million Americans eat a vegetarian inclined diet. In 2008 Vegetarian Times conducted a study on the statistical breakdown of vegetarians. This interesting study broke down the statistics on vegetarians in America. The study reported that about 1% of the population are vegetarians, with a million of those following a strict vegan diet.
And if you are curious to who is a vegetarian the study broke down this diet by gender, age, and the length of their commitments. It was shown that more women and younger Americans have chosen vegetarianism. 59 percent of reported vegetarians are female while only 41 percent are male. It was appears that the majority of vegetarians are between 18 and 34 years old. 42.0 percent of vegetarians are age 18 to 34 years old while 40.7 percent are 35 to 54 and 17.4 percent are over 55. And on top of the showing that vegetarians are made up of mostly a younger female population, the study reported that most of these committed vegetarians have been following this diet for 10 years or more. 57.1 percent have followed a vegetarian diet for more than 10 years while 18 percent for 5 to 10 years; 10.8 percent for 2 to 5 years, and 14.1 percent for less than 2 years. These figures are compelling because it is evident that most Americans who decide to follow a plant based diet do so as a long or lifelong commitment.
As well as showing who is a vegetarian in America, the study explained the reasons most Americans are choosing to live an herbivorous lifestyle. The 2008 study reported that over half, 53 percent, are currently vegetarian for health reasons. Environmental factors were also played a huge part in American’s decision, showing 47 percent as their reason to become vegetarian. It was also shown that 39 percent cited “ natural approaches to wellness” while 31 percent cited food-safety concerns, 54 percent cited animal welfare; and finally 25 percent cited weight loss while 24 percent reported weight maintenance as a reason. There are so many reasons to chose a vegetarian diet, as it is clear by this data, but it seems that most Americans choose to live a meat free life for a variety of reasons.
The study provides great information about those Americans who are eating a vegetarian or vegetarian inclined diet. Perhaps the most encouraging statistics to come out of this study is that the 11.9 million non vegetarians who were surveyed stated they are “definitely interested” in eating a vegetarian diet in the future: meaning more and more people are interested in the lifestyle. Finally, the editor of Vegetarian Times, Elizabeth Turner said “the vegetarian sector is one of the fastest-growing categories in food publishing,” In fact magazine sales for Vegetarian Times has been growing after the last few years while the mainstream publishing industry has been hurting.
Now that we know the breakdown of Vegetarian Americans it makes fact that this trend is growing incredibly exciting. Looking at concrete data showing that more and more Americans are changing their lifestyles, makes the excitement all the more real. So in the words of Brain, we vegetarians are “trying to take over the world.” Look out, American we are taking over…well in the end at least we are a growing population.