The just-released “Vegetarianism in America” study, published by Vegetarian Times (vegetariantimes.com), shows that 3.2 percent of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.
Data for this survey were collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau on behalf of Vegetarian Times. The poll surveyed 5,050 respondents, a statistically representative sample of the total U.S. population. Vegetarian Times commissioned RRC Associates, a research firm in Boulder, Colo., to perform the data analysis.
The 2008 study also indicates that of the non-vegetarians surveyed 5.2 percent, or 11.9 million people, are “definitely interested” in following a vegetarian-based diet in the future.
The study also collected data on age, gender and other demographic factors. Of the vegetarians surveyed:
•59 percent are female; 41 percent are male.
•42.0 percent are age 18 to 34 years old; 40.7 percent are 35 to 54; and 17.4 percent are over 55.
•57.1 percent have followed a vegetarian diet for more than 10 years; 18 percent for 5 to 10 years; 10.8 percent for 2 to 5 years, 14.1 percent for less than 2 years.
40 years ago, there were only about 1% vegetarians. Nowadays, only about 1% of us ever eat veal. Throw in the horrors (and horrible lack of flavor) of factory farming, and long distance shipping, and you're stuck with the grim reality : You have to start thinking about what you eat.
For starters, there's the easy calls. These are pets:
No need to think. These guys have lived with people for thousands of years, and trust us. Trust is vital. And love.
Rabbits? Some people think they're cute. Some are pets, and you have to respect that. Wild rabbits will take your garden & spit in your face. Eat them before they do!
Then there are these walking hunks of meat -
A steer is born to be eaten. Seemed pretty simple a while back, and might still be if you take the medium view. People eat animals. Always have. And, for now, so do I -just not as much as before there was a v-person in the house. But how many of us could be the one that chops the turkeys heads off?
Every year the world gets more crowded, and we get more gentle.