With the proliferation of organic and food options, and restaurants offering vegetarian menu choices, it may seem that Americans are increasingly embracing the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, but a recent Gallup poll
indicates that the incidence of vegetarianism has remained largely unchanged since 1999.
In a July 9-12 Gallup poll of 1,014 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, only 5% claimed to be a vegetarian. That number represents a 1% decrease in vegetarians reported at 6% in 1999 and again in 2001.
Broken down by gender, age, education, political affiliation, and marital status, the poll indicates that women are slightly more likely to be herbivores than men. Those age 50 and older are more likely to be vegetarian than those between 18 and 49, though people with a high school education and some college were twice as likely than college graduates to choose a vegetarian lifestyle. More vegetarians identify themselves as politically liberal than conservative or moderate, but only by a 2% margin.
“Almost all segments of the U.S. population have similar percentages of vegetarians, suggesting that most stereotypes of who is and is not the typical vegetarian in American society have little basis in fact,” Gallup wrote. “Vegetarianism in the U.S. remains quite uncommon and a lifestyle that is neither growing nor waning in popularity.”
For the first time, Gallup asked poll participants if they identify themselves to be vegan. Vegans, who consider themselves separate rather than a subset of vegetarians, claim to not consume any animal products including eggs or dairy. The poll indicated that only 2% of polled participants identified themselves as vegans.
But if the campy gamer film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” is to be believed (not a scientific authority), vegans have psychic powers because non-vegans “only use 10% of their brain — the other 90% is filled with curds and whey.”
Follow Elise Rambaud Marrion on Twitter @emarrion_cmn.