I have felt a shift over my lifetime. I have noticed that vegetarianism and veganism is becoming more and more common. From a recent news story:
“Nearly one-quarter of Americans say that they sometimes go meatless at restaurants, reports R&I’s 2008 New American Diner Study. And although only a small percentage of Americans identify themselves as dedicated vegetarians—3.2%, or 7.3 million people, according to a 2008 Harris Interactive poll for Vegetarian Times—the same study finds that 10% of consumers say they largely follow vegetarian-inclined diets and 5% more are “definitely interested” in shifting to vegetarian-based diets in the future.”
What does that tell you? It tells me…
1. We’re making a difference. Those of us who are vocal veggies are being heard. If you blog or if you actively promote veg*nism in anyway, YOU are making a difference.
2. If you’re a restaurateur or a grocer, you’d better meet the needs of vegans.
3. If you’re a closet veggie, you can come out, there are MILLIONS of vegetarians and vegans.
What does it tell you?
Whether they consider themselves vegetarians or not, 24% of consumers say they sometimes order meatless entrées at restaurants, according to R&I’s 2008 New American Diner Study. Which demographic groups are more likely to choose meat-free meals?
Women (30%) more than men (18%)
Gen Y (30%) and Gen X (26%) more than Boomers (22%) and Matures (21%)
Asians (31%) and Hispanics (26%) more than blacks (25%) and whites (23%)
Residents of the Northeast (29%) and West (26%) more than the South (24%) and Midwest (20%)
Improved health is just as strong a motivator as animal welfare among Americans pursuing vegetarian diets, according to 2008 research from Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive. Following are the top reasons behind consumers’ choices to go meatless:
* Animal welfare: 54%
* Improve overall health: 53%
* Environmental concerns: 47%
* Natural approaches to wellness: 31%
* Weight loss: 25%
* Weight maintenance: 24%