Population Of Practising Vegetarians In U.S.
Provides an overview of research in an attempt to measure the number of practicing vegetarians in the U.S.; includes references to a half-dozen surveys and other research studies.
Recent survey estimates indicate that 3.6 to 4% of the population are vegetarians.
Interest in vegetarianism, or at least semi-vegetarianism is on the rise, along with a trend away from red meat.
1976 per capita consumption of beef was 94.4 pounds, which dropped to 78.6 pounds in 1984.
The 1983 “Trends in Nutrition Survey”, sponsored by Self magazine, showed that 24% of the 1089 respondent women reported buying less beef, but only 1% stopped buying it completely. 36% reported buying less pork and 20% reported buying less lamb, while 4% and 5% stopped buying these meats entirely.
USDA reports indicate that chicken consumption is on the rise, with 23 pounds per capita in 1960 versus 55 pounds per capita in 1985.
Cook’s magazine reports fish consumption to have risen 20% in the last 4 years, to almost 20 pounds per person.
Health food stores are also experiencing a steady growth in sales and requests for vegetarian airline meals are also on the rise.
A 1977-78 USDA National Food Consumption Study measured 1.28% of respondents to be self-reported vegetarians, although this number is not completely accurate as there were indications that people did not know the definition of ‘vegetarian.’
Roper also conducted a 2000 person 1978 poll for “the McNeil-Lehrer Report” which resulted in .55% claiming to be strict vegetarians, 2.60% claiming to be pretty much vegetarians, 17.05% claiming to be careful, 78.15% eating meat often and regularly, and 1.65% who didn’t know. A 1984 Gallup poll found that 24% of American adults were eating less meat and 44% were eating more fruits and vegetables.