Survey of Vegans 2013, The Results
Undertaken by independent researcher M. Butterflies Katz, this survey of over 7,000 people was conducted through vegan Facebook groups over a period of 2.5 months in 2013. It examines a broad range of aspects associated with veganism, exploring everything from whether or not respondents had epiphanies, to whether they feed their companion animals a vegan diet. The results of the study give an interesting snapshot of English-speaking vegans located around the world.
This 2013 survey, published by M. Butterflies Katz, looks at the motivations and lifestyle profiles of vegans. In this case they are specifically English-speaking vegans that were surveyed via various vegan Facebook groups over a 2.5 month period. About 7,000-8000 people responded to a wide variety of questions, and the results of the study paint an interesting picture of veganism. Surprisingly, according to this survey, over 30% of respondents only recently became vegan and 30% also said that they “didn’t become vegan because of the animals.” Some of the more detail oriented statistics are more in line with findings from other U.S. surveys seen recently. In particular, over 65% of respondents described some type of incremental approach to going vegan that happened in stages.
In addition to some interesting facts about what inspired people to go vegan – over 42% of respondents said that a video / movie / film was responsible for the choice – the survey of thousands gives a host of other insights into the vegan lifestyle. More than 35% of vegans who responded are living with a non-vegan spouse or lover, and more than 80% of the respondents said they identified as female. Almost an equal number of respondents described themselves as atheist / agnostic or “spiritual but not religious” (43% and 45% respectively), while only 11% said they belonged to a major world religion. Only 5% of the respondents described themselves as “conservative” in their political views, and nearly 40% said that they were “a child-free vegan and plan to stay that way.” These are interesting results that offer a fascinating insight into the vegan lifestyle of many people.
Because of the nature of the survey (respondents were allowed to “leave a comment” for any question rather than choose one of the multiple choice responses), not every question was answered directly by everyone. Keeping this methodology in mind, the sheer number of respondents offers a new look into veganism that might be valuable for activists and scholars. As the survey gathered respondents through social media, the results give us a sense of the demographics of this internet savvy vegan population. It will be interesting to see if follow-up studies like this are conducted again in the future by the researcher, and how the findings compare to these 2013 results.