# Vegetarianism In The US: A Summary Of Quantitative Research

This report summarizes data from more than 25 quantitative studies and presents the best estimates of various meat consuming groups.

The primary consumer segments included in this analysis are:

- Health-conscious consumers, 35-50% of US adults, or 73-105 million people. These consumers strive for a balanced diet and/or replace 2-3 meals per week with meat free alternatives.
- Active meat reducers, 22-26% of the US adult population, or 46-54 million individuals. Active meat reducers are those who report eating less meat compared to one year ago.
- Semi-vegetarians are 12-16% of the US adult population or 25-33 million people. They eat any type of meat with less than half of weekly meals.
- Self-described vegetarians comprise 4-6% of the population or 8-13 million individuals. These consumers say “yes” when asked if they are vegetarian, typically with no definition of the term.
- Actual vegans and vegetarians make up 1-3% of the population, or 2-6 million US adults. They “never” consume meat, as described differently in various surveys.

Summary of Actual Vegetarian Population Estimates:

- In 2005, Faunalytics estimated that 1% of adults (3 million) never eat “chicken, turkey, fish/shellfish, beef, pork, veal or lamb,” based on a sample of 3200.
- In 2003 Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) estimated that 3% (6 million) of adults never eat “meat, poultry, or fish/seafood,” based on a sample of 1031.
- In 2000 VRG estimated that 3% (5 million) of adults never eat “meat, poultry or fish,” based on a sample of 968.
- In 1997, VRG estimated that 1% (2 million) adults never eat “red meat, poultry or fish,” based on a sample of 1960.
- In 1994, VRG estimated that less than 1% never eat “meat, fish or fowl,” based on a sample of 1978.
- In 1992, VRG estimated that less than 2% (less than 4 million) of adults reported “always eating a vegetarian diet,” based on a sample of 4700.

Summary of Self-Described Vegetarian Estimates:

- In 2002, a Time/CNN report estimated that 6% (13 million) of adults said they “consider themselves vegetarian,” based on a sample of 10007.
- Also in 2002, another Time/CNN report estimated that 4% (8 million) of adults “consider themselves vegetarian,” based on a sample of 1003.
- In 1999, a Gallup poll showed that 6% (13 million) “consider themselves vegetarian,” based on a sample of 1039.
- In 1995, a Time/CNN poll showed that 5% (11 million) “consider themselves vegetarian,” based on a sample of 1000.
- In 1992, a NRA poll showed that 3% (6 million) said being a vegetarian “describes them completely,” based on a sample of 800.
- In 1992, a Time/CNN poll showed that 7% (15 million) “consider themselves vegetarian,” based on a sample of 1400.
- In 1978 a Roper poll showed that 1% (2 million) of adults described themselves as a “strict vegetarian,” based on a sample of 2000.
- In 1943, a Gallup poll showed 3% (6 million) of adults said they “happen to be vegetarian,” based on a sample of 1500.

Summary of Semi-Vegetarian Population Estimates:

- In 2005, a Faunalytics study showed that 14% (29 million) of adults currently eat meat with less than half of meals” based on a sample of 3200.
- In 2000, Land O Lakes found that 25% (52 million) eat four or more meatless meals per week, based on a sample of 968.
- In 1992, NRA found that 9% (19 million) said “almost being vegetarian” describes them completely, based on a sample of 800.
- In 1978, 3% (6 million) said they are “pretty much vegetarian,” according to a Roper poll of 2000 adults.

Summary of Active Meat Reducer Population Estimates:

- In 2005, Faunalytics estimated that 25% (52 million) adults are eating less meat compared to one year ago, based on a study of 3200.
- In 2004, Quorum stated that up to 40% (102 million) are reducing meat consumption.
- In 2000, Wirthlin Quorum stated that 49% (102 million) adults noted that families are eating less red meat compared to 2-3 years ago, based on a sample of 1012.
- In 1997, Wirthlin Quorum estimated that 61% (128 million) felt that families are eating less red meat compared to 2-3 years ago, based on a sample of 1000.

Summary of Health Conscious Eaters Population Estimates:

- In 2005, Faunalytics estimated that 77% (161 million) of adults agree that they “would like to eat a healthier diet than they do now,” based on a sample of 3200.
- In 1996, Prevention/FMI estimated that 51% (107 million) made “major changes” to diet in the past 3 years due to health concerns, based on a sample of 1000.
- In 1996, Wirthlin Quorum estimated that 83% (173 million) of adults say they “try their best” to eat healthy foods, based on a sample of 1033.
- In 1992, NCBA noted that 3% (69 million) of adults agree that they can have a healthier diet by not eating (red) meat, based on a sample of 4700.
- In 1991, Maritz found that 45% (94 million) of adults say they are “very concerned” about eating a healthy diet each day, based on a sample of 1000.