Vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular across the U.S. The number of vegetarians is 20%, vegans are 3%, and plant-based diets are 11%. The question of how many people eat vegan is important to know because not all studies have the same definition of veganism.
For example, a recent survey conducted by Faunalytics asked respondents whether they currently follow a vegan diet. The question of what percentage of the population is vegan was framed to have the most restrictive definition. This is a survey conducted online, and therefore no census-balancing is involved. Vegetarian Resource Group has also conducted polls of U.S. adults.
What Exactly is Veganism?
Donald Watson, co-founder of ‘The Vegan Society,’ invented the term vegan in 1944.
Originally, the word was used to refer to vegetarians who did not consume dairy products.
However, the Vegan Society revised the definition in 1951 to:…” exclude all forms of animal exploitation…”
Veganism now encompasses a wide range of views on animal cruelty and the consumption of animal-based products (food, fashion, etc.)
How Many Vegans are there on the Planet?
It’s never been easy to figure out how many vegans there are on the planet. Many people lump vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based eaters into the same group, even though there are significant differences. Given that the most progressive countries in the world record a vegan population of 2-8 percent, we can conclude that the global figure is much below 1 percent.
Even though there has been a significant increase in vegan interest in South Africa, 99.99 percent of the continent’s population is not vegan. Given Africa’s population of 1.2 billion people and the world’s population of 7.53 billion people, it’s simple to see why the vegan population is closer to 0.1 percent.
According to our estimations, there are around 75,300,000 vegans on the planet.
How Many Vegans are There in the United States?
It was 2016 when we first revealed the statistics on the number of vegans in the United States. According to studies from 2016, barely 0.5 percent of the population in the United States was vegan. According to recent research, the number of vegans is rising — up to 6%!
There are around 19,632,000 vegans in the United States, which has 327 million people.
It’s worth mentioning that the 6% statistic is self-reported, leading to erroneous conclusions. The definition of a “vegan lifestyle” might vary depending on who you ask.
How many vegetarians are there in the United States if the vegan population is 6%? Vegetarianism is practiced by 8% of the US population.
According to a Gallup poll from 2018, 8% of the population is vegetarian, but what’s more fascinating is that the percentage of vegetarians has barely increased over the last decade. Vegans have seen a significant increase in their population percentage, although vegetarians have seen a smaller increase. This could indicate that people are transitioning directly from a meat-eating diet to a vegan diet without first completing a vegetarian diet.
What are the Environmental & Sustainability Statistics for Vegans?
One of the main reasons vegan product alternatives are becoming more popular is that consumers are becoming more aware of veganism’s long-term viability.
Vegan foods like the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger are gaining popularity among meat eaters because they consume fewer resources.
According to a 2018 Oxford University study, avoiding animal products is the most effective approach to lessen your environmental impact. This is because livestock animals grown for meat and dairy account for more than 80% of acreage, yet these food items only account for roughly 18% of calories and 37% of protein consumption.
According to a 2010 United Nations assessment, the world needs to shift to a plant-based diet to avoid malnutrition, fuel poverty, and the worst effects of climate change.
Many consumers have been educated about the substantial impacts that animal husbandry has on the environment and the Earth’s resources, thanks to documentaries like Cowspiracy. Greenhouse gases, water, land use, waste, oceans, rainforests, wildlife, and humans are all addressed. The following are some of the most important takeaways:
According to the United Nations ‘ Food and Agriculture Organization, animal husbandry is responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is higher than all transportation emissions combined.
According to the USDA, agriculture accounts for 80-90 percent of water usage in the United States, and more than half of the land is used to feed cattle grown for human consumption.
According to the Environmental Working Group, it takes 477 gallons of water to create one pound of eggs and nearly 900 gallons of water to generate one pound of cheese.
Livestock occupies 45 percent of the Earth’s total geographical area while being a major contributor to global warming.
According to the FAO, overfishing has depleted or exploited nearly 75% of the world’s fisheries.
What are the Statistics on Vegans and Vegetarians Around the World?
Meatless diets are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
In Western countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, a completely animal-free diet is the most popular, but vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise worldwide:
Veganism was a top search trend in Canada in 2017. “Plant-based diet” ranked first in the Google trends survey.
Around 10% of Australians have switched to a plant-based diet, a “record number.”
In the last decade, the number of vegetarians in Portugal has increased by 400%.
According to Euromonitor, Italy has the fastest increasing vegetarian population between 2011 and 2016, with a 94 percent raise.
According to data, only 21% of Germans eat meat daily, and the vegan community in Germany has increased in the last decade.
Even though China has one of the world’s largest meat markets, the Chinese government has issued new dietary guidelines encouraging the country’s population of more than 1.3 billion people to cut their meat intake by half.
Top Vegan Food Trends in the United States in 2022
Keep a watch out for the following vegan foods to grow in popularity dramatically in the coming year:
The 5:2 Vegetarian Diet
While it is not a completely vegan strategy, the number of Americans who eat exclusively vegetables five days a week and meat only two days a week is a positive statistic.
Many studies in recent years have revealed that many people participate in the Veganuary movement. This annual challenge promotes and educates consumers about veganism by encouraging people to cut out meat-based products for the first month of the year and stick to their new diets for the remaining 11.
Vegan chocolate isn’t a new concept, but there hasn’t been much of a selection for us to pick from throughout the years. This is already evolving and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, with Cocomels, Hu, Nutiva®, Panda Chocolate, and Raaka among the highlights.
Vegan eggs are not only now available, but they are also considerably better for the environment than chicken eggs! JUST, for example, has a mung bean-based plant-based egg option that requires 83 percent less land and up to 98 percent less water. Furthermore, the approach produces 93 percent less carbon dioxide than farming our feathery companions.
How are Vegan Statistics Calculated?
So, how many vegans are there, and which country has the most vegans? Unfortunately, the solution to this question is not so simple. No authoritative, peer-reviewed study on global vegan demographics has been found to this day.
The few indicators we do get to assist us in comprehending the global popularity of veganism are mostly tied to cultural trends, consumer behaviors, and local surveys with extremely small sample numbers. But hold on! There’s no need to leave this page just yet! These characteristics are worth considering if we want to get a broad picture of how far veganism has penetrated people’s minds.
Data issues for plant-based and vegetarian eaters
When conducting vegan statistics polls, vegans and vegetarians are frequently put together.
Vegetarianism has been around since the time of the Ancient Greeks, and it has played a significant role in a variety of religions and national cultures. It is safe to state that vegetarians outnumber vegans on the planet.
Because veganism and vegetarianism are not interchangeable lifestyles, including vegetarians in vegan statistics will bias research findings.
Vegans choose not to participate in animal exploitation, whereas vegetarians primarily eschew meat and fish intake. This means avoiding dairy products, eggs, honey, and other animal byproducts like leather or wool (instead opting for vegan multivitamins, B12 vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids).
Veganism is a trendy yet under-researched movement.
Vegan statistics survey sample sizes are not only too small to provide us with accurate demographics, but they are also frequently limited to arbitrary age groupings and countries.
Because veganism can mean different things to different people, the vegan statistics that we have aren’t always reliable, depending on their cultural background and nationality.
Given that not all vegans stick to their diets to the end, vegan statistics may fluctuate every month!
As a general rule, the most conservative estimates will be the most accurate.
Do Vegetarians Live Longer than Non-Vegetarians?
Research has consistently proven that eating a vegetarian diet lowers your risk of major diseases, allowing you to live longer. According to one study, men who eat a vegetarian diet live around ten years longer than men who eat a conventional diet (83 years vs. 73 years). Furthermore, vegetarian women live an average of six years longer than non-vegetarian women, reaching 85.
Is it Healthier to be a Vegetarian than to Consume Meat?
A vegetarian diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits in numerous studies. Vegetarians, for example, appear to have lower blood pressure, lower levels of LDL cholesterol, and fewer cases of hypertension than omnivores.
Vegetarians also have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Finally, vegetarians have a lower BMI, are less likely to develop chronic diseases, and have lower cancer rates than meat-eaters.
What are the Disadvantages of Becoming a Vegetarian?
Being a vegetarian has tonnes of positive health effects. Those who do not consume a lot of veggies, on the other hand, may find it difficult to adjust to this lifestyle. This would entail a heavy reliance on carbohydrates and starchy meals, which can harm your health.
Another disadvantage is that you may be deficient in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc—nutrients present in meat—if you don’t take supplements.
A well-planned vegetarian diet can help you live a healthier lifestyle. Vitamins and minerals abound in plant-based diets, are low in calories and saturated fat, and are cholesterol-free. A plant-based diet will provide you all of the nutrients your body needs. According to studies, vegetarians are also less prone to acquire heart disease, and vegetarian cancer rates are 12 percent lower. They are also less likely to be overweight or obese, and they have a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes.
Adapting to a vegetarian lifestyle, however, can be difficult. As a result, using a flexitarian approach is a great place to start. For example, you could start by reducing your meat intake and then convert to a plant-based diet after a few weeks.