Note from the Coordinators

The Latest VRG Survey: Who Answered?

Since 1994, The Vegetarian Resource Group has been conducting national polls on the number of vegetarians and vegans in the United States. (See These are undertaken by national polling organizations and are the same type of polls done for presidential campaigns cited in the media.

Recently, there was publicity about the number of vegetarians reported by the Centers for Disease Control. Their numbers were lower than ours, partially because they were counting people who were vegetarian only for health reasons. Not surprising to us, approximately the same number of people reported following the Atkins diet as a vegetarian diet for health considerations. Reed Mangels will be reporting on this interesting study in a future Vegetarian Journal.

Periodically, we do less scientific surveys of our members. These are not 'random samples' and only tell us about the people who responded, not the general population or even all our members. However, they give us information about the readers most interested in responding, which may be of use to students and businesses. Below are some data from the survey of vegetarians we printed in Issue 1, 2006, of Vegetarian Journal. Whether so many of our members are vegan is questionable. Nevertheless, many who do respond appear to be the activists or the 'loud mouths,' the people most likely to spread the word about products and the ones marketers need to reach. There were 276 total responses, with 200 coming from the Journal and 76 from other sources, such as outreach booths.

  Reason(s) for Becoming Vegan Reason(s) for Becoming Vegetarian Have Been Vegetarian for
30+ Years
Total Respondents 55 232 57
Health 16% 24% 12%
Ethics 24% 28% 25%
Animal Rights 58% 47% 28%
Weight Loss 4% 2% 2%
Environment 7% 9% 4%
Spirituality 11% 13% 26%
Family/Friends 0% 3% 7%
World Hunger 4% 4% 0%

Please visit to see more results of this poll.