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For Immediate Release November 20, 2000
Contacts: Davida Breier (410) 366-8343
Jeannie McStay (410) 366-VEGE



HOW MANY TEENS ARE VEGETARIAN?
HOW MANY KIDS DONíT EAT MEAT?

Vegetarianism seems to be a booming trend. Witness all the new vegetarian burgers in stores. Even soymilk is now in many refrigerator cases or on supermarket shelves. When The Vegetarian Resource Group exhibited at the National Restaurant Association Annual Meeting, one college foodservice person told them that 40% of his students request vegetarian meals. In a poll VRG conducted concerning eating out, over half of Americans stated that they would eat a vegetarian dish when eating away from home. Of course the meal needs to be appealing and taste good.

Though we know the interest in vegetarian products is there, The Vegetarian Resource Group works to track the number of actual vegetarians (people who never eat meat, fish, or fowl).

How many young people are vegetarian? In a 2000 Vegetarian Resource Group Roper Poll, they asked this question: ďPlease call off the items on this list, if any, that you never eat. Meat (beef, pork, veal, lamb, etc.); Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.); Fish; Dairy Products (Milk, Cheese); Eggs; Honey.

Two percent of youth 6-17 never eat meat, fish, or poultry. Thus about one million school aged youth are vegetarian. The same two percent applies if you just look at teenagers 13-17.

Six percent of 6-17 year olds donít eat (red) meat. The 2000 results approximately match 1995 results when two percent also said they donít eat meat, fish, or fowl. About two percent of the adult population is also vegetarian.

Often polls obtain higher numbers for vegetarians, but in those cases usually the question is asked whether you consider yourself vegetarian. This is important knowledge for marketing purposes and knowing what products people desire. Vegetarianism has such a positive image that people want to be called vegetarian. However, many of those answering yes are not actually vegetarian within the traditional definition of never eating meat, fish, or fowl.

For information on vegetarianism or other VRG polls, go to our FAQ. Or send a self addressed stamped envelope to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

1,240 youth participated in this 2000 poll, which was conducted by interviewing youth at their homes. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4% with a confidence level of 95%.

DO NOT EVER EAT: 8-12 YEAR OLDS 13-17 YEAR OLDS
MEAT 7% 5%
POULTRY 6% 3%
FISH/SEAFOOD 19% 16%
NONE OF THE ABOVE 2% 2%
A helpful book for someone with a vegetarian teen is Meatless Meals for Working People (ISBN 0-931411-19-X). This 192-page book contains quick and easy recipes as well as what vegetarian foods are available in fast food chains. To receive a copy, send $12 to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; call (410) 366-8343; or visit our catalog section.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization which educates the community about vegetarianism. It publishes Vegetarian Journal, Vegetarian Journalís Foodservice Update, and other materials. A one year subscription to both Vegetarian Journal and Foodservice Update is $30. Call (410) 366-VEGE (8343) for more information or to join over the phone with a Visa or MasterCard, or visit the website to become a member online at www.vrg.org.

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, or fowl, and do not use other animal products such as dairy or eggs. For information about vegetarianism or veganism, send a self addressed stamped envelope with two first class stamps to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Visit their web site at www.vrg.org.




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Last Updated
November 22, 2000

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