For Immediate Release November, 2014

Contact: Nina Casalena;; (410) 366-8343


For those that went to grade school or high school in the U.S. in the fifties or sixties, there's a good chance you didn't know any vegetarians, unless you were from a vegetarian type background, such as Seventh-day Adventist. From The Vegetarian Resource Group's (VRG's) experience of sponsoring a vegetarian essay contest for over thirty years, it seems that eventually there were a few vegetarians in almost every school, and now more likely there's one or a few in most classes. So how many young vegetarians and vegans are there today?

A 2014 national online survey conducted by Harris Poll, on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group, asked over 1,200 U.S youth ages 8-18: Which of the following, if any, best describes your eating behavior? (Just select one choice.)

  1. You never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry.
  2. You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at one meal per week.
  3. You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry one full day per week.
  4. You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at many of your meals,
  5. but less than half the time.
  6. You don't eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at more than half of
  7. your meals, but not all the time.
  8. You never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs.
  9. Not any of the above. No answer.

Vegetarians are defined as never eating meat, fish, seafood, or poultry. Vegans are vegetarians, who also don't consume dairy or eggs. Those polls that have people self define as vegetarian or vegan, don't use the word "never," or just ask the opinions of their readers or website visitors will likely have different results.

32% of U.S. youth eat vegetarian meals at least once a week. Four percent of U.S. youth 8-18 were found to be vegetarian (say they never eat any meat, fish, seafood, or poultry). This number includes vegans, which number about one percent of the youth population.

For more information , see

For information on other polls, see

Survey Methodology

This youth survey was conducted online within the United States between April 14-24, 2014 among 1,213 youths ages 8-18 by Harris Poll on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group via its Youth Query omnibus product. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental education, education, urban/city and region.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words "margin of error" are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. Respondents for this youth survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. 8-18 year old population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll: On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a national nonprofit, which educates the public about vegetarianism and veganism. For more information, visit

You can write to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203

Call (410) 366-8343.

For information about $20,000 in vegetarian scholarships, see

Answers to frequently asked questions by teens can be found at

Helpful books of quick recipes are Meatless Meals for Working People, at

and Simply Vegan

Also see:

Thanksgiving recipes can be found at