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Lifelong Vegetarians Are Hard to Find

Each time we make a trip to the grocery market, it seems like there are more and more vegetarian products available for purchase. Major grocery stores now have entire aisles dedicated to green products, with plenty of meatless options. Even restaurants and fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon, with vegetable or turkey-based alternatives. It’s never been easier to go vegetarian than it is today.


Knowing this, it might surprise you to know that vegetarianism is not actually not on the rise. In fact, a U.S. Gallup poll found a slight decrease in the number of those who said they were vegetarian. In 2012, the poll found that about 5 percent of respondents claimed they were vegetarians, while this number was 6 percent in 1999 and 2001.

Why is this the case? It might have to do with the fact that many people who go vegetarian will inevitably wind up chowing down on a juicy steak once again.

One recent study looked at a group of college students who read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was deemed “life changing” for many of them. In the book, Pollan actually follows different food chains, from the source to the dinner table. Moral implications are made, and many readers went vegetarian because of the content.

What’s really interesting is that within a year’s time, the study found that the people who turned vegetarian tended to go back to meat. The study suggests that the reason for this is more than anything else, that “attitude change dissipated somewhat with time.”

The bottom line is that although the vegetarian consumer market is growing, the number of people that stick with the diet year-to-year is largely unchanged. Going vegetarian isn’t easy, no matter how many ads for turkey burgers you see.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.