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Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Many Young Americans Are Vegetarian?

Written by Tena Moore


Vegetarianism is on the rise. Whether people are choosing to forgo eating animals for health reasons or for animal cruelty or environmental reasons, they are certainly choosing to do so in high numbers, including America’s youth.

A recent study tried to capture the amount of children that are vegetarians. The study was done by the government and was their first attempt at a ‘vegetarian youth’ estimate. They determined that nearly 400,000 kids were vegetarians, which would be about 1 in every 200 kids. This number was determined by speaking with 9,000 American parents and other adults guardians that were speaking for those under 18 years of age.

While this is the first study by the government, it is not the first study ever done. Other studies show that the number of vegetarian youths may be as high as six times more in older teens. The reason is that they have more control over their eating habits than younger children.

Although many parents that grew up in a meat and potatoes, hamburger and fries culture do not want their children to forgo meat, some are joining their children in the pursuit of vegetarianism. Children are now way more informed than they’ve ever been, due to the Internet, and can easily find information on animal cruelty, health choices, environmental responsibility, and other reasons to forgo meat. Many are educating their parents, being smart about their choices by taking B vitamins, and making sure to consume essential vitamins and minerals.

The estimate on young vegetarians was done by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was a study done on alternative medicine. When they asked about the reasons for vegetarianism, most parents cited that their children were choosing to eat vegetarian due to animal welfare more than health; compassion for animals and a refusal to eat a living, breathing being was the most important.

While it is impossible to know how many young people are vegetarian, due to the number growing so rapidly, at least the first steps have been made by the government to assess this change in eating habits.



Other Posts

Vitamin B-12 for vegetarians
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - its not hype
Spirulina is a better source of protein than either beef or soybeans
Niacin, or vitamin B3, combines with other B vitamins to release energy in the cells
The Mediterranean Diet: A Heart Healthy Choice



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