September 13, 2013

Survey of Vegans 2013, The Results


Here are results to a "Survey of Vegans" that I conducted over a 2.5 month period on-line, mostly Facebook. Depending on the question, about 7,000 - 8,000 random vegans responded. The survey was posted in all groups who identify with being vegan, so was unbiased in that way. One thing making the survey biased is that those who are not on social media - would not be included in these results. Those who responded were random, anonymous, and from all over the world. I noticed one comment where the person was vegetarian. We don't know how many responded that were not actually vegan. And over 30% said they were newly converted vegans, so that would explain some stats I found disheartening. We know that 30% of those who responded said they didn't become vegan because of the animals. That was shocking since non-participation in animal exploitation is the essence of veganism. They must eat a plant-powered diet and call themselves vegan, even though vegan living extends beyond diet; it's a way of life, and IS totally about not exploiting animals. People wanted me to put the "other" option as one of the choices, and when we did that, Survey Monkey automatically adds "leave a comment". Many of those who left a comment could have clicked one of the provided options. This did hurt the outcome of the survey. However, you can click a link to view those comments.

Q: I was first inspired to become vegan.....~ (6,503 answered, 1,560 skipped, 1,829 clicked “other” and left a comment. Those will be analyzed and released at a later date.)

Answer Choices                                                                                    Responses

from a conversation with a person                                                          24.91%

from seeing and educational video / movie / film                                   42.01%

from reading an article, book or song lyric                                             27.39%

from a presentation or speaker                                                                  5.69%

Comments (1,829) - clicked 'other' (many of these respondents could have chosen one of the above. For example they said Earthlings, which is a film, so they could have clicked that but didn't. Others chose the 'other' option and said from a magazine; which would fall under article, so this messed up the results of the survey. Link to see the comments

Q: Which best describes your vegan epiphany? ~ 7,558 answered, 505 skipped the question, and 711 clicked “other” and left a comment.

Answer Choices                                                                                       Responses

It took me steps to transition to being vegan after I first learned about it - 45.06%

Once I learned about the vegan ethic, I became vegan immediately - 27.47%

I was vegan in diet first before extending it to clothing, products, practices - 20.69%

I watched Earthlings and went vegan  -  6.77%

Comments - (711) clicked "other" with a comment Link to see those comments

Q: Which best describes the length of time you have been vegan ~ (8,062 answered, 1 skipped)

Answer Choices                                                                                        Responses

I'm newly converted (less than a year)                                                        30.49%

It's been a good many years (less than 10 years)                                        52.22%

I'm a long term vegan (more than 10 years)                                                15.28%

I'm over 30 years vegan                                                                                 2.01%

Q: Which best describes your living situation? ~ (6,857 answered, 1,206 skipped the question, and 1,504 clicked “other” with a comment; to be analyzed later.)

Answer Choices                                          Responses

I live with a non-vegan spouse or lover  - 35.29%

I am a member of a vegan household - 15.05%

My significant other is also vegan - 25.54%

I live alone - 24.12%

Comments - (1,504) - clicked "other" and left a comment Link to comments

Q: Are there other vegans in your area? ~ (7,769 answered, 294 skipped, 452 clicked “other” and left a comment explaining.)

Answer Choices                                                                     Responses                                                                                                                                                              
I live isolated from other vegans; only know them online - 22.89%
                                       
The closest town has adequate options for vegans but vegan options are not abundant, no groups - 12.90%

There are local vegan groups, organizations and meetups, but not a large population of vegans - 32.39%

There are vegan groups in my area, it is super easy to get vegan food/products - 31.83%

Comments - (425) - Chose the "other" option with a comment Link to comments

Q: Which best describes your nutritional viewpoint? ~ (7,331 answered, 732 skipped, and 929 clicked “other” with a comment.)

Answer Choices                                                                                     Responses

I don't believe in supplementation other than food and I don't take any supplements - 20.69%
           
I take a few vegan supplements when I remember every so often -  51.18%    
                                      
I get checked for and ensure I intake Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine, Omega 3, Calcium, Iron - 24.18%

I am unaware that there are specific vitamins that vegans should be aware of like Vitamin B12, Iron - 3.94%

Comments - (929) - These respondents clicked "other" and left a comment. Link to comments

Q: Which describes you? (8,062 answered, 1 skipped)

Answer Choices                                                                                       Responses

I am female and reactions to my being vegan are generally "respectful"       59.64%

I am female and reactions to my being vegan are generally "disrespectful"  19.08%

I am male and reactions to my being vegan are generally "respectful"          16.26%

I am male and reactions to my being vegan are generally "disrespectful" 5.02%


Q: Which of the following describes your eating habits? ~ (7,185 answered, 878 skipped, and 1,268 chose “other” and commented.)

Answer Choices                                                                                         Responses

I eat a lot of raw food, green drinks/smoothies/plenty of dark leafy greens - 50.17%

I eat mostly organic - 49.32%

I purchase vegan products like plant based cheeses/meats regularly  - 45.94%

I eat some home grown vegan-organic produce - 25.48%

Comments - (1,268) chose "other" and left a comment, to be analyzed later on. Link to comments

Q: Which best describes your point of view on relationships? ~ (6,461 answered, 1,602 skipped, and 1,829 clicked “other” with a comment.)

Answer Choices                                                                                        Responses

I date non-vegans                                                                                          25.94%

I am vegan-sexual                                                                                          27.92%

I would have a relationship with a non-vegan, but I would not marry or live with a non-vegan - 20.34%

I was in a marriage or long term relationship prior to going vegan, my partner is not vegan - 25.80%

Comments - (1,829) chose "other" and commented, to be analyzed at a later date. Link to Comments

Q: Which of the following options describe your point of view (you may choose more than one)? (7,943 answered, 120 skipped, and 692 clicked “other” option with a comment, to be analyzed later.)

Answer Choices                                                                                  Responses

I find being vegan easy -  61.45%

I became vegan for the animals  -  69.16%

Being vegan is a lifetime commitment  -  68.60%

I don't know about easy, but yes for the animals and yes for a lifetime - 29.30%

Comments - (692) - chose other option and left a comment to explain. Link to comments

Q: Which best describes your point of view on companion animals? (5,232 answered and 1,775 skipped the question.)

Answer Choices                                                                                   Responses

I have fed a dog and/or cat a 100% supplemented vegan diet, successfully - 17.41%

I believe cats are obligate carnivores and should not be fed a vegan diet - 40.63%

I feed my canine companions vegan, but not my feline friends - 12.90%

I don't live with or rescue animals - 29.05%

2,031 clicked “other” and left a comment explaining. Link to comments

Q: Which best describes your theist or atheist beliefs? ~  (7,004 answered. 3 skipped.)

Answer Choices                                                                                     Responses

I am atheist or agnostic                                                                           43.38%

I follow one of the major religions of the world                                     11.41%

I am spiritual but not religious                                                                 45.22%

Q: Which of the following most accurately describes your situation? ~  (6,650 Answered. 357 skipped the question, and 568 clicked “other” and left a comment. Link to the comments

Answer Choices                                                                                Responses

Basic person, but vegan - 47.32%

I live an alternative lifestyle  - 14.09%

I am a doctor, lawyer, professor, vet, PhD, Master’s degree holder  - 23.79%

I am a student  - 14.80%

Comments (568) - clicked "other" and left a comment to explain. These will be analyzed at a future date. Link to comments

Q: Political views....(6,245 responses, 762 skipped the question, 882 clicked “other” and left a comment; those will be analyzed at a later date. Link to comments

Answer Choices                                                                                       Responses

I am generally liberal                                                                                61.99%

I am generally conservative                                                                         4.85%

I am not political                                                                                        33.16%

Comments - (882) - chose the "other" option with an explanation, to be analyzed at a future date.

Q: Which best describes your lifestyle? ~ (6,328 answered, 679 skipped the question.)

Answer Choices                                                                                       Responses

I am a child-free vegan and plan to stay that way                                        38.70%

I may have children in the future                                                                  32.95%

I have children, they are not vegan                                                               15.01%

I have successfully raised my children vegan                                                 3.37%

I am now raising young vegan children                                                           9.97%

1,062 answered "other" with a comment. Link to those comments

Q: Which describes your employment situation best? ~ (6,268 answered, 739 skipped, and 977 clicked “other” and left a comment. Those will be analyzed at a later date.)

Answer Choices                                                                                 Responses                                                                                                        
I own my own vegan business  - 7.35%

I work for a non-vegan business that profits off animal exploitation (restaurant, grocery, shoe store) - 8.07%

I work at a job that doesn't directly profit off the exploitation of animals like real estate, book store - 54.71%

I work for a vegan business or company  -  2.82%

I am not currently working in a job - 27.04%

Comments - (977) beyond the above - chose "other" with a comment. These will be analyzed at a later date. Link to those comments

Q: Anonymous Personal details (choose all that apply) – (6,952 answered, 55 skipped the question.)

Answer Choices                                                                                 Responses

I am female                                                                                              78.51%

I am male                                                                                                 21.07%

I am now or have been in an intimate relationship with someone of the same sex - 12.85%

I am now or have been in an intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex - 68.30%

Q: Which most describes you? (Choose all that apply) ~ (6,879 answered, 128 skipped, 570 clicked “other” and left a comment. Those will be analyzed at a later date.)

Answer Choices                                                                                Responses

I am a mentor or coach and help new vegans  -  20.72%

I have a vegan website or blog   -  15.85%

I live vegan but don't "push it" on others, don't bring it up for discussion - 34.90%

I use social media for vegan advocacy -  63.88%

I educate my friends or family about veganism but not the general public  - 55.15%

I educate the public about veganism for example giving speeches, at a market stall or leafleting - 17.58%

Comments (570) - chose the "other" option and left a comment explaining. Link to comments

Q: Which best describes how you live? (Choose all that apply) ~ (6,770 responded, 237 skipped the question, and 630 clicked “other” and left a comment; to be analyzed after these preliminary results are released.)

Answer Choices                                                                                       Responses

I do not eat in non-vegan restaurants                                                          10.41%

I do eat in non-vegan restaurants                                                                 78.52%

I'm more of a minimalist than a consumer, I would label myself an environmentalist  - 51.34%                                                                                                                                                    
I'm more of a consumer than a minimalist   - 13.66%

Comments (630) - chose "other" with an explanation. Link to comments

We will try to get the comments analyzed - at a future date.

~~~~



9 comments:

David Davis said...

Butterflies, we appreciate your tireless efforts. Thank you! :)



Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting study, providing good information and asking a number of good questions. Some of the questions should have been phrased differently or offered different answers, but for an individual's effort, I think it's great.

Piggyparade said...

Thank you for doing this research! If you do it again, could you ask if visiting a sanctuary was a reason to go vegan? We would be very interested in that.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! I would very much have liked to see questions of socio-economic status and race asked, and how those factors shape people's perspectives about veganism or about plant-based foods in general. Next time perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I agree with also, in a future iteration, verifying socio-economic status and race questions.

Anonymous said...

I took your survey and was overwhelmed by the moralistic bias in choices. I've been vegan for over ten years and living as a disabled vegan with severe dietary and lifestyle restrictions felt many answers were dismissive of those of us who understand that veganism is not the only truly ethical choice on earth.

Nicole said...

Very interesting answers. Some of them don't surprise me. Others I find intriguing. Thank you for all the work.

Pi√Ďa Guay said...

Thank you thank you for the effort! It's great to read all this... more studies and stats please, world!

i crossed this article tryng to find worldwide vegan stats, just to shut some mouths, if you know what i mean.

I wanted to make a little critical comment: why male or female? why don't you add a "others" category for intersexuals, transexuals or transgender people?

I'm looking forward to work with some of the data you've gathered, specially because in my local vegan group it's all girls or not-men (none of the "boys" feel confortable with the tag), i'm wondering wether it's because women are educated to feel more empathy than men, wild guess...

THANKYOU from Canary Islands!

Butterflies Katz - this is my actual name said...

Pina Guy - yes I was made aware of that "male" and "female" gender issue from this by others - and it won't happen again in the future.