Fish is Not Vegetarian, a "Well-Balanced" Rant
Parenting Magazine Addresses the "Meat" Question

Youth Vegetarians in the USA, Focus on the Teens

Raising two vegetarian kids, I'm always curious to know how many otherVegetarianjournal
vegetarian kids are out there.

Today I was reading the "Vegetarian Journal," which is the magazine of The Vegetarian Resource Group. They have an article titled "How Many Youth in the U.S. Are Vegetarian?" There was something I found particularly interesting in their research findings...

Their research shows that in the U.S., 4% of children ages 8-12 are vegetarian and 3% of children ages 13-18 are vegetarian.

This concerns me, because we are losing one percent of our vegetarian kids once they become teenagers. Could it be pure pressure from friends, the will make their own decisions, or do they simply abandon the princples and ethics toward animals they were taught and felt in the years prior?

I find it alarming that one quarter of all vegetarian kids are abandoning their vegetarianism when they become teenagers. This demonstrates that we need to start placing a focus on supporting teen vegetarianism by keeping them involved in animal rights education, vegetarian groups, etc.

I think it is also essential that we actively try to make sure that they know other vegetarians their age. The teen years are ones when kids are influenced most by their friends and seek to belong to peer groups. If they know no other vegetarians their age they may be more apt to abandoning the lifestyle.

What your thoughts?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I think it's peer pressure, which allows them to abandon their principles more easily.

Or it might also be pressure from family. I experienced that when I started being a vegetarian in the 10th grade -- no one else in my family or my group of friends were vegetarians, and my family constantly told me to stop (I'm still suspicious that they were hiding meat in my food). I eventually did stop, which was difficult, but I had every intention of going back to it. Four years later I'm a vegetarian again and I don't think I will, or can, give it up. I can't even stand being around meat, let alone eating it.

Anyway, I believe more needs to be done to educate school-age kids about compassion toward animals to avoid these things from happening. And it might even increase the number of young vegetarians.

(btw, thanks for this and all of your posts... I really enjoy your blog!)


Hi Hyatt,

Thank you for responding. You make some great points and I'm really glad you went back to vegetarianism!

Thanks also for the kind words about my blog. I'm glad you enjoy it!

It would be great if families were more supportive of a child's wishes to be vegetarian...



It's possible that these numbers are actually a good thing - the percentage of vegetarians may be increasing from the older generation to the younger. Maybe 5% of the next batch of 8-12 year olds will be vegetarians. Or maybe I'm being too much of an optimist.



Fingers crossed that this is the case! :)


The comments to this entry are closed.