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?