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Meat Down, Veggies Up, Says New Research

April 10, 2007


Meat Down, Veggies Up, Says New Research

1 in 4 U.S. adults is eating less meat compared to a year ago, and 1 in 8 is a semi-vegetarian, according to a recent study conducted by the Humane Research Council (HRC).

Contact: Che Green, Executive Director, (206) 852-4848, [email protected]

SEATTLE: The HRC report covers two phases of research that focused on active meat reducers and so-called semi-vegetarians, providing an in- depth analysis of the behavior, motivations, and barriers for these consumer segments. Phase one of the research included a survey of more than 3,000 adults; phase two involved nine focus groups held in various locations throughout the U.S.

Among the findings:

* 1 in 4 U.S. adults reduced their meat consumption in the past year, three times the number that increased their meat consumption
* 1 in 8 adults is a "semi-vegetarian" who eats meat with less than half of their meals
* About 1% of adults (2.2 million) are current vegetarians and vegans
* 70% of meat reducers cite health as the #1 reason for reducing meat consumption; among vegetarians, health reasons are equally important to animal suffering
* Taste is the #1 reason adults say they will not reduce or eliminate meat from their diet

Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, a leading U.S.-based vegetarian advocacy group, said, "HRC's latest study is an unprecedented and long overdue examination of a critical issue for vegetarian advocates: semi-vegetarianism. It helps us understand the roots of dietary choices and how eating habits can be modified." The HRC report introduces "incrementalism," an approach to help vegetarian and health advocates respond to the fact that most adults resist big or abrupt changes.

Che Green, HRC's executive director and one of the report's authors, said, "HRC's analysis should change the way vegetarian advocates think about their efforts, including a paradigm shift away from approaches based on purity and toward more incremental and pragmatic tactics."

The 52-page report can be purchased for $500, or a shorter version is available for $250. More details are available at HRC is also collecting a list of names for groups and individual advocates who would like to be considered for copies of the report donated by a foundation. Please contact us for details or to add your name to the list.

The Humane Research Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with the mission of empowering animal protection advocates with access to the information they need to maximize their effectiveness. For more about HRC, including research reports, services, and other activities, please contact directly or visit

If you would like more information about HRC or the new report, please contact Che Green at (206) 852-4848, [email protected].

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