Population survey: vegetarianism and vegetarians

Most Russians have a fairly clear idea of ​​what vegetarianism is: to the corresponding open question, almost half of the respondents (47%) answered that this is an exclusion from the diet of meat and meat products, fish: “without meat”; “exclusion from food of meat dishes”; “people who do not eat meat and fish”; “refusal of meat, fat.” Another 14% of survey participants said that vegetarianism involves the rejection of any animal products: “vegetarians are those who do not eat animal products”; “food without animal food”; “People do not eat milk, eggs…”; “food without animal fats and proteins.” About a third of respondents (29%) said that the diet of vegetarians consists of plant foods: “eat vegetables and germinated wheat”; “greens, grass”; “people chewing grass”; “salad food”; “grass, vegetables, fruits”; “It’s only herbal products.”

In the view of some respondents (2%), vegetarianism is a healthy diet, part of a healthy lifestyle: “lead a healthy lifestyle”; “health care”; “eat right”; Help your body.

Someone believes that this is a diet, restrictions on food intake (4%): “diet food”; “eat non-caloric food”; “who eat little”; “separate food”; “The person wants to lose weight.”

Some survey participants (2%), answering the question about the essence of vegetarianism, simply expressed their negative attitude towards this practice: “whim”; “idiocy”; “violence over one’s body”; “Unhealthy Lifestyle”; “this is extreme.”

Other responses were less common.

Respondents were asked a closed-ended question:There is a variant of vegetarianism when a person refuses to eat all animal products – meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, animal fats, etc. And there is an option when a person refuses to eat not all, but only some animal products. Tell me, what opinion about vegetarianism is closer to you? (to answer it, a card with four possible answers was offered). Most often, people join the position according to which a partial rejection of animal food is good for health, but a complete one is harmful (36%). A significant proportion of respondents (24%) believe that even a partial rejection of animal products is harmful to the body. Some respondents (17%) believe that neither complete nor partial rejection of such products affects health. And the opinion that rejection of all animal products is beneficial for health is the least supported (7%). 16% of survey participants found it difficult to assess the impact of vegetarianism on human health.

As for the monetary costs of vegetarian food, according to 28% of respondents, it is more expensive than regular food, 24%, on the contrary, believe that vegetarians spend less on food than others, and 29% are convinced that the costs of both food is about the same. Many (18%) found it difficult to answer this question.

It was the lack of money to buy meat that respondents most often mentioned in their answers to an open question about the reasons why people become vegetarians (18%): “there is not enough money to buy meat”; “expensive meat”; “material resources do not allow”; “out of poverty”; “because we have been brought to such a level of life that soon everyone will become vegetarians, due to the fact that they cannot buy meat.”

Other grounds for becoming a vegetarian – health-related – were mentioned by about a third of the respondents. So, 16% believe that vegetarianism is due to concern for the preservation and promotion of health: “protect health”; “healthier lifestyle”; “they want to live long”; “I want to die healthy”; “They want to keep their youth.” Another 14% believe that health problems make people vegetarians: “sick people for whom meat is harmful”; “in the case of medical indications”; “to improve health”; “sick liver”; “high cholesterol”. 3% said that the rejection of food of animal origin may be dictated by the need, the predisposition of the body: “the internal need of the body”; “There is an opinion that meat dishes are not suitable for some people, they are digested worse”; “It comes from within a person, the body dictates its own.”

Another quite often mentioned reason for vegetarianism is ideological. About a fifth of the respondents spoke about it: 11% pointed to ideological considerations in general (“life credo”; “worldview”; “moral principle”; “this way of life”; “according to their views”), 8% referred to the love of vegetarians for animals: “keeps decorative piglets – such a person is unlikely to eat pork meat”; “these are those who love animals very much and therefore cannot eat meat”; “Pity the animals because they have to be killed”; “sorry for the little animals”; “Animal welfare, the Greenpeace phenomenon”.

Caring for the figure, appearance is named among the reasons for vegetarianism by 6% of respondents: “for weight loss”; “People want to look good”; “do not want to get fat”; “follow the figure”; “the desire to improve the appearance.” And 3% consider vegetarianism a diet: “they follow the diet”; “They are on a diet.”

5% of the respondents spoke about adherence to religion as the reason for dietary restrictions: “they believe in God, in fasting”; “faith does not allow”; “there is such a religion – Hare Krishnas, in their religion it is forbidden to eat meat, eggs, fish”; “yogi”; “Those people who believe in their God are Muslims.”

The same proportion of respondents believe that vegetarianism is a whim, eccentricity, nonsense: “nonsense”; “show off, want to somehow stand out”; “fools”; “when the brain has nowhere to go.”

2% of respondents each said that people become vegetarians because they “do not want to eat corpses”, and also because they are not sure about the quality of meat and meat products (“infections in animal food”; “food with preservatives”; “poor quality of meat”; “from the 7th grade I found out about the tapeworm – and since then I have not eaten meat”; “… bad ecology, it is not clear what cattle are fed, so people afraid to eat meat.

Finally, the another 1% of survey participants said that being a vegetarian today is fashionable: “fashion”; “probably because it is now in vogue. A lot of stars are now vegetarians.”

The majority of respondents (53%) believe that there are few vegetarians in our country, and 16% that there are many. About a third of the survey participants (31%) found it difficult to answer this question. 4% of respondents themselves adhere to vegetarianism, 15% of respondents have vegetarians among their relatives and friends, while the majority (82%) are not vegetarians themselves and do not have such acquaintances.

Those survey participants who adhere to vegetarianism more often spoke about their rejection of meat (3%) and animal fats (2%), less often – from poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products (1% each).


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