National Public Radio (NPR) does a health survey of 3,000 people every month and reports the findings on their very cool health blog called “The Shots.” One of my favorite vegetarian/vegan blogs, This Dish is Vegetarian, posts that the March survey was all about meat consumption.
You can get a rundown on ThisDishIsVegetarian.com or use this link to read the entire survey from NPR, but I want to share some highlights.
***39% of the 3,000 respondents are eating less meat than they used to. While 55% of the respondents said they eat the same amount of meat they did three years ago, NPR reports that of those people, many are concerned about the animals they’re eating.
Among those who report that they eat more meat or haven’t experienced a change in their meat eating habits, 59% say they have cost concerns and 50% expressed concern for both the environment and animal welfare. Just 46% of this group said they have health effect concerns.”
***Younger people are more likely to be cutting back. Of the 39% of people surveyed who say they’re eating less meat, the majority are under 35.
This Dish is Vegan reports that Dr. Ray Fabius, chief medical officer for Truven Health Analytics, says,
This is a cultural change. Eating meat was almost a cultural imperative for parents and grandparents.”
This would seem to be true; only 24% of people over 65 said they were eating less meat now than they did three years ago.
***82 percent of participants under 35 said that health concerns are the main reason they have reduced their red meat consumption. Other concerns further down the list were cost and environmental impact.
While these people may not be vegetarians (yet), it’s clear to me that people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of cutting out red meat and that more people (especially young people) are concerned about cruelty to animals and the way commercial meats are produced.
I may be wrong, but I think this group of under-35s is the start of a much healthier and much more responsible generation.