How Many Vegetarians Are in the US?
Unlike the British researchers who allowed "vegetarians" to include people who eat chicken and fish, The Vegetarian Resource Group commissioned a poll, done by Harris Interactive Inc., that had the integrity to ask the following question: Please tell us which of the following foods, if any, you never eat . . .
Never. Ouch. So much for dairy products, which I’m sure I consume once a quarter when I’m at a restaurant and I order a flourless chocolate torte topped with ganache.
Damn. Never is one unforgiving word.
The results of the poll show that 2.3% of adult Americans are vegetarians, and 6.7% never eat meat (I’m assuming meat=cows, as there’s a category for poultry and also one for fish/seafood. A teensy 1.4% is vegan, not including me of course, due to my flourless chocolate torte consumption. Then again, there are nearly 300,000,000 people in the US, so the 1.4% suddenly doesn’t look as paltry as it originally did.
Naturally, the poll also shows that women are more likely than men to be vegetarians, although vegans are evenly split between the genders.
This poll has revived my interest in being consistent. I have simply GOT to get the last vestiges of the animal-based diet out of my life. It all comes down to making better choices when eating out, for me, as when I’m home I’m all vegan. Perhaps I’ll try having some cognac in lieu of dessert from now on, thereby initiating what could become a dangerous habit, as alcoholism runs in my family.
Though I am loath to make any kind of New Year’s Resolution, I will make a commitment, one restaurant meal at a time, to not having dessert. That removes the possibility of animal ingredients altogether.
What are your weaknesses or inconsistencies? What would you like to do better? How could you better align what you say you believe in with what you actually do?
As you can see, it’s always easy–in theory–to have a belief system, but it’s not always as easy to practice it. That’s why they call what you do with your beliefs a "practice." You must keep at it, forgive yourself for minor setbacks, and always strive to recover and transcend your recent progresss to achieve higher levels of consistency.
Our flaws are why we’re here; they’re what make us human. Forgive your own, and you can forgive those of others. But never, never stop doing what you think is right.