When we read that the CDC recently published a report that showed that only one in 200 American kids is vegetarian, we were confused to say the least. With peta2’s e-news list alone reaching well over 1,000,000 kids and growing at a staggering rate every month, the math just didn’t add up.
We decided to do some digging around. After speaking with the lead author of the study, we learned that the intention of the survey was not to find out the eating habits of American children, but instead was focused on complementary and alternative medicine. In fact, the only two questions regarding a vegetarian lifestyle were the following (via VeganHealth.org):
During the past 12 months did [your child] use any of the following special diets for two weeks or more for health reasons? Please say yes or no to each. [Vegetarian was one of the options.]
During the past 12 months did [your child] use a vegetarian diet to treat a specific health problem or condition other than weight control or weight loss?
So, this study only accounted for kids who are vegetarian for health reasons. Any child who is vegetarian for ethical, environmental, religious, or other reasons wasn’t factored in. And since the majority of kids we talk to go vegetarian because they care about the animals, it’s pretty obvious that the number of vegetarian kids in America is waaaaay higher than one in 200.
Written by Liz Graffeo