Comparing Motivations and Attitudes of Vegetarians and Vegans

Ruby, M. (La Trobe University)

Although a relatively large body of work has examined vegetarianism, empirical work on vegans is sparse. To better understand current veg*n motivations and attitudes, we recruited a sample of vegetarians (221 USA, 208 Australia), and vegans (372 USA, 228 Australia) via social media. Overall results were similar in both countries. The most common motivations were animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Both vegans and vegetarians reported that their eating habits were significantly more central to their identity than their gender or ethnicity. In line with past work, ~10% of participants’ dietary behaviour conflicted with how they identified (e.g., “vegans” who consumed dairy in the past month). Dietary self-efficacy was high for both groups (~95/100 for veg*ns), and most strongly predicted by veg*n identity strength and knowledge of veg*n nutrition. Over 70% of vegetarians were interested in transitioning to a more plant-based diet. When asked why they were vegetarian rather than vegan (or vice versa), many participants referred to dairy- saying that cheese was simply too good to give up (vegetarians), or that they were especially concerned by the practices of the dairy industry (vegans).

Event Timeslots (1)

Veganism Symposium