8 Million Vegetarians: Diets Worldwide

How do you actually eat? Do you consume meat regularly or do you live vegetarian/vegan? We conducted an international comparison!

Carolin Lensing
 min read

How do you actually eat? Do you consume meat and animal products? If so, how often? Or do you live vegetarian or vegan? Nutritional "trends" that have been anchored in some societies for centuries keep spreading to societies where meat consumption is the order of the day. But with intensive education, the amount of reasons to consume less animal-based food is also increasing: Protecting the environment, conserving resources and protecting one's health.
BitBurst Research has now launched a global survey comparing the meat consumption habits of young people from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, the US, the UK, the Philippines, Indonesia and India.

On a general average, about 90% of all respondents reported consuming meat. Specifically, they had eaten meat at least once in the past 6 months. India scored the lowest with 69%, and the highest was the U.S. with 94% of people who consumed meat.
Moreover, in the U.S., about 48% of these people eat meat every day, and another 35% eat it several times a week. Thus, it is a very popular part of the U.S. diet. Similar trends are found in European countries.

  • United Kingdom: 46% daily, 39% several times a week
  • France: 41% daily, 42% several times a week
  • Spain: 25% daily, 58% several times a week
  • Germany: 25% daily, 47% several times a week
  • Italy 19% daily, 57% several times a week

Mexico is in the middle with 11% daily and 50% several times a week. In Southeast Asian regions, meat consumption is significantly lower with about 22-23% in the Philippines and Indonesia consuming meat daily and around 35% several times a week. In India, with the lowest value, meat is eaten by 11% daily and 32% several times a week.

According to our survey, between 6% and 31% of the young population are vegetarians, depending on their country of origin. We compared these values with a statistically balanced survey from the last years, these values are in brackets behind our values: India 31% (38%), Germany: 13% (12%), Indonesia 11% (9%), UK 9% (21%), Philippines 8% (5%), France 7% (5%), Spain 7% (2%), Mexico 6% (19%), Italy 6% (9%), and USA 6% (5%). Our misclassifications show that not all results based on a young sample can be generalized to a total population, but they point in the right direction.

Among vegetarians, we further asked whether they were vegan or consumed other animal products. In India, 2.4% of the respondents said they lived vegan. Actually, this rate is estimated at 19%. Our estimates were also lower than in reality in the other regions: Mexico 2% (9%), UK 2% (4%), Spain 2% (0.2%), Germany 1.5% (2%), US 0.8% (3%), Italy 0.7% (2%), Philippines 0.7% (2%), France 0.4% (1%), Indonesia 0.8% (?%).

Diverse reasons
Different reasons have led to the decision to go vegetarian or vegan. These are the two most popular reasons among the population per country:

  • India, USA: protect animal welfare, health
  • Philippines, Indonesia: health, save resources
  • UK, France, Italy: protect animal welfare, save resources
  • Germany, Mexico, Spain: Protect animal welfare, dislikes meat

Religious motivation was also mentioned in some cases, but overall, protecting animal welfare, one's own health, and saving resources were the main reasons for deciding to go vegetarian or vegan.