What percentage of the animals are vegetarians

Vegetarians: Out of compassion for the animal

Austria's vegetarians and vegans are young, well educated, live in big cities and are female. They forego meat mainly out of concern for the animals - and at best miss bacon.

Vienna. Austria is and will remain a nation of meat eaters, the “press” reported on Wednesday. Where some increasingly do without meat, others make up for it with their consumption. It is precisely the concern for the welfare of animals that makes Austria's vegetarians and vegans into such in the first place.

That is the result of a study by Marketagent, which, among other things, dealt with the motives of those who refuse meat. Almost half of the 522 vegetarians and vegans surveyed stated that the trigger for the change in diet was reports of factory farming. Health reasons were only decisive for a quarter.

Environment over health

Those who eat meatless later stay true to this motivation: cruelty to animals and the conditions in animal husbandry are the main motive for almost three quarters, followed by the argument that “for me no animals should die” (63 percent). Half also relate to environmental protection. For health reasons, not even a third live without meat.

Whereby one's own health still plays a more important role for men than for women. And these are much more represented among vegetarians and vegans: they are young, female, well educated and live in the city, according to the study. A good three quarters of those surveyed are women, 65 percent have a high school diploma or a university degree - only 28 percent of the population as a whole have that. The largest proportion of vegetarians and vegans can be found in the group of 20 to 29 year olds and geographically speaking in Vienna. And: eight out of ten respondents are vegetarian, two completely do without animal products such as dairy products or eggs. Overall, it is estimated that 5.7 percent of Austrians are vegetarian or vegan.

They see the main disadvantages as the difficulty of eating out - although this is not surprisingly more true for vegans (60 percent) than for vegetarians (40 percent), who find something on the menu more easily. “Low acceptance in society” is also more of a problem for vegans - while a possible nutritional deficiency is more of a concern for vegetarians (25 percent) than vegans (21 percent). A total of 17 percent state that they have had problems with it, especially young people and women. A third of the respondents take nutritional supplements, especially vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D and magnesium.

Most of them find it easy

Basically, however, the respondents do not seem to be making too big sacrifices: 92 percent say that the chosen form of diet is easy for them. 46 percent state that they never felt a need for meat or animal foods. Only 2.3 percent crave it every day. But there are some things that are not so easy to do without: Most of all, you long for cheese. And after bacon.

The majority nevertheless remain consistent: Six out of ten adhere strictly to the criteria of their menu. 20 percent make an exception on important occasions. Nevertheless: 90 percent cannot imagine switching back to mixed food. Meat-free substitute products such as vegan sausages or schnitzel also help, 39 percent consider them to be an enrichment for their menu, especially men and vegans. However, 14 percent never eat such products. By the way, people don't just buy in the market and in health food stores: 87 percent go to the supermarket.

In many cases, renouncing animal foods is also accompanied by renouncing other things, such as cosmetics that have been tested in animal experiments, but also circus and zoo visits, down, leather or certain medications. Vegans take all of this much more seriously: According to market agent boss Thomas Schwabl, it is “less a diet than a lifestyle”. Most do not see themselves as missionaries: only one in five would like to convince others of their diet.

Incidentally, the study was presented in Tian, ​​Austria's only vegetarian restaurant with a Michelin star and three toques - the restaurant was full of (young) women. (tes)

("Die Presse", print edition, August 25, 2017)