NPR

Is A No-Meat World Really Better?

It is clear that less meat is good morally and environmentally, but no meat may not be as good as some may think, says blogger Marcelo Gleiser.

Source: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let's face it: Vegetarians are a strict minority of the U.S. population.

The numbers seem to be increasing, though data from various surveys vary widely.

For example, a Public Policy Polling survey of 500 respondents indicates a jump in non-meat-eaters from one percent in 1971 to a whopping 13 percent in 2013 — 6 percent vegans, 7 percent vegetarians. (Somewhat tragicomically, the question about vegetarianism is part of a poll titled: "Americans pick Ronald McDonald over Burger King for President.") Other sources show results which, if you are rooting for vegetarianism, are much worse. A 2006 study endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration concludes that 2.3 percent of U.S. adults are vegetarians and 1.4 percent are vegans. A more recent 2016 Harris poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group puts the

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