Vegetarian Fast Facts
reprinted with permission, Vegetarian Times
For 20 years, The Vegetarian Times has presented thought-provoking stats.
Here are some at a glance.
Number of American adults who say they are vegetarian: 12.4 million
Percentage of these self-described vegetarians who say they eat red meat
once a month: 20
Percentage who say they are vegans (eat no eggs or dairy): 4
Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein for men: 63 grams
Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein for women: 50 grams
Average amount of protein consumed daily by a non-vegetarian man: 103
By a vegetarian man: 105 grams*
Average amount of protein consumed daily by a non-vegetarian woman: 74
By a vegetarian woman: 65 grams*
Average cost of one hour of nutrition counseling with a dietitian: $75
Cost of a typical bypass operation: $43,000**
Percentage of bypass operations that need repeating within five years: 50
Percentage of all illnesses that could be delayed or eliminated by dietary
Amount the U.S. government spends annually on price supports for beef and
veal: $10 billion
Amount the U.S. government spends annually on price supports for milk: $13
Number of farms in the United States: 2.1 million
Percentage that are organic: 0.2
Percentage of American agricultural land used for livestock feed: 643
Number of people who could be fed with the grains and soybeans eaten by
U.S. livestock: 1.3 billion***
Amount (in metric tons) of methane belched by U.S. cattle annually: 60
Number of Americans who used an "unconventional" medical practice
in 1990: 30 percent
Annual budget of the National Institutes of Health: $300 million
Annual budget of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative
Medicine: $2 million
Percentage of calories from fat in a typical meal from the U.S. government's
school lunch program: 38
Percentage of calories from fat recommended by the U.S. government: 30
Percentage recommended by Dean Ornish, M.D., in his reversal diet for heart
Of 1,532 autopsies of teenagers, the number that showed fatty patches in
the aorta: 1,532
Percentage of American children who are obese: 23****
Percentage of U.S. water used for some phase of livestock production: 50
Water needed to produce 1 pound of meat: 2,500 gallons
Water needed to produce 1 pound of wheat: 25 gallons
Amount of fossil fuel expended to get I calorie of protein from beef: 78
Amount of fossil fuel expended to get I calorie of protein from soybeans:
Amount of moderate daily exercise required to be fit: 30 minutes
Percentage of Americans who engage in such exercise at least twice a week:
Number of U.S. Department of Agriculture meat inspectors in 1992: 7,2006
Total number of livestock and poultry animals inspected in 1992: 7 billion******
All sources Vegetarian Times unless otherwise noted.
* 1977-78 National Food Consumption Survey (USDA,1984).
** BusinessWeek Nov. 29, 1993.
*** North American Vegetarian Society.
**** Amercian Journal of Diseases of Children, May 1987.
***** American Sports Data.
****** U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service.