Friday, December 30, 2011

Anatomy of a Vegan?

I love information and I love graphics (I guess), so obviously I love infographics. They just make it so much easier to wrap your head around concepts that are otherwise overwhelming or vague.

So I’m excited that the folks over at Advanced Physical Medicine put together an infographic to represent who vegans are and what we’re about. The cleverly named Anatomy of a Vegan infographic, based on a 2011 survey conducted on Facebook, addresses everything from the amount of money vegans spend on groceries to the reasons people become vegan in the first place.
But I have some problems with the way this information is represented. First of all, the infographic’s introductory blurb asks, “Did you know there are 3 million+ vegans in the United States?” But the survey included only 144 respondents, 6% of whom (somewhere between 8 and 9 people, whatever that means) are no longer vegans.

That might explain some surprising results. For example, 48% of survey respondents have an annual household income of under $30,000. It’s possible that this evidence debunks the common belief among omnivores that only the wealthy can afford to be vegan, while poor people must eat whatever they can get their hands on.

But it seems more likely that those 48% of the survey’s participants, who needed access to Facebook to participate, are students (like me!). Even though Facebook’s demographic is no longer dominated by the student population, I think the fact that 46% of survey participants have only earned a high school degree (so far), 74% are single, and 88% have no children supports my theory that the majority of participants are currently students.

Or maybe nobody wants to marry vegans. That might be true, too.

Along those lines, the part of this infographic that will be most disappointing for all the single vegan ladies is that only 17% of vegans are male. I guess that’s why one of the most commonly cited challenges of being a vegan is “dating non-vegans.”

Personally, I don’t mind dating non-vegans; in fact, I’ve never even met a vegan guy I wanted to date. The one drawback of dating an omnivore is occasional hot dog breath, but it beats scrounging around for one of those twenty-four (and a half) vegan guys who participated in this survey.

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