Vegans are much happier than meat eaters, research shows. Here’s why.
Vegans are happier than meat eaters and more accepted than is generally believed, according to a new study by organization Tracking Happiness. The study interviewed 11,537 people in the United States, grouped into four categories: vegan (1,179), vegetarian (948), pescatarian (422) and carnivorous (8,988). Respondents were asked, “If you look at the last year of your life, how would you rate your happiness on a scale of 1 to 10?” The average happiness score was 6.9, with meat eaters scoring the lowest happiness score of 6.8 on a scale of 1 to 10 and vegans scoring 7% higher.
The study also found that happier people consider themselves more likely to go vegan in the future. Of the nearly 9,000 meat-eaters surveyed, the researchers found that those who reported higher happiness scores were more likely to adopt a plant-based diet. Additionally, they found that not only are happier individuals more likely to go vegans, but vegans are also more likely to stay happy.
Positive attitudes towards vegans
The study explored attitudes towards and acceptance of veganism and the motivations for becoming vegan. The survey asked participating meat eaters what their opinion is on vegans or veganism, and the results showed that less than 15 percent had a negative opinion of vegans and the average meat eater thought positively of vegans ( 3.44 on a scale of 1 to 5).
The study also highlighted that only 16% of meat eaters consider themselves likely or very likely to adopt a plant-based diet, with older respondents significantly less likely to do so. Notably, among people who are already reducing their consumption of animal products, the study found that they are 220% more likely to adopt a plant-based diet in the future.
The motivations and levels of happiness of vegans
Among vegans, the study found that the environment was the primary reason for their food choices, followed by personal preferences, cruelty to animals, and intolerance to meat or dairy products. Of these people, the researchers found that those who are vegans to help reduce their impact on the environment reported a higher average happiness score (7.72 on a scale of 1 to 10) compared to those who are vegans for combating cruelty to animals (6.77 on a scale of 1 to 10).
“Sustainable behavior is linked to better mental health, which is why it is so important to talk about the consumption of animal products. Even though the positive environmental effect of veganism cannot be disputed, there is still a negative stigma surrounding people who claim to be vegans, ”said Hugo Huijer, Founder of Tracking Happiness. “We believe that happiness and sustainability go hand in hand. We hope our findings will help people make informed decisions about sustainability, happiness, and the consumption of animal products. “
Eating more vegetables makes you happier
A similar study conducted in 2016 by the University of Warwick and the University of Queensland found that people who ate more fruits and vegetables experienced a substantial increase in their happiness over a two-year period.
For this study, researchers looked at the food diaries of 12,385 Australian adults to measure their level of happiness and found that people who went from eating fewer fruits and vegetables to eight servings per day experienced an increase in satisfaction from live comparable to that of finding a job after being unemployed.
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