5 Million Vegans

Adult US Vegans

In May, the Vegetarian Resource Group released the results of their Harris poll estimating the number of U.S. adult vegetarians and vegans. Rather than asking individuals to self-define their eating behavior, they classified vegetarians and vegans by asking people to identify foods they never eat.

The poll found that 4% of U.S. adults are vegetarian (including vegans) and 2% are vegan. Applying their results to the U.S. adult population shows that 5.1 million adults consider themselves to be vegan (1). This is up from VRG’s 2016 poll which estimated 3.7 million U.S. adults to be vegan (2). Between polls, the adult U.S. population increased by about 3.5% while the U.S. adult vegan population increased by about 37%.


1. US Population by Year. Found U.S. adult population to be 254,000,000 as of December 2018.

2. The Vegetarian Resource Group Asks in a 2016 National Poll Conducted by Harris Poll


Impact of 10 Weeks to Vegan


10 Weeks to Vegan is a weekly email series from Vegan Outreach containing tips, recipes, and resources for those interested in learning more about veganism. To assess the effectiveness of our program, we surveyed participants before and after they began the email series.

The pre-test is emailed to participants the same week they sign up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. For the purposes of this study, we collected data only from those who completed the pre-test within two days after we sent it because we didn’t want to include any results from those who had already received the Week 2 email. We were concerned that taking the survey after reading the Week 2 email might skew the results and encourage greater response bias since Week 2 is when the emails begin to include educational information about veganism.

We send the post-test approximately two weeks after people have finished the entire 10 Weeks to Vegan series. To encourage participation, we offer a $50 Amazon gift card to two randomly chosen participants per month.

Response Rate

We first started sending out the pre-test in September 2018, and as of early April 2019, it’s gone to 25,745 people. Of those, 1,707 participants completed the survey within the two-day cut-off period for a response rate of 6.6%.

So far, we’ve sent the post-test to 967 people. Of those, 135 completed the survey, for a response rate of 14%.


Below are the results from the first 130 people who took both the pre-test and the post-test.


At the time of the pre-test, 108 people self-identified as non-vegan (either meat-eater or vegetarian) and 22 self-identified as vegan. After completing 10 Weeks to Vegan, 80 people self-identified as non-vegan and 50 people self-identified as vegan.


When we narrow those results down to self-identified meat eaters (rather than all non-vegans) and vegans, there was a net gain of 9 self-identified people who went from meat-eater to vegan.

Meat eaters and Vegans

Food Intake

New Vegans

Although some participants identified a certain way (as described in the Self-Identification section above), their reported food intake didn’t always line up with those labels. When we take into consideration participants’ reported diet for the previous month in the pre-test and previous week in the post-test, we see that there was actually a net gain of 11 vegetarians and 14 vegans.


Elimination of Categories of Animal Products

We also looked at how often people ate certain animal products when they started 10 Weeks to Vegan compared to after completing it. There were statistically significant reductions in all categories of animal products.








Reasons For Signing Up

Participants cited various and often multiple reasons for signing up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. For most, their motivation behind signing up for the program fell into a few main categories:

  • Health (32)
  • Help with transitioning to veganism (27)
  • Recipes (18)
  • Insight into veganism (17)
  • Animal welfare (12)
  • Environment (12)

Future Research

Our next step in this research is to determine if our results vary based on how we are signing people up for the series (for example, using online ads vs. college outreach). It might take many more post-test responses to have statistically meaningful data for determining any such differences.


This research indicates that Vegan Outreach’s 10 Weeks to Vegan series is having a great deal of success in motivating and helping people to become vegetarian and vegan.

Save the Date—April 10th for National Day of College Outreach

Be part of a nationwide event to empower college students to go vegan!

On April 10th, activists like you will hand out leaflets on local college campuses, spreading the message of veganism and promoting our 10 Weeks to Vegan challenge. This fun volunteer opportunity is for everyone—not just college students!

Whether you leaflet on your own or recruit a group of friends to help, it’s bound to be a rewarding day of outreach with a big impact for people, animals, and the environment.

Complete this short form to sign up and claim your local campus!

Campaign Success—Panda Express to Add Vegan Options!

Panda Express to Add Vegan Options

Panda Express, the country’s largest fast casual Chinese food restaurant chain, will be removing the chicken broth and animal-based seasonings from its Eggplant Tofu and Chow Mein dishes. This change follows our national campaign which spurred nearly 5,000 petition signatures and hundreds of requests via social media for vegan menu items. 

By adding plant-based dishes, Panda Express joins a long list of companies catering to the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan food. In The Economist article “The year of the vegan,” correspondent John Parker writes that, “Sales of vegan foods in America in the year to June 2018 rose ten times faster than food sales as a whole.” Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, TGI Fridays, and A&W are among the companies that have added vegan food to their restaurant menus.

While seemingly small, this change by Panda Express will make a big impact. Not only will the chain contribute less to animal suffering by using more plant-based ingredients, but it will send a powerful message to other chains—this is financially beneficial and if we can do it, so can you. Both menu items will be vegan by the end of February, but we recommend checking with your local store before you order them. 


These Campus Leafleters Have Us Inspired!

By Lisa Rimmert, Vice President of Strategic Communications

As the fall semester ends and we gear up for spring outreach, these dedicated campus leafleters have inspired us with their incredible work for animals this semester. They’ve spread a message of compassion to hundreds of thousands of people, making a huge impact in bringing us closer to a vegan world.

Let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to this fall!

Jevranne Martel

Drawing on her experience as a life coach, Jevranne Martel stays upbeat and engages people in thoughtful conversations as she leaflets. As our lone Canada Outreach Coordinator, she keeps her schedule jam-packed, traveling from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, advocating for the animals. This semester, Jevranne handed leaflets to 26,580 students and showed virtual reality slaughterhouse footage to 198.

Carlos Contreras

Carlos Contreras [above, left] joined Emmanuel Marquez as the two embarked on Vegan Outreach’s first-ever tours in Peru and Ecuador. Encouraged by the positive response in both countries, Carlos finished the semester in his home country of Mexico. He handed leaflets to 25,742 students at a total of 42 schools this semester and he showed virtual reality videos to 220 people.

Emmanuel Marquez

In addition to supporting outreach by numerous volunteers, Emmanuel Marquez personally showed virtual reality videos to 263 people—bringing his total to nearly 5,000 over the past two years! He also handed leaflets this semester to 28,690 people at 54 schools on outreach tours in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.

Sarai Garcia

Sarai Garcia wrapped up her second semester of leafleting with Vegan Outreach, covering New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In the spring, she handed leaflets to 13,200 students at 26 schools, and now she’s more than doubled those numbers! This fall, Sarai handed out 35,004 leaflets at 60 schools.

Sam Tucker

Sam Tucker has handed leaflets to 44,530 people throughout Australia and New Zealand, and he’s shown virtual reality videos to 396. He’s also helped develop leaflets for Australia outreach and was instrumental in creating and launching Vegan Outreach’s 10 Weeks to Vegan program in Australia and New Zealand.

Carlos Yanez

Carlos Yanez completed his first solo tour of the Southeast U.S. this semester. He set a personal record of handing out 1,756 leaflets at North Carolina State University on October 10th, and overall this semester he handed out 49,436 leaflets at 74 schools.

Richa Mehta

This was Richa Mehta’s second semester with Vegan Outreach India. She handed leaflets to 24,775 people and showed virtual reality videos to 403. On top of that, she was instrumental in working with food companies to reduce their use of animal products and introduce vegan options.

Miguel Marron

Miguel Marron received a Vegan Outreach leaflet at his college, then started an animal rights club, volunteered for Vegan Outreach, and is now an employee. He celebrated his 14th anniversary as a vegan in October, and we’re celebrating that he handed out 44,818 leaflets and showed 330 virtual reality videos this fall!

Sarah Weldon

Leafleting in the southern U.S., Sarah Weldon uses her experience as a Marine Corps veteran and reformed hunter to relate to people who are initially resistant to the vegan message. As a result, she handed out 53,164 leaflets this fall and has had many hunters and farmers shake her hand and thank her for having a genuine conversation with them.

Brian Chavez

Brian Chavez [above, middle] started leafleting with Vegan Outreach in Southern California and has traveled all over the midwest U.S. to spread veganism. Brian leaflets heavily during class changes, then during slow times he takes the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations with curious students. As a result, he has handed out 58,643 leaflets on 55 campuses, and so many people have told him they’re going veg!

Steve Erlsten

Last but certainly not least is Steve Erlsten. Steve began leafleting in an official capacity for Vegan Outreach in the fall of 2013—and he hasn’t stopped since! While handing leaflets to 71,925 students this semester, he reached—and exceeded—his goal of personally handing out one million pro-veg leaflets! Congratulations, Steve, and thank you for your dedication!

These activists’ work is far from flashy—they wake up early, lug heavy boxes, and remain on their feet for hours at a time. We’re happy to be able to celebrate them any chance we get. Thank you for helping us do so! And thank you, of course, to the donors whose generosity made this work possible!

If you want to honor these activists and see Vegan Outreach do even more for animals next year, please consider making a donation by December 31st. It will be matched dollar-for-dollar for twice the impact!

Thank you!

We Need YOU at Winter Jam in 2019!

Kick off the new year by helping animals!

Find a Winter Jam concert in a city near you, and Vegan Outreach will provide the tools you need for a great evening of volunteering.

Sign up and you’ll receive a package of pro-veg leaflets, Primal Strips vegan jerky to hand out, and sign-up sheets for our 10 Weeks to Vegan program. Armed with these tools, you’ll go to Winter Jam and spread the message of compassion towards animals!

Winter Jam is a traveling Christian concert festival that attracts thousands of young people who are friendly and very receptive to our message. You don’t need to be Christian to leaflet the events.

As a token of our appreciation, 20 volunteers who gather the most 10 Weeks to Vegan sign-ups will receive a free Vegan Outreach t-shirt!

Check out the dates below to find a Winter Jam concert near you. Peak leafleting time is from 5–7 pm, perfect for volunteers who can’t make campus leafleting events during the day.

Leafleting is more fun with friends, so share this info with yours and help us recruit!

Contact Sara at [email protected] with questions and to reserve your spot.

January 11, 2019 — Jacksonville, FL — Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
January 12, 2019 — Tampa, FL — Amalie Arena
January 13, 2019 — Mobile, AL — Mitchell Center
January 17, 2019 — Evansville, IN — The Ford Center
January 18, 2019 — Grand Rapids, MI — Van Andel Arena
January 19, 2019 — Columbus, OH — Schottenstein Center
January 20, 2019 — Charlotte, NC — Spectrum Center
January 24, 2019 — Council Bluffs, IA — Mid-America Center
January 25, 2019 — Des Moines, IA — Wells Fargo Arena
January 31, 2019 — New Orleans, LA — Lakefront Arena
February 1, 2019 — Birmingham, AL — Legacy Arena at BJCC
February 2, 2019 — Lexington, KY — Rupp Arena
February 7, 2019 — Peoria, IL — Peoria Civic Center
February 14, 2019 — Reading, PA — Santander Arena
February 15, 2019 — Pittsburgh, PA — PPG Paints Arena
February 16, 2019 — Cincinnati, OH — U.S. Bank Arena
February 17, 2019 — Ypsilanti, MI — EMU Convocation Center
February 23, 2019 — Greensboro, NC — Greensboro Coliseum
February 24, 2019 — Norfolk, VA — Scope Arena
March 1, 2019 — Bossier City, LA — CenturyLink Center
March 2, 2019 — Oklahoma City, OK — Chesapeake Energy Arena
March 3, 2019 — Austin, TX — H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
March 9, 2019 — Louisville, KY — Freedom Hall
March 15, 2019 — Columbia, SC — Colonial Life Arena
March 17, 2019 — Southaven, MS — Landers Center
March 21, 2019 — Augusta, GA — James Brown Arena
March 22, 2019 — Raleigh, NC — PNC Arena
March 23, 2019 — Charleston, WV — Charleston Coliseum
March 24, 2019 — Greenville, SC — Bon Secours Wellness Arena
March 28, 2019 — Ft. Wayne, IN — Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
March 29, 2019 — Indianapolis, IN — Bankers Life Fieldhouse
March 30, 2019 — State College, PA — Bryce Jordan Center
March 31, 2019 — Cleveland, OH — Wolstein Center

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu

Being vegan doesn’t mean giving up the Thanksgiving foods you once loved. On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity to introduce delicious vegan dishes to your friends and family and create new animal-friendly traditions!

We’ve scoured the depths of the internet to bring you recipes for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Use it thelp you with your holiday meal planning!

1. Fluffy Mashed Potatoes


2. Porcini Mushroom Gravy


3. Cool Cranberry Sauce


4. Sensational Stuffing


5. Miraculous Mac n Cheese


6. Ridiculously-good Rolls


7. Sweet Potato Casserole


8. Green Bean Casserole


9. Holiday Roast! Also check out Tofurky and Field Roast’s holiday options.


10. Last, but not least: Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie


What are some of YOUR cruelty-free Thanksgiving traditions?

7.6 Million Vegans?

By Jack Norris, Executive Director, and Rania Hannan, Research and Assessment Specialist

Number US Adult Vegans 2012 vs 2018

On August 1, Gallup released a poll in which they asked people whether they were vegetarian and vegan, and then compared the results to the same poll they conducted in 2012 (1). Gallup framed their results as, “Few Americans Vegetarian or Vegan,” but that really depends on your perspective—applying their results to the adult population shows that 7.6 million U.S. adults consider themselves to be vegan and that’s a considerable increase from earlier decades.

Gallup found that while the percentage of vegetarians has remained at 5% since 2012, the percentage of vegans had increased from 2% to 3%—a 50% increase in six years. And if you do the math based on the U.S. adult population from 2011 and 2017—the years they used in their calculations (2)—the number of vegans has increased by an estimated 2.8 million in those six years.

There are two caveats to this poll:

  • Unlike the Vegetarian Resource Group’s polls of vegetarians and vegans which ask people what foods they eat, Gallup asked people if they “consider themselves to be” a vegetarian or vegan. The Vegetarian Resource Group’s pollsters estimated there to be 3.7 million adult vegans in the U.S. in 2016 based on food frequency data (3).
  • The margin of error for these Gallup polls is wide at ±4%.

That said, the trends point in the right direction and reinforce our experience on the ground—the number of vegans is growing. Thank you to everyone working to spread a vegan lifestyle and end the suffering of farmed animals!


1. Snapshot: Few Americans Vegetarian or Vegan. Gallup. August 1, 2018.

2. Adults U.S. population taken from U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (2011). Accessed August 10, 2018. Found U.S. adult population to be 237,734,073 in 2011 and 252,063,800 in 2017.

3. How many adults in the U.S. are vegetarian and vegan? Vegetarian Resource Group. Accessed August 10, 2018.

Big News for our Morningstar Farms Campaign!

Campaign Progress - Morningstar Farms takes the egg and dairy out of 3 products

Together, we’ve been asking vegetarian food brand, Morningstar Farms, to ditch the dairy and eggs—starting with their Garden Veggie Burger. They’re responding!

Morningstar just veganized three of their products—the Buffalo Wings, Buffalo Chik Patties, and Chik’n Nuggets!

Our campaign has garnered nearly 7,000 petition signatures, hundreds of comments on Morningstar’s social media pages, and over a thousand emails asking them to make the change—from dedicated activists, like you!

This change by Morningstar Farms will remove an enormous amount of animal products from the supply chain every year—making a big difference for animals.

Thank you for taking action to veganize Morningstar’s products! This huge step wouldn’t have happened without your dedication!

Now, let’s keep the momentum going! Use our pre-written email to thank Morningstar and request that the Garden Veggie Burger—sold at Burger King—be next on the list to veganize!

Contact Morningstar Now!

5 Activists Bringing Veganism to the Masses

Community Events collage

From Los Angeles to Brooklyn and in between, Vegan Outreach has connected with a multitude of curious non-vegans—sharing vegan food and providing informative, fun, and welcoming ways for folks to explore veganism.

We’ve hosted vegan food tasting events, shown iAnimal virtual reality videos at local festivals, and given presentations to groups of all sizes—and the positive feedback we get is very uplifting!

Today, we’d like to share a few of those inspiring moments with you and recognize our hard-working Community Events Coordinators. Below, each Coordinator recounts a particularly impactful moment they had over the past few months.

1. Gwenna Hunter

gwenna hunter

“This week, I had the extreme pleasure of having Dr. Ietef Cavem Vita and Genesis Butler of A Vegan Child’s Journey speak in front of 150 male youth from Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles. We served delicious vegan tacos by Nays Tacos.

“Honestly, the kids were very judgmental at first because they wanted to see meat—but once they started eating the tacos, they loved them! They couldn’t believe tacos could be so delicious without having meat!”

—Gwenna Hunter
Greater Los Angeles Community Events Coordinator
April 13, 2018

2. Jackie Va

jackie va

“On Sunday, I hosted the Taste Vegan Meats and Cheese Potluck in Stockton, CA. The event was capped at 40 RSVPs and it sold out in one day! Almost all of the attendees were non-vegan.

“I put literature out for people on the dining tables and set up an information table. Most people took more than one booklet, flipped through the pages, and asked questions as they ate. People stayed for 2 plus hours to talk to each other.”

—Jackie Va
Central Valley Community Events Coordinator
February 20, 2018

3. Nzinga Young

nzinga young

“Today, I did humane education presentations for the staff at Animal Care Centers (ACC) Brooklyn and Manhattan locations. Forty non-vegan employees spent their lunch break discussing how their love for animals could extend to animals raised for food.

“Attendees received a bagged lunch, two VO booklets, and a Tofurky coupon so they could recreate the vegan chicken salad they had for lunch. Both ACCs said the events were a hit and conversations on veganism lingered long after I left!”

—Nzinga Young
Greater NYC Community Events Coordinator
April 5, 2018

4. Victor Flores

vic flores

“Vegan Outreach had the opportunity to attend the Bees and Seeds Festival in Albuquerque, NM last weekend. We gave out samples of sopaipillas from La Salita and served them with Bee Free Honee.

“So many people stopped by our booth that we ran out of samples! We gave out a lot of information on veganism and several folks committed to giving it a try.”

—Victor Flores
Greater New Mexico Community Events Coordinator
May 20, 2018

5. Roopashree Rao

roopashree rao

“VO tabled for the first time at the Holi Mela in Woodley Park, Los Angeles. The crowd was in a festive mood since it is the Festival of Colours! Quite a few kids and adults tried the vegan milks and cookies.

“A handful of people watched the iAnimal Virtual Reality video, and it clearly made a huge impact. When people have a strong reaction, my response to them is, “I didn’t know either—but once we do see the cruelty, we can decide if we want to make changes.”

—Roopashree Rao
Indian American Community Events Coordinator
March 4, 2018


Let’s give a big round of applause for this hardworking group of activists who are truly making a difference through community outreach. Stay tuned because this won’t be the last you hear of their work!

Do you want to get active for animals? Sign up now for our Action Alerts or join our Vegan Mentor Program!