According to a survey conducted last fall by the Waitrose supermarket chain, one out of every eight Britons follows a vegan or vegetarian diet. And, at this point, it seems like a completely different survey about vegans has been conducted for each and every single one of them.
In the most recent survey, 2,000 adult Britons were asked for their attitudes and opinions about vegans, and the questions went slightly deeper than “They really like those Greggs vegan sausage rolls, huh?” Whether or not it yielded any valuable information is up to Violife, the dairy-free cheese company behind it, but after reviewing the responses, it’s clear that there are a lot of misconceptions about what being vegan means.
A full 30 percent of the respondents said they had no idea what a vegan diet looked like—which explains why 31 percent of them believe that vegans can’t eat lettuce (at least one percent has some seriously misplaced confidence). In addition, half of those who completed the survey said they believed meals would be “a nightmare” for vegans (ESPECIALLY for the ones who can’t eat lettuce), and 50 percent also said they’d rather stop drinking for a month than abandon their beloved meats and cheeses.
Finally, 10 percent of respondents said they thought vegans would be “permanently in a mood” due to their restrictive dietary habits, and 20 percent think they’re probably always hungry.
Of course, like all Brand-sponsored surveys, the whole thing should be taken with a grain of salt—or a slice of Violife’s dairy free cheese. But it can be shelved beside the survey suggesting that one-third of meat eaters aren’t interested in dating vegans, the one where a quarter of respondents said they’d never go full veg because they’re put off by vegans’ attitudes, and one suggesting that the number of vegans in the United Kingdom had increased by 350 percent in the past decade.
Clearly we're due for a survey that asks Britons how many other surveys about vegans they’ve already taken. Or maybe, it’s time to stop crowdsourcing misconceptions and start providing real answers to things like “Does going vegan really help climate change?” and “Where does lettuce come from?”