Thursday, August 20th, 2009
How many Australians choose not to include meat, eggs or dairy products in their daily diets?

That’s the focus of a national survey being conducted by the Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland and funded by Voiceless, the animal protection institute, which for the first time is aiming to find out not only how many vegetarians there are in Australia, but also the number of vegans.

While a few studies have looked at the number of vegetarians in Australia, they haven't always been clear on what that means. And none have looked at the number of vegans.

Vegans are a type of vegetarian that exclude dairy and eggs from their diets as well as meat (including fish). They also avoid animal ingredients in products, as well as items that have been tested on animals.

They do this is to minimise animal suffering.

The American law professor and philosopher Gary Francione points out that animals used for milk and eggs suffer just as much as animals raised for meat, if not more, and are killed all the same once considered 'spent.'

In response to accusations that excluding animal products is elitist, he's asked 'Is there anything more elitist than promoting the idea that it is morally acceptable to eat dairy, eggs, or other animal products and to continue the exploitation of the most vulnerable?'

But if you don't eat animals, can you be healthy on a diet without meat?

Both the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) say you can.

The DAA say on their website that 'a vegetarian diet can be very healthy as many plant foods are lower in saturated fat and higher in dietary fibre.'

The ADA, in their Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets, say that 'appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.'

The results of the survey are expected to be released in November.

Contact Profile

The Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland

We actively promote the vegan way of life as humane, healthy and environmentally sound. To this end, we give away thousands of free information packs, booklets and brochures every year and run stalls at various events, sometimes with food.
Joanne Stagg-Taylor
P: (07) 3735 3231 - Tuesday & Thursday
M: (07) 3372 9971 - Friday | (07) 5552 7739 Monday & Wednesday

Andrew Bartlett

P: 0418 743 789


A national survey is being run to find out how many vegetarian and vegans there are in Australia.


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