Over 350 people participated in our July 2022 Veg Challenge, and we obtained 22 pairs of responses to our before and after surveys. Shown below are the results for all animal products and each of the individual products that we asked about. Based on these results, this Veg Challenge helped the participants to significantly decrease consumption of animals.

__ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS__

The animal products that we asked about were chicken, turkey, fish/seafood, pork, beef, other meat, dairy, and eggs. Consumption per week of all these combined decreased from 7 to 1.5 servings (median) and 10.00 to 4.91 (average). This decrease was very significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00024.

In this plot of the individual survey results, each respondent was assigned a letter, and the before results are shown as red circles and the after results as green squares. We sorted the data by the lowest to highest consumption before the Veg Challenge. Almost all the participants decreased their animal product consumption (the green squares are below the red circles) and none increased consumption.

The animal products that we asked about were chicken, turkey, fish/seafood, pork, beef, other meat, dairy, and eggs. Consumption per week of all these combined decreased from 7 to 1.5 servings (median) and 10.00 to 4.91 (average). This decrease was very significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00024.

In this plot of the individual survey results, each respondent was assigned a letter, and the before results are shown as red circles and the after results as green squares. We sorted the data by the lowest to highest consumption before the Veg Challenge. Almost all the participants decreased their animal product consumption (the green squares are below the red circles) and none increased consumption.

The number of animals killed for food is astronomical and can make the goal of saving them seem hopeless, but participants in this Veg Challenge had a promising impact.

Based on conversions of servings per week of chicken, turkey, fish/seafood, pork, beef, dairy, and eggs consumed by the 22 survey respondents to animals killed per year (see below for calculations for specific animals), consumption of all animals per year decreased from 50.12 to 0.15 (median) and 184.15 to 120.39 (average). Consumption of land animals per year decreased from 0.25 to 0.04 (median) and 4.86 to 2.33 (average). These decreases were significant based on the sign test, which yielded one-tail p values of 0.00293 for both.

Fish/aquatic animals comprise most of all animals and chickens account for most of the land animals killed for food. Based on data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 3 billion mammals and 57 billion birds were killed for food in 2008. Globally, between 37 and 120 billion fish are killed on commercial farms each year, with another 2.7 trillion caught and killed in the wild. In the U.S. alone, ~9 billion chickens die for human consumption each year. These numbers are from here.

By decreasing the demand for animal flesh and products, we can decrease the numbers of animals killed for food.

By decreasing the demand for animal flesh and products, we can decrease the numbers of animals killed for food.

__ALL MEAT__

We are pleased that the participants in this Veg Challenge made significant progress in reducing their total consumption of meat. Included in this category were chicken, turkey, fish/seafood, pork, beef, and other meat. Consumption per week of all these combined by the 22 survey respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 3.66 to 1.34 (average). This decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00098.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. All except one of the respondents who ate meat before the challenge decreased their consumption and none increased consumption.

We are pleased that the participants in this Veg Challenge made significant progress in reducing their total consumption of meat. Included in this category were chicken, turkey, fish/seafood, pork, beef, and other meat. Consumption per week of all these combined by the 22 survey respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 3.66 to 1.34 (average). This decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00098.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. All except one of the respondents who ate meat before the challenge decreased their consumption and none increased consumption.

__CHICKENS__

EGG LAYING HENS

There was a significant decrease in the number of eggs eaten after the Veg Challenge. Consumption per week by the 22 respondents decreased from 2.0 to 0.5 servings (median) and 2.32 to 0.82 (average). We assumed a serving equaled one egg, which may be an underestimate. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00195.

We converted eggs per week to number of hens killed per year. Most commercial laying strains of hens produce an egg almost daily and are slaughtered after about two years. Assuming a lifespan of 2 years, one hen will produce 730 eggs in her lifetime, resulting in 0.00137 hens killed per egg. Based on this conversion, the median number of hens killed per person/year decreased from 0.14 to 0.04 (median) and 0.17 to 0.06 (average). While these numbers may seem small, please keep in mind that egg laying hens must endure even worse living and dying conditions than most factory farmed animals. Also, the calculations don't include the male chicks who are discarded at birth because they are useless to the egg industry. You can learn more about all this here.

We plotted the individual survey results as described above. Most respondents who consumed eggs before the Veg Challenge decreased their consumption and none increased consumption.

EGG LAYING HENS

There was a significant decrease in the number of eggs eaten after the Veg Challenge. Consumption per week by the 22 respondents decreased from 2.0 to 0.5 servings (median) and 2.32 to 0.82 (average). We assumed a serving equaled one egg, which may be an underestimate. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00195.

We converted eggs per week to number of hens killed per year. Most commercial laying strains of hens produce an egg almost daily and are slaughtered after about two years. Assuming a lifespan of 2 years, one hen will produce 730 eggs in her lifetime, resulting in 0.00137 hens killed per egg. Based on this conversion, the median number of hens killed per person/year decreased from 0.14 to 0.04 (median) and 0.17 to 0.06 (average). While these numbers may seem small, please keep in mind that egg laying hens must endure even worse living and dying conditions than most factory farmed animals. Also, the calculations don't include the male chicks who are discarded at birth because they are useless to the egg industry. You can learn more about all this here.

We plotted the individual survey results as described above. Most respondents who consumed eggs before the Veg Challenge decreased their consumption and none increased consumption.

**“BROILER” CHICKENS**

Consumption of chicken meat by the 22 survey respondents was quite low even before the Challenge started and there was decrease in chicken consumption that wasn’t quite significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0625. The average consumption per week decreased from 0.75 to 0.41 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of chickens killed per year. The number of chickens killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and average serving sizes. For “broiler” chickens, the average live weight of a young chicken was 6.12 pounds in 2015 and the average dressing percentage of a “broiler” is 71%, resulting in 4.34 pounds of eatable weight per chicken. The typical serving size for chicken is 6 ounces of broiled chicken breast or 7-8 ounces for three pieces of fried chicken, which results in 10.33 servings per chicken, or 0.097 chickens killed per serving. Based on this conversion, the average number of chickens killed per person/year decreased from 3.78 to 2.06. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. More than half of the survey respondents didn’t eat chicken at the beginning, some of the rest decreased their consumption, and no one increased consumption.

Consumption of chicken meat by the 22 survey respondents was quite low even before the Challenge started and there was decrease in chicken consumption that wasn’t quite significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0625. The average consumption per week decreased from 0.75 to 0.41 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of chickens killed per year. The number of chickens killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and average serving sizes. For “broiler” chickens, the average live weight of a young chicken was 6.12 pounds in 2015 and the average dressing percentage of a “broiler” is 71%, resulting in 4.34 pounds of eatable weight per chicken. The typical serving size for chicken is 6 ounces of broiled chicken breast or 7-8 ounces for three pieces of fried chicken, which results in 10.33 servings per chicken, or 0.097 chickens killed per serving. Based on this conversion, the average number of chickens killed per person/year decreased from 3.78 to 2.06. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. More than half of the survey respondents didn’t eat chicken at the beginning, some of the rest decreased their consumption, and no one increased consumption.

There was a significant decrease in the amount beef eaten after the Veg Challenge. Consumption by the 22 survey respondents was quite low even before the Challenge started, but it still decreased significantly, based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.01563. Average consumption per week decreased from 1.16 to 0.07 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of steers killed per year. The number of steers killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and the average serving size. For steers, the average dressed weight in 2015 was 892 pounds. As an estimate of serving size, a sirloin steak is 8 ounces (cooked and trimmed), a Porterhouse steak or prime rib is 13 ounces (cooked and trimmed), and the amount of roast beef in a deli sandwich is 5 ounces. Averaging these serving sizes yields 8.67 ounces, or 0.54 pounds. Dividing 892 pounds by 0.54 pounds per serving yields 1,652 servings per steer or 0.000654 steers killed per serving.

We plotted the individual survey results as described above. Most of the respondents didn’t eat beef at the beginning and all the beef eaters decreased their consumption.

**DAIRY**

Based on our survey of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) consumption, there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge that didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.09375. Consumption per week by the 22 respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 4.04 to 2.75 (average).

We converted dairy servings per week to the number of dairy cows killed per year. In 2012, the milk production per cow in the U.S. was ~22,000 pounds. A typical cow is sent to slaughter when less than 4 years old. A cow who produces milk for 4 years will produce ~87,000 pounds. Based on USDA reports on per capita dairy product availability numbers (which can be used as a proxy for per capita consumption) and calculations of the milk equivalent of dairy products, a serving size of dairy equivalent to 1 cup of milk (0.54 pounds) represents 1/64,000 of the total output of a dairy cow, which results in 0.000016 cows killed per serving. While this number may seem infinitesimal, please remember that dairy production involves intense suffering, which includes separation of cows from their newborn calves and does not include the number of male calves killed for veal.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. Of the twelve survey respondents who consumed dairy at the beginning, five decreased their consumption and only one increased consumption.

Based on our survey of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) consumption, there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge that didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.09375. Consumption per week by the 22 respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 4.04 to 2.75 (average).

We converted dairy servings per week to the number of dairy cows killed per year. In 2012, the milk production per cow in the U.S. was ~22,000 pounds. A typical cow is sent to slaughter when less than 4 years old. A cow who produces milk for 4 years will produce ~87,000 pounds. Based on USDA reports on per capita dairy product availability numbers (which can be used as a proxy for per capita consumption) and calculations of the milk equivalent of dairy products, a serving size of dairy equivalent to 1 cup of milk (0.54 pounds) represents 1/64,000 of the total output of a dairy cow, which results in 0.000016 cows killed per serving. While this number may seem infinitesimal, please remember that dairy production involves intense suffering, which includes separation of cows from their newborn calves and does not include the number of male calves killed for veal.

We graphed out the individual survey results as above. Of the twelve survey respondents who consumed dairy at the beginning, five decreased their consumption and only one increased consumption.

__AQUATIC ANIMALS __

Our survey of fish/seafood consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge that didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.09375. The average consumption per week decreased from 0.93 to 0. 0.61 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We estimated how servings per week translated to number of sea animals killed per year. This was rather complicated considering the vast numbers of sea animals, their relative sizes, and the relative numbers eaten. The calculations took into consideration per capita consumption data, average weights, the proportions of specific subcategories of finned fish, and commercial classifications of shrimp, crabs, and clams. Also, the calculations only consider the fish who are eaten by humans, and therefore are an underestimate of the fish killed, because fish caught unintentionally and discarded (bycatch) are not included. Based on a serving size of 6 ounces, the average number of aquatic animals killed per serving is 3.79. Using this conversion, the average number of sea animals killed per person/year decreased from 179.28 to 118.06. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Of the eleven survey respondents who ate aquatic animals at the beginning, five decreased their consumption and only one increased consumption.

Our survey of fish/seafood consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge that didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.09375. The average consumption per week decreased from 0.93 to 0. 0.61 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We estimated how servings per week translated to number of sea animals killed per year. This was rather complicated considering the vast numbers of sea animals, their relative sizes, and the relative numbers eaten. The calculations took into consideration per capita consumption data, average weights, the proportions of specific subcategories of finned fish, and commercial classifications of shrimp, crabs, and clams. Also, the calculations only consider the fish who are eaten by humans, and therefore are an underestimate of the fish killed, because fish caught unintentionally and discarded (bycatch) are not included. Based on a serving size of 6 ounces, the average number of aquatic animals killed per serving is 3.79. Using this conversion, the average number of sea animals killed per person/year decreased from 179.28 to 118.06. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Of the eleven survey respondents who ate aquatic animals at the beginning, five decreased their consumption and only one increased consumption.

__PIGS__

Our survey of pork consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge, although this decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.1562. Average consumption per week decreased from 0.39 to 0.07 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of pigs killed per year. The number of pigs killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and the average serving size. For pigs, the average dressed weight of a hog in 2015 was 213 pounds. As an estimate of serving size, the amount of ham in a deli sandwich is 5 ounces. Dividing 213 pounds by 5 ounces (0.313 pounds) yields 681 servings per pig, or 0.00147 pigs killed per serving.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Most of the respondents didn’t eat pork at the beginning. Of the five who did, four decreased their consumption and one person who didn’t eat pork at the beginning did so afterwards.

Our survey of pork consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge, although this decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.1562. Average consumption per week decreased from 0.39 to 0.07 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of pigs killed per year. The number of pigs killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and the average serving size. For pigs, the average dressed weight of a hog in 2015 was 213 pounds. As an estimate of serving size, the amount of ham in a deli sandwich is 5 ounces. Dividing 213 pounds by 5 ounces (0.313 pounds) yields 681 servings per pig, or 0.00147 pigs killed per serving.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Most of the respondents didn’t eat pork at the beginning. Of the five who did, four decreased their consumption and one person who didn’t eat pork at the beginning did so afterwards.

__TURKEYS__

Our survey of turkey consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge, although this decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.3125. Average consumption per week decreased from 0.39 to 0.09 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of turkeys killed per year. The number of turkeys killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and the average serving size. The average live weight of a young turkey was 30.12 pounds in 2015 and the average dressing percentage is 79%, resulting in 23.8 pounds of eatable weight per turkey. As an estimate of serving size, the USDA recommends “When selecting your turkey, allow 1 pound of turkey per person for fresh or frozen”. Dividing 23.8 pounds by 1 pound per serving yields 23.8 servings per turkey, or 0.042 turkeys killed per serving.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Of the five who survey respondents who ate turkey at the beginning, three decreased their consumption and two who didn’t eat turkey at the beginning did so afterwards.

Our survey of turkey consumption showed that there was a decrease in the amount eaten after the Veg Challenge, although this decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.3125. Average consumption per week decreased from 0.39 to 0.09 servings. Median servings per week was 0 both before and after.

We converted servings per week to number of turkeys killed per year. The number of turkeys killed per serving is estimated based on available data on average weight at slaughter, “eatable” weight, and the average serving size. The average live weight of a young turkey was 30.12 pounds in 2015 and the average dressing percentage is 79%, resulting in 23.8 pounds of eatable weight per turkey. As an estimate of serving size, the USDA recommends “When selecting your turkey, allow 1 pound of turkey per person for fresh or frozen”. Dividing 23.8 pounds by 1 pound per serving yields 23.8 servings per turkey, or 0.042 turkeys killed per serving.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Of the five who survey respondents who ate turkey at the beginning, three decreased their consumption and two who didn’t eat turkey at the beginning did so afterwards.

__KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE__

Knowledge is powerful! In this Veg Challenge, we provided participants with information about the many compelling reasons for going vegan, including facts about animal agriculture that many people are not aware of. Not only did the 22 survey respondents decrease consumption of animals and their products, but they also reported a significant increase in their perceived knowledge about issues that affect animals raised for food. The average degree of animal welfare knowledge increased from less than somewhat to more than somewhat, while the median degree of knowledgeability remained at somewhat. The increase in knowledge was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.007813.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Seven of the respondents reported an increase in their knowledge of animal welfare. These results are encouraging because they suggest that learning about what animals used for food endure helps people to stop eating them.

Knowledge is powerful! In this Veg Challenge, we provided participants with information about the many compelling reasons for going vegan, including facts about animal agriculture that many people are not aware of. Not only did the 22 survey respondents decrease consumption of animals and their products, but they also reported a significant increase in their perceived knowledge about issues that affect animals raised for food. The average degree of animal welfare knowledge increased from less than somewhat to more than somewhat, while the median degree of knowledgeability remained at somewhat. The increase in knowledge was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.007813.

We plotted the individual survey results as above. Seven of the respondents reported an increase in their knowledge of animal welfare. These results are encouraging because they suggest that learning about what animals used for food endure helps people to stop eating them.

Proudly powered by Weebly