Over 250 people participated in our July 2023 Veg Challenge, and we obtained 29 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 7.0 to 1.0 servings (median) and 9.67 to 4.02 (average). This decrease was very significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00021.

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. 20 of the participants decreased their animal product consumption (the green squares are below the red circles) and only 3 increased their 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 7.0 to 1.0 servings (median) and 9.67 to 4.02 (average). This decrease was very significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00021.

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. 20 of the participants decreased their animal product consumption (the green squares are below the red circles) and only 3 increased their 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.

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.

Based on conversions of servings per week of chicken, turkey, pork, beef, dairy, and eggs consumed by the 29 survey respondents to land animals killed per year (see below for calculations for specific animals), consumption of land animals per year decreased from 0.25 to 0.04 (median) and 7.06 to 3.13 (average). This decrease was very significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.000010. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. Of the 29 survey respondents, 20 decreased their consumption of land animals and only one increased their consumption.

When servings per week of fish/seafood consumed by the 29 survey respondents were included in the calculation of all animals killed per year, the median number decreased from 96.20 to 0.04, whereas the average number increased from 136.44 to 142.45. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 17 of the participants decreased their consumption of all animals and 5 increased their consumption. Based on the sign test, the decrease was significant, with a one-tail p value of 0.0063.

__ALL MEAT__

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. The consumption per week of all these combined by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 3.31 to 1.57 (average). We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 12 of the respondents decreased their consumption and none increased consumption. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00024.

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. The consumption per week of all these combined by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 0.5 to 0 servings (median) and 3.31 to 1.57 (average). We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 12 of the respondents decreased their consumption and none increased consumption. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.00024.

__CHICKENS__

**EGG LAYING HENS**

The median consumption of eggs eaten per week by the 29 respondents was 0.5 servings both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average consumption decreased from 1.72 to 1.34 servings. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 12 participants decreased their consumption and 4 exhibited an increase. 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 0.028.

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 was 0.04 both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number decreased from 0.12 to 0.10. While these numbers may seem small, please keep in mind that 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.

The median consumption of eggs eaten per week by the 29 respondents was 0.5 servings both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average consumption decreased from 1.72 to 1.34 servings. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 12 participants decreased their consumption and 4 exhibited an increase. 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 0.028.

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 was 0.04 both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number decreased from 0.12 to 0.10. While these numbers may seem small, please keep in mind that 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.

**“BROILER” CHICKENS**

The median consumption of chicken meat by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 1.26 to 0.57. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.031.

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 for meat per person/year decreased from 6.35 to 2.87. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

The median consumption of chicken meat by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 1.26 to 0.57. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.031.

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 for meat per person/year decreased from 6.35 to 2.87. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

The median consumption of turkey meat by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 0.24 to 0.07. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.031.

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. Based on this conversion, the average number of turkeys killed per person/year decreased from 0.53 to 0.15. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

__PIGS__

The median consumption of pork by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 0.55 to 0.10. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.031.

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. Based on this conversion, the average number of pigs killed per person/year decreased from 0.04 to 0.01. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

The median consumption of pork by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 0.55 to 0.10. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.031.

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. Based on this conversion, the average number of pigs killed per person/year decreased from 0.04 to 0.01. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

__COWS__

**BEEF**

The median consumption of beef by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 0.55 to 0.09. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 7 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0078.

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. Based on this conversion, the average number of cows killed for beef per person/year decreased from 0.02 to 0.00. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

The median consumption of beef by the 29 survey respondents was 0 servings per week both before and after the Veg Challenge, and the average number of servings decreased from 0.55 to 0.09. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 7 of the participants decreased consumption and none exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0078.

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. Based on this conversion, the average number of cows killed for beef per person/year decreased from 0.02 to 0.00. The median number killed was 0 both before and after.

**DAIRY**

Based on our survey of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) consumption, the median consumption by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 3.5 to 0 servings per week, and the average number of servings decreased from 4.64 to 1.10 servings per week. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 16 of the participants decreased consumption and 3 exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0018.

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. Based on this conversion, the median and the average number of cows killed for dairy per person/year was 0 both before and after.

Based on our survey of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) consumption, the median consumption by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 3.5 to 0 servings per week, and the average number of servings decreased from 4.64 to 1.10 servings per week. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 16 of the participants decreased consumption and 3 exhibited an increase. The decrease was significant based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.0018.

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. Based on this conversion, the median and the average number of cows killed for dairy per person/year was 0 both before and after.

__AQUATIC ANIMALS __

The median consumption of fish/seafood by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 0.50 to 0 servings per week, while the average number of servings increased from 0.67 to 0.72. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the respondents decreased consumption and one exhibited an increase. The decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.094.

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 median number of sea animals killed per person/year decreased from 96.2 to 0. The average number killed increased from 129.37 to 139.32.

The median consumption of fish/seafood by the 29 survey respondents decreased from 0.50 to 0 servings per week, while the average number of servings increased from 0.67 to 0.72. We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 5 of the respondents decreased consumption and one exhibited an increase. The decrease didn’t reach significance based on the sign test, which yielded a one-tail p value of 0.094.

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 median number of sea animals killed per person/year decreased from 96.2 to 0. The average number killed increased from 129.37 to 139.32.

__VEGAN FOOD__

In addition to asking about consumption of animal products before and after the Veg Challenge, we also asked about consumption of these vegan foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains. The consumption per week of all these combined increased from 49.00 to 49.50 servings per week (median) and 49.64 to 51.62 (average). We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 14 of the participants increased consumption of vegan food while 8 exhibited a decrease. The increase was significant with a one-tail p value of 0.041.

In addition to asking about consumption of animal products before and after the Veg Challenge, we also asked about consumption of these vegan foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains. The consumption per week of all these combined increased from 49.00 to 49.50 servings per week (median) and 49.64 to 51.62 (average). We plotted the individual survey results as described above. 14 of the participants increased consumption of vegan food while 8 exhibited a decrease. The increase was significant with a one-tail p value of 0.041.

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