The Atlantic

A Sociologist Finds Vegans Are Too Open to ‘Free Riders’

A contentious study suggests that social movements shoot themselves in the foot when they embrace a wide range of adherents.
Source: Dominic Favre / AP

In the past couple of decades, vegetarian diets have achieved enormous visibility in the United States. Consumers now include more plant-based foods in their diet, as sales of these foods continue to rise. But the extent to which vegetarianism and veganism have led Americans to actually give up eating meat remains unclear. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that 2018 will be the United States’ biggest year for meat consumption yet. A recent Gallup poll found that only 5 percent of Americans identify as vegetarian and 3 percent identify as vegan, signaling little to no growth in the movement from 2012.

In a new , Corey Wrenn, a sociologist at Monmouth University and an

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Trump’s Impeachment Finger Trap
With each stonewall and demand that Democrats drop investigations, the president is making it more likely that Congress will feel compelled to act.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
I Wrote to John Walker Lindh. He Wrote Back.
Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET on May 23, 2019. Four years ago, I wrote a letter to John Walker Lindh, then–inmate number 45426-083 in the Terre Haute penitentiary, to ask for advice about jihadism, Islamic law, and the Islamic State. Lindh is the most fam
The Atlantic7 min readReligion & Spirituality
White Women Are Helping States Pass Abortion Restrictions
It’s common for critics of the new wave of state laws severely limiting access to abortion to say the measures are part of a Republican “war on women.” But strong support from most white women, especially those who identify as evangelical Christians,