A recent survey by BBC Good Food of 1,004 children between the ages of 5 and 26 has found that nearly 60% of children are vegan or vegetarian or want to be. So, why do children embrace veganism?

While the report itself doesn’t give the reasoning of the survey’s participants, it’s clear that children have a greater level of compassion for others.

The BBC Good Food survey found that 8% of the survey’s participants were already eating a total plant-based diet and 15% would like to become vegan. This shows that 1 in 5 kids are vegan or would like to be.

A further 13% were vegetarian already and 21% said they would like to be vegetarian.

  • Children Already Vegan 8% 8%
  • Children Already Vegetarian 13% 13%
  • Children That Would Like to be Vegan 15% 15%
  • Children That Would Like to be Vegetarian 21% 21%

When my daughter was about 4, I remember taking her to a supermarket. This was many years before I became vegan. We stood by the butcher counter, and she asked what things were. That’s a lamb chop, that’s minced beef, that’s kidneys.

The look of shock oner her little face, ‘you mean to say they killed a kid?’ she asked. I explained that kidneys were an organ from an animal, sheep’s kidneys in this case. She was mortified. She had always had a limited range of food she ate. But she never ate meat again after that day.

Due to the limited range of food she will eat, she is not vegan as dairy is one of the few things she will eat, but she has never touched meat since that day.

With each passing generation, things change. Prejudices, beliefs, and attitudes change. A greater level of education means that things that were commonplace a few decades ago, such as homophobia, transphobia, and racism, are now, thankfully, much less common.

In 2019 a BritainThinks report showed that Gen Z and Millennials were more likely to become vegan than older generations. Could it be that this generation of children will be leading the way with a plant-based diet? They will be the ones inheriting the planet, which is currently ravaged by animal agriculture after all.

Sustainability seemed to play a part into why children embrace veganism, with 44% of the surveyed children saying they hope that plastic food packaging is eliminated in the next ten years. Another report showed 26% of young people between 15-20 are eating a plant-based diet to protect the planet.

“It was fascinating to survey children’s eating habits, behaviours and opinions around food.”

“They are passionate about exploring alternative diets and methods of food production that could be more sustainable for the planet,”

Christine Hayes

Editor, BBC Good Food

Education is the key to change. By sheltering children from the truth about where their food comes from, we aren’t doing them any favours. Knowledge is necessary for any person to make an informed decision about any aspect of their life.

It was documentaries such as What The health, Seaspiracy and Cowspiracy that opened my eyes to what was really going on and made me vow not to participate in the chain of destruction and torture.

These findings fill me with hope that the future is in a plant-based diet as children embrace veganism. It may take some time, but with any luck, within my lifetime, the majority of people will be on a plant-based diet, and animal cruelty will cease.