Womyn’s Month: stories from latina vegans

Cover of Viva Vegan! cookbook 

I was hoping to get this post up for International Womyn’s Day, but alas, my schedule got the best of me, along with my bouts of not wanting to do anything that I have to use brain power. But I figured that I’m not a ruler follower and I want to celebrate womyn every day. So here I am not on my original timeline but excited to be writing.

In this series, I interviewed 3 latina womyn that have been vegan, asked them why and how its been since they became vegan, some have been vegan for decades! I am excited to share their thoughts and advice on their experiences of being latina vegans and some of the resources that helped them continue on this journey. They also discussed how their identity as vegans intersects with their identities as womyn of color.

But before the series gets published, I want to set the stage for vegans and latina vegans first.

The Numbers: how many of us are there?

I started doing some research because I was interested in how many vegans there actually are in the US and within that small community, how many were latin@. I couldn’t find anything super recent but I did get excited to see the numbers.

So from a couple of studies and articles that I read, it was pretty clear that in the US, 5% of the population identify as vegetarian, that’s 16 million!, and half of that, so 2.5%, identify as vegan. This was up from 2.3% of people who identify as vegetarian. That means that in the last 10 years, the vegetarian community has doubled, which also means that the vegan community has also grown tremendously!! This is pretty exciting news.

Now because my series is on self-identified womyn, I thought I should include numbers by gender breakdown, gender in this write-up will be in the binary because that’s what is given but if there is any other studies out of the binary, please link them in the comments. In the study done, 79% of self identified vegans were womyn! 79%! And though I know that has a lot to do with the issue of masculinity and how its tied with meat consumption, the whole “real men eat meat” bull, I was really surprised at how high the difference was. But this is just for veganism. For vegetarianism, there is a more equal breakdon between the 2 genders studied.

Something that I found interesting as well is that people who identify as Latin@,  I have an inssue with the identification of Hispanic and so will use Latin@ but I just wanted to say something because that’s what they use in the study. The study shows that 8% of vegetarians/vegans identify as Latin@! 8%! I was pretty excited about that because it means that there are roughly 600,000 of us out there, eating veggie meals and living veggie lives! And I’m sure that number has grown in line with how big the vegan community has grown in the last couple of years. This percentage is actually the highest in ethnic breakdown with white folks only making up 3% of those that participated in the study. I thought that this was super interesting because we always see this as a white person thing, or at least I did. I’d love to read more on the study and a follow up study on the complexities of these questions, because household income was all over the place with folks on the lower end of income and middle of the road income at the same percentage. Does this mean that not eating animals was a chioce or was it because of lack of income to buy meat? 

In finding the study and articles, I was so excited to move forward with my series and get them out into the world to be shared and contemplated.

So keep an eye out for my Latina Vegan series coming to a computer, phone or tablet near you!





Here’s where I found all these numbers! Take a look!

Vegetarian/Vegan 2012 numbers

Vegetarian/Vegan 2006 numbers