New Zealanders are a growing number of vegans, according to a new survey, with most saying they would like to start their own business.
The survey by the National Survey of Consumer and Business Utilisation (NSCEU) was conducted in February and March.
The results show that around 50 per cent of Kiwis identify as vegan, with a further 22 per cent identifying as vegetarian.
More than 70 per cent have never been vegetarian, and about 25 per cent said they were unsure about the issue.
“People are becoming aware of the importance of the issue and that it’s something they should be aware of,” said Dr Peter Ruhlman, from the University of Auckland.
“It’s something that’s very common in our society and I think we have a good idea of what it’s like.”
In a country where people are not allowed to drink alcohol, the majority of respondents said they would not drink alcohol.
A large proportion of respondents were keen to start a business and were willing to work on a small scale, but said they could not start a vegan business in New England because it was too expensive.
“They were happy to say, ‘No, I’m not going to do it, I don’t want to do that’,” said one respondent.
“So they were just saying, ‘You know what, I think I’ll just be a vegan and just see what happens’.”
The survey also found that many people were happy with their diet.
About 70 per the survey’s 5,000 participants, 60 per cent identified as vegan or vegetarian.
“Some people are looking at their diet and they think, ‘Oh, it’s fine, I’ll keep it that way’,” said Dr Ruhmans.
“But others are saying, what if I change it and it doesn’t work for me?
What if it just makes me a little bit unhappy?””
People have a very strong feeling of what they’re eating and they don’t really want to change it.”
One respondent who had been a vegetarian for 20 years said she was not worried about changing her diet.
“I think it’s going to change, I just don’t know when,” she said.
“The problem with vegans is that they think they’re going to get all the good things and they just end up not getting any.”
Vegan food is expensiveNew Zealand’s food prices are rising rapidly, with the average price of a single burger rising by 22 per of a cent last year, according of the Government.
Dr Ruhman said the price increase was partly a result of increased demand from consumers.
“You’re going up and up and you’re going out to dinner and you’ve got people coming in with a burger that costs $15.
The next thing you know, you’re looking at a hamburger that costs about $12.”
A lot of people don’t realise it’s just about the food.
They’re just looking at it and saying, this is the best burger they’ve ever had.
“That’s probably one of the main reasons people don.
It’s not just about it being cheap, it really is about that burger.”
Dr Ruflman said people would be able to get the same thing at the supermarket without having to spend more.
“When you go into a supermarket, they’re not going up to $18 and they’re just going to go to $10.”
We can see that if you buy the same stuff at a higher price, you’ll get a higher return,” he said.
There’s also a big difference between being a vegan or not vegan.””
We don’t have an exact way of saying what’s actually going to cost, so there’s no guarantees that it’ll be cheaper.”
There’s also a big difference between being a vegan or not vegan.
“If you’re not vegan you’re just not going out there to eat, but if you’re vegan, you’ve just got to go out and get a burger and eat it.”
“If we were to make it easier to do this, people would come to New Zealand more, and more businesses would start doing it.”
In terms of vegan options, Dr Rum said it was important to consider that people were being misled by a number of misinformation campaigns.
“For example, if you say you’ve never been a vegan, and you go and look at a website and it says that you don’t need to eat meat and eggs, that’s not true.”
Those are really misleading messages.
“Veganism is about being honest about your choices, about the foods you eat and the things you’re buying.”
And it’s not about the price.
“The survey found that, of all people, young people were most likely to be vegans.
However, it also found a significant age divide.
Around two thirds of those surveyed said they had not considered veganism, and almost half of the 18-24 age group said they’d