In our podcast about the vegan pledge we talked about reasons that people did or didn’t decide to remain vegan after the vegan pledge including the tricky issue of biased respondent samples. In 2009 and 2010, the pledge questionnaire administered at the beginning of the pledge asked people to nominate reasons why they decided to go vegan for the month.
Only a couple of the nominated reasons appeared to have an effect on whether participants who showed up to the last meeting said they were going to stay vegan, which nearly 70% of participants said they would. And, if you’re a meat eater hoping to dissuade a friend or relative from staying vegan, be very accepting and supportive! Thank you for alerting us to this research (and to Vegan Soapbox for alerting us to your post). This audio trailer uses iTunes reviews and clips to show in two minutes why The Vegan Option is worth listening to.

The followup questionnaire was given after a month of the vegan pledge and people who fell off the vegan wagon were unlikely to make it to that meeting. Pledgers who rated their buddy support more highly were more likely to stay vegan with one person specifically faulting their buddy with their decision to drop out.
I believe the finding is due to the more committed vegans being more likely to extoll their values to others and therefore face more conflict than others. In this blog I’m going to talk about how reasons that people cite for going vegan might influence whether they are choose to continue after the pledge and the paradoxical effect of unsupportive friends and relatives.
In 2011, about a third of the 108 participants had a friend or family member who was vegan but this didn’t predict how likely a pledger was to remain vegan. Those who were most passionate about being vegan were most likely to stay vegan and also to have disagrements with others.

Only a small minority of the pledgers from all three years (2009,2010,2011) had a friend, spouse or relative do the pledge with them. Another reason might be that those who had trouble with lack of support or others’ attitudes became more committed to being vegan to better integrate with a new social community. One reason health might have been such a big factor in this dataset is because  London Vegan Campaigns specifically advertised the pledge to help pledgers learn more about health and lose weight.
Out of 49 pledgers, 13 gave a rating of 4 or 5 on the difficulty of other’s attitudes and all but one of these (92%) chose to stay vegan.

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