April 01, 2011

Omnivores ascend faster and higher...

I got this information in an email from Dave, the coordinator of the Vegan meet-up group in Madison, Wis. I apologize to Dave for stealing it, but I thought it was important enough to share.

"I thought this would be of interest to group members. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine tracked the lives of 250 omnivores and vegetarians for 40 years. Here's the write-up about it I saw on the Vegetarian Times' website...

In 1970 two graduate students at UC-Berkeley, Frank Owens and Oliver Larson, decided to study the long-term effects of a vegetarian diet. They selected 250 undergraduates (half omnivore, half vegetarian) and began with detailed interviews, physical exams, and lab tests. For the last 40 years they've gotten updates on their subjects primarily through annual written questionnaires.

The study is ongoing, but Owens and Larson published a number of findings in The New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to confirming the widespread assumption that a vegetarian diet significantly increases the chances for a longer and healthier life, they also found:
  • Omnivores ascend faster and higher than vegetarians on the corporate ladder — even after normalizing for differences in the number of vegetarians who seek corporate work.
  • Vegetarians are 42% more likely to vote and 79% more likely to serve on jury duty. However, the relatively small percentage of vegetarians in the general population diminishes their influence in society.
  • Vegetarians marry four years later on average, but are 32% less likely to divorce. Researchers attribute the delay to vegetarians being more selective with dating partners. They say this ultimately leads to a stronger relationship, which shows in the lower divorce rate among the vegetarians in their study.
  • Vegetarians report being 29% happier than omnivores. Researchers did not find a correlation between happiness and income or standard of living once a minimum threshold is reached.
  • Vegetarians give 317% more to charitable causes than omnivores. While the percentages are roughly equal for those who give anything, the amount donated by vegetarians is more than three times that of omnivores.
  • Omnivores are 26% more likely than vegetarians to serve time in prison for committing a felony, while vegetarians are 32% more likely to be a victim of a white collar crime or confidence scheme. Researchers believe that hormones given to many farm animals effect the functioning of the human brain's prefrontal cortex, which has been linked to aggression, honesty, and gullibility.
For more information on the UC-Berkeley study, read all the details on The New England Journal of Medicine's website.


  1. Hehehe! I got the e-mail, too, and despite having received his April Fools' e-mail last year (and despite thinking I was totally prepared to disbelieve anything I heard today), I fell for it. D'oh.

  2. Every year, despite the fact that I know it's April Fool's Day, I fall for every prank there is.

    I mentioned your Spicy Peanut Stew in my recent blog post. I think I need to make it again ASAP.

  3. I totally fell for it! I was even reciting facts off to Chris. You got me!

  4. Kelly,
    Don't feel bad, I always fall for Dave's jokes, too.

    I always fall for them, too. It must be because we're so honest, we expect everyone else to be telling the truth. :D I'm planning a joke on my husband that I'm sure he'll believe.

    Thanks for writing about the stew!

    Dave makes everything seem so real. You should see some of his past tricks. I hope he reads this post. :)

  5. You got me! I thought it was real. I was going to say, well us vegetarians are just nice people! Haha, good one! :)

  6. Rose,
    Yeah. I especially believed the line about vegetarians being more charitable. Oh well.

    So are you in Hawaii? It must be great to be away from the damp, cold Seattle weather. I want to wear a t-shirt and be too hot. :D

  7. ah man! i fell for it! it was so well done!

  8. Ha ha! And here I was, reading and nodding along as I went. . . they just seem like points that *would* be true!

  9. DD,
    I fell for it, too. Dave's a clever guy. In addition to being happier and more generous than omnivores, vegans are more devious. :D

    Yes, they do. Maybe vegans are more gullible, or ...

  10. I especially believed the charitable giving factoid too.

    Haha, the Hawaii thing on Lalo's blog was an April Fools! So I got you too. I put April Fools at the bottom of the comment, but Laurie didn't see it. No, I'm here in the PNW, Hawaii would have been lovely, but as it is, I'm making bruschetta on the BBQ in the rain. :)

  11. GASP. You got me good. I really believed you were sunning and surfing on the Islands. HA! BBQ in the rain. Oh well, at least it's bruschetta — that should be good!

  12. I know! It totally had me for way too long! And I love it.......

  13. Thanks for sharing with your readers Andrea. I'm glad you all enjoyed the joke.

    The archive of my previous April Fools pranks is on the meetup site at...

  14. Good one! too funny! :-)

  15. Claire,
    I fall for it every year and probably will next year, too.

    The list was really funny, and just plausible enough to trick us — probably because we were gloating just a little. HA! :D

    Chow vegan,
    Dave deserves a big thank you for making us all laugh.

  16. Ha, and I was getting so worked up there for a moment! Tricky, tricky, you sure got me!

  17. I must confess, because Rose got us so good, I skipped to the bottom of the few April 1 posts I got a chance to read to look for the "April Fool's!" But I would have fallen for this completely if I hadn't "cheated!" It all sounded so credible! :-)

  18. I fell for it. Are veg people more gullible, too? :)

  19. Hannah,
    I couldn't resist.

    Yes, Rose really did get us good this year. I don't blame you for being suspicious. :)

    Probably. I'm sure it's because we don't get enough protein. :D

  20. LOL...I so fell for that...good one! :o)

  21. Ha! We all fell for it! Don't we think a lot of ourselves? :P

  22. Michelle, River, Melody,
    I wish I'd written it instead of Dave! :)

  23. I had to read your comment at the end a couple of times to get that it was a joke. It all seemed very realistic to me. Even us getting conned by white collar criminals and con artists. Hmm.

  24. Much better April Fool's Day jokes than the ones I had to listen to all day. All along the lines of, "Mom, there's a monster behind you; April Fool's!"

  25. I don't know, Jenny, Those sound like pretty good April Fool's jokes to me. :D


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