In a recent Chef’s Table analysis of world-wide vegan habits, Israel was ranked 6th for the second year in a row, with a Vegan Popularity Score of 78. This is no surprise, considering that at least 5.2% of Israelis follow a vegan diet, and even fast food pizza brand Domino’s decided Israel was the place to launch its vegan pizza line.
But in mapping out the 10 countries in which veganism was most popular, and comparing it with the Jewish population, a question must be asked: Are countries with a higher Jewish population more likely to be vegan? What percentage of Jews are vegan?
While knowing what percentage of Jews are vegan may prove impossible, organizations like Jewish Veg and the fact that vegan restaurants merit their own category in the Forward Food Awards speaks to the growing popularity of a plant-based diet for many Jews. 44% of the world’s Jews live in Israel, ranked 6th, and trailing right behind that is a slightly less vegan America, where 39.5% of the world’s Jews live, making two of the world’s most Jewish countries also two of the world’s most vegan countries.
“If you look at the countries where veganism is very popular, they all have a few things in common,” Corina Onet, who created the Chef’s Table analysis, told the Forward. “They’re usually cities with a young, hip and educated population. Many are university cities or cities with a large population of artists and people working in creative industries.” This concurs with the most recent Jewish demographic data of Jewish Virtual Library, which states that “the vast majority of Jews (97%) live in urban metro areas surrounding cities.”
So are countries with lots of Jews more likely to be vegan? According to the data - that sounds about right.
Shira Feder is a writer. She’s at firstname.lastname@example.org and @shirafeder