Do animal abuse books and movies increase searches for vegetarian recipes?

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Fast Food Nation, Food Inc, In Defense of Food, End of Overeating. After reading these books and seeing these movies, many people become vegetarians. Can we see the signals on a larger cultural scale?

[New note: I need to put more of my opinion in this post. I was being way too… scientific with the following graphs. The way this post came about was I heard a couple of people today who said they both recently started being vegetarian and that these books/movies were an influence. We joked about how maybe Google Trends would show a connection between these books and movies and vegetarian searches. I’m disappointed that Google trends doesn’t show the connection.]

Surprisingly it looks like there wasn’t much impact from Fast Food Nation on vegetarian searches. But searches for vegetarian recipes did increase after Food Inc. But is that only because the trend for vegetarianism has grown larger in the past year?

Here’s a look at the search trends for Fast Food Nation, Food Inc, and vegetarian. Not much correlation here.

Not much bump for “In Defense of Food”

Nothing happening for “End of Overeating”


According to Google Trends we can’t see much correlation in vegetarian searches with the release of books and movies about the horrors of our meat industry. But even though you don’t see it in Google, perhaps this isn’t the right test. Perhaps the volume of searches for vegetarian dishes may be so high by existing vegetarians, that any new vegetarians may not show in the increase. (maybe?)

These books and films do a great service in creating awareness of what evils happen in our food industry. I myself am a quasi-vegetarian. I eat meat occasionally but try to keep it at a minimum. I hoped these animal abuse books would show an uptick in people’s adoption of caring for our animals. 

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Tom Saaristo
14 years ago

The world of animal “farming” and vegetarianism is vast and wide. There is a lot of information out there and a lot of mis-information out there too. I think it is very important to know what you are eating and from where it comes and to have an appreciation for the food that you eat. As long as you are aware and have that appreciation that there is nothing wrong with eating animal proteins. The problem comes when you just inhale anything and everything without any regard for the food itself. This is the point, I believe, in Fast Food Nation. One of the results of over-eating fast food is the cause people make by eating huge quantities of it as their primary diet. Processing animals like you juice an orange wouldn’t be a practice if people were more acutely aware of how animals are raised and processed. I think there is a generation behind us that is dabbling in vegetariansim and vegaism, but they have a lot of research to do, not to mention seeing their doctor and finding a nutritionist who can put together a healthy eating plan. Reading one book or seeing one movie can’t paint a complete picture and nobody should ever use one resource to completely change their life and, potentially, put their own health at risk.

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