Two in Five Russians Say Vegetarianism is Unhealthy

Two out of five Russians say that not eating meat is bad for your health, according to a recent survey published by the state-run VTsIOM pollster.

Although no figures are kept on the number of vegetarians in Russia, the vegetarian lifestyle is gaining a foothold in the country.

Thirty-nine percent of Russian respondents said a vegetarian diet is harmful, according to the survey published Friday, with  50 percent of people in the 18-24 age bracket sharing the same view.

One-fifth of the respondents said a no-meat diet is healthy, while 27 percent said it has no health effects. Only 1 percent identified themselves as vegetarians.

“Arguments for and against the diet are based on subjective notions about the benefit or harm of meat products,” VTsIOM expert Yulia Baskakova said.

Those who oppose vegetarianism mostly argued that plant-based foods lack the nutrients and vitamins contained in meat, while its proponents say fruits and vegetables have more vitamins.

VTsIOM conducted the phone survey on Tuesday among 1,000 Russians.

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