Are Vegetarians More Intelligent Than Meat Eaters?

It seems to me that the media is constantly reporting about yet another celebrity who has adopted a plant-based diet. While I love to hear this news and would never underestimate the influence of celebrities in our culture, I am much more amazed by other significant figures in history who have been reported to be vegetarian at some point during their lives.

Today, I spotted the following tweet. I’m sorry that I cannot credit its source, but I have been thinking about it all day. I don’t know if the research is valid and I have not read the study, but the tweet was as follows:

“Research shows that a child’s IQ predicts his likelihood of becoming veggie as an adult. The smarter the child, the more likely he’ll shun meat.”

Interesting, right?  I love to read websites listing famous vegans and/or vegetarians. Consider some of the follow figures who repeatedly show up on these lists as having been vegetarian at some point during their lives:

Albert Einstein









Henry David Thoreau

Benjamin Franklin

Leo Tolstoy








Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alexander Pope

Sir Isaac Newton

Leonardo Da Vinci

Mahatma Gandhi











Charles Darwin

Albert Schweitzer

George Bernard Shaw









Abraham Lincoln

Percy Byssche Shelly

Mary Shelly









So, having reviewed this short list, I am asking you to consider that tweet which has been on my mind all day long? What do you think? Are vegetarians simply more intelligent than meat eaters?


  1. Larry Hampton says:

    What a list!
    “Are vegetarians simply more intelligent than meat eaters?”
    Interesting question. My initial response; in general those who chose a plant based diet are introduced to such through education. There is a sociological component to it. Nonetheless, the argument is compelling.
    Nice article debby.

  2. Hi Debby,

    So many good articles here!

    I would hesitate to make the claim that we are more intelligent. More sensitive to our environment, perhaps. Certainly people who are more intelligent are likely to think more carefully about what they eat, read labels, and probably observe a wider circle of others’ choices.

    As a kid, I ate whatever was served up by Mom, except when I could sneak a PB&J sandwich instead. I remember eating chicken, looking at the blood and veins still visible in the meat (I think my Mom boiled chicken some times 🙂 ) and thinking, “Um, exactly WHY do human beings eat like this? I didn’t bother me terribly to eat meat but I wasn’t overly attached to it either.

    When I got interested in yoga and spirituality as a young adult, it was pretty easy to go veg. To me one of the hardest parts is poor food choices in restaurants, work events, etc.

    Keep up the good work!


    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Terri! I wasn’t really serious about my claim that we are more intelligent. Just a random fun post. I totally agree that one of the hardest parts is poor food choices in restaurants, work events, etc. I’m quite hopeful that that situation will slowly but surely improve. Thanks again for your comment.

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