- Vegans and vegetarians are more likely to be open and agreeable
- Like vegan lifestyles, openness is generally associated with egalitarian beliefs
- READ MORE: Your stomach really CAN explode from eating too much
If you find you tend to be open to trying new things and are a warm, polite person, then you are more likely to try out going vegan.
Whereas if you’re someone who is more closed off, set in your ways, and sometimes a bit disagreeable, you’re a meat-eater at your core.
That’s according to a review of studies by researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
They looked through 17 studies on personality traits and diet to determine the characteristics that determine the food you eat.
‘We are interested in the factors that motivate vegetarian and vegan diets because of their potential to have positive impacts on sustainability, animal rights, reducing the risks of zoonotic disease, and public health,’ said study author Christopher Hopwood, a professor of psychology at the University of Zurich.
Non-meat-eaters scored higher in the personality traits of openness and agreeableness compared to omnivores, researchers found
Openness reflects curiosity for knowledge and a willingness to try new things and is generally linked to liberal or egalitarian political views.
It is also connected to solidarity with and compassion towards animals and pro-environmental attitudes, which translate to veganism.
Agreeableness involves the tendency to be warm, compassionate, and polite, the researchers said, which, similarly to openness, correlates to concerns about animal welfare and the environment.
The researchers found that vegans were even more open compared to vegetarians.
The Swedish team conducted a meta-analysis of studies that looked at personality traits in relation to dietary habits.
A total of 17 studies were included, which involved almost 70,000 participants from countries including Germany, the US and New Zealand.
All the studies used the Big Five inventory, which measures five personality traits: openness, agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness.
Participants rate how much they agree or disagree on a scale of one to five with about 50 short statements, such as ‘I feel comfortable around people’ and ‘I have a kind word for everyone.’
Researchers found that individuals who identified as vegan or vegetarian scored higher in the personality traits of openness and agreeableness.
Openness was higher among vegans than vegetarians and also higher among vegans than omnivores, whereas agreeableness was higher among vegans than omnivores.
The study did not find consistent associations between neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness and dietary style, suggesting that only openness and agreeableness made a difference.
‘We expected people who are more neurotic to also be more likely to be vegetarian but did not find that,’ Hopwood told PsyPost.
Like vegan lifestyles, openness is generally associated with left-leaning political preferences and egalitarian beliefs.
Women are also more likely to be agreeable and choose a vegan diet.
Agreeableness is also linked to compassion and empathy, as well as concerns about animal welfare and the environment, which could make someone lean towards a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The study was published in the journal Appetite.
In the US, roughly five percent of people are vegetarian, and three percent are vegan.