Are Vegan Children Smarter?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / 

I had a discussion with a friend recently where I told him that I thought I remembered reading a study that vegan and vegetarian kids perform better in school. He countered that it was a moot point because these kids were being raised by vegetarian or vegan parents who likely had higher IQs. His point was that vegans and vegetarians take more time to be educated about what they are putting in their bodies compared to the average Joe/Josephine and therefore their children would likely be more intelligent than their counterparts.

Ultimately neither of us really had any idea what we were talking about, but I was intrigued to get to the bottom of it, and so I did some research. And what I found out?

Basically I was right… (was there any doubt?); but he was also right (crap).

Let’s start off with his point, that vegetarians and vegans are generally smarter. This is true, but unfortunately cutting out the meat won’t make you an Einstein (who was a vegetarian by the way). Rather, if you are a vegan or vegetarian you are more likely an educated person with a higher IQ. As proven by this study or this one. Which, again to my friend’s point, makes sense. If you are examining your choices and learning about the effects of your diet, which then results in you making changes to your lifestyle, you are likely an engaged and intelligent person.

That’s not to say that being a herbivore can’t make you more intelligent. If you’re eating ‘superfoods’ like kale and blueberries, you’re fueling and feeding your brain.

Therefore, intelligent people will likely have intelligent children since those traits are inheritable. Not only that, but they make good friends since vegans and vegetarians are generally more empathetic.

But here’s where studies show that not only is my friend right but I am right (the moment we’ve all be waiting for). Vegans and vegetarians are generally healthier and more active than the average bear…I mean person. And active parents have healthier and more active children. Finally, active children do better in school.

In summary, if you have a higher IQ than average, you are more likely than a person with an average IQ to be vegan or vegetarian. It also means that your offspring will likely be intelligent. Being a vegan or vegetarian means that you are likely to be healthy and active which means that your children likely will be too. Finally, if your children are active, that also means that they will do better in school.

What it all really means is that I was right.*

*But so was my friend.

About the Author:

Lindsay is a vegan in Vancouver who spends her time cooking, drinking soy lattes, and writing about our relationship with animals.