Bogus Vegetarian Study Spread By Mainstream Media
Unverified survey about inebriated vegetarians consuming meat was picked up as a real story on several reputable websites.
October 8, 2015
Mainstream news sources such as Vice, The Independent, Fox News, Mother Jones, Elite Daily and USA Today published stories yesterday referencing a post by British site Morning Advertiser detailing how one-third of vegetarians eat meat when they are drunk. The problem is that the Morning Advertiser’s source—a United Kingdom coupon code site called VoucherCodesPro—has revealed no evidence of this study. Titled “A third of vegetarians ‘eat meat when drunk,’” the piece links only to the coupon site, where no traces of the research is found. Furthermore, a Google search revealed that George Charles, cited as the founder of VoucherCodesPro in the article, is not associated with the company but rather involved in a string of public relations pieces. The story cited various statistics about a group of vegetarians, reporting that 37 percent ate meat after consuming alcohol, specifically kebab. The news sources who quickly picked up the story as truth used the falsified information to create posts that poked fun at vegetarians. VegNews reached out to VoucherCodesPro, as well as the various writers behind the third-party articles, but nobody could point us to the study in question.