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Reasons and processes behind reverting to meat-eating?

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
While there are many new veg*ns every day, there must also be a similar number of veg*ns who "fall off the wagon", so to speak. I've met, and personally know, several people who are now ex-veg*ns.

What do you think is the reasoning and process behind such apostasy? I'm especially curious about long-term veg*ns.

I read a newspaper commentary the other day, where the author said that after x many years he felt he had "done his part" for vegetarianism, and then it was over. It sounded like he didn't have any veg*n friends, and all his family (wife + children) were meat eaters.
 

Danielle

forever seeking fire
Location
Illinois
If you're an unhealthy veg*n and think meat is the only solution, or pressured into thinking it is the only solution
 

SummerRain

I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Location
UK
My first thought was that this was an announcement that IS was reverting to eating meat :p

I'm not really sure, I think there is probably as many reasons why as there are individuals who go back to eating meat. Now that I think about it though, I know tonnes of people who have been vegetarian and no longer are (and also tonnes of vegetarians). There is kind of two cateogories: people who were passionate about AR/environment, and people who weren't really that passionate in the first place. People who were passionate, it seems mostly be to do with knowledge/planning/health/will-power. People who weren't passionate, the reasons seem to be varied. Some that I can think of:

- Finding vegetarianism difficult to maintain due to lack of knowledge/planning in diet. I know quite a few people who fall into this category: someone in my family developed anemia and started eating meat after years of vegetarianism, other people just try it for a few months by cutting the meat out of their diet (without replacing it with anything) and find it unsustainable (not surprisingly).
- Going vegetarian was a phase/part of growing up. It kind of makes me cringe to say that, since it's what everybody said I was doing when I went vegetarian at 11, I was very affronted. But nonetheless, I think that flirting with a different diet is, for some young people, part of finding out who you are. I know several people who were vegetarian (and a couple who were vegan) for months or years as young adults. For some it was to do with image, or rebellion, and others felt strongly about animal issues for some time and then, less so. :shrug:
- I know somebody who was raised vegetarian, and started eating meat as a teenager. So I guess that's the opposite of what I wrote above!
- I know quite a lot of people who went vegetarian because close friends or partners were vegetarian, and then stopped being vegetarian after breaking up. I'm not really clear on the reasons they went vegetarian/stopped being vegetarian beyond that though.
- I know a few people who stopped eating meat as part of a diet, and returned when they gave up on the diet.
- Some people (more friends of friends than people I know) were vegetarian, got drunk, ate meat, and then never returned to vegetarianism.
 

nigel

Veteran Member
Location
France
I was a vegetarian for years, then ate meat, then went vegan (or followed a vegan diet, or a dietary vegan, or whatever - I know IS gets upset when you phrase it wrongly, but I'm sure you understand what I mean) and despite daily sublinguals and all kinds of fortified foods, over 3 years my b12 levels sunk so low I was showing physical symptoms of deficiency. We tried to "treat" it for two years. Apparently there are people who just can't get what they need through fortification. After that my only choice was to experiment with b12 injections every two weeks, which I don't see as a solution, or try to work in some alternatives, so I cycle in some animal protein every now and again. It's a better option for me than permanent neurological damage.

In my case I didn't "fall off the wagon" but made a deliberate, calculated choice. I don't see my case as apostasy; I think it depends on your motives in the first place before you can call it that.
 

Danielle

forever seeking fire
Location
Illinois
Why? As long as you have the means to check your b12 levels every 6 months or so, you should always be able to keep yourself safe.
My b12 levels were fine last time I checked *cough a year ago*
But I dunno. I still worry. Plus I've had issues with memory, energy, mood.. sometimes I feel like my mind is blank, sometimes it's hard to experience pleasure, a lot of things I used to enjoy feel bland.. (etc...?) for a while now. Though that could be from something else... right? I had these issues as an omni. Hopefully I can stay veggie while resolving these issues.
 
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spottygiraffe

Star Member
Location
France
Like Nigel I have first-hand experience of this. I went vegetarian when I was 14 and I missed meat terribly but I stuck with it for ethical reasons. I was the classic stereotypical veggie who was tormented by the smell of cooking bacon! In my early twenties I was found to be anaemic and I kind of used that as an excuse to go back to eating meat. I ate everything -rare steaks and foie gras. I think I still had some experimentation to do, plus I met my husband who was a real meat-and-two-veg man so it was easy to eat what he was having. It was only this year that I realised how unhappy eating meat was making me and it suddenly became absolutely clear to me that I just had to go plant-based. The reason it feels different this time is partly because I am a much better cook these days and am enjoying making really tasty veg food with a huge range of ingredients. I haven't missed meat at all and it repulses me like it never has done before. Also I'm not just doing it for the ethics, I'm doing it for health and sports performance so my decision is multi-dimensional. I'm definitely worried about my iron and B12 levels though so this thread is making me think I should get tested.
 

nigel

Veteran Member
Location
France
My b12 levels were fine last time I checked *cough a year ago*
But I dunno. I still worry. Plus I've had issues with memory, energy, mood.. sometimes I feel like my mind is blank, sometimes it's hard to experience pleasure, a lot of things I used to enjoy feel bland.. (etc...?) for a while now. Though that could be from something else... right? I had these issues as an omni. Hopefully I can stay veggie while resolving these issues.
Make sure you're getting your folic acid levels checked, too. They can mimic variations in b12 levels and the symptoms can be the same. I have a vegan Dr friend who insists that anyone who feels inclined to take b12 sublinguals should use those that also have folic acid in them.
 
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
I've been veg/vegan for 20 years and never had my B12 levels tested, hmm, maybe I should.
 

Clueless Git

Plant powered
Only one 'core' reason.

Never understood the principle that it is better to suffer harm (in whatever way) than to be a cause of harm.

That's the 'ahimsic' principle basicaly.

The absolute reverse of common sense.

Extremely uncommon sense, in fact.
 

Poppy

Ankle Biter
I had a slight B-12 deficiency a few years back. Even though it was slight, I felt awful - sluggish, grumpy and sad. I feel sorry for anyone fighting a b-12 deficiency - it is no fun. Fortunately, with a vegan multi-vitamin, I'm able to keep my b-12 normal now. I also had a vitamin D deficiency last year. Now I take a D2 supplement (was told to take D3), and my levels are normal. Every body works differently, I suppose.

That being said, I honestly can't imagine eating meat again. I could imagine not being vegan, maybe, but not eating meat. I don't even like to look at meat in ads!
 

Danielle

forever seeking fire
Location
Illinois
Make sure you're getting your folic acid levels checked, too. They can mimic variations in b12 levels and the symptoms can be the same. I have a vegan Dr friend who insists that anyone who feels inclined to take b12 sublinguals should use those that also have folic acid in them.
So the new multivitamin I'm going to take has 75% folic acid.... I'm not even sure where folic acid comes from.. o_o
I got chewable this time, thinking it would be easier to take :p
Haven't had a multivitamin in months because of how much I dread taking them. They're usually big and stinky. And do you really need 1,000x the daily b12 you need? Isn't that bad for your liver? Drinking is too, but at least you get a buzz from it!
 
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Pirate

Addicted Poster
Location
United Kingdom
- Some people (more friends of friends than people I know) were vegetarian, got drunk, ate meat, and then never returned to vegetarianism.
Ive heard of several of these stories! They usually end with someone being convinced I'll do the same. Hmph. I would imagine that the majority of people who go back arent that commmitted in the first place or theyve really just lost their passion
 

Danielle

forever seeking fire
Location
Illinois
If I'm THAT drunk that I forget I'm veg (and my name..) I'm probably going to be puking and not eating anything :oops: :lol:
Haven't ate meat when I was high either. :p
 
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