From Vegan to Omnivore, a Growing Trend

July 7, 2011

 A Psychology Today article points out that a many vegetarians eventually go back to eating meat. The most common reason for the switch is that they just didn't thrive on the veggie diet.

As an ex-vegetarian, I can say that this was my exact reason. I feel much stronger and healthier now. Also, I happened to switch back to meat at the end of nutrition school. Once I learned how the human body works, I realized that quality protein is essential to manufacturing brain chemicals, and for growth and repair. Now, some vegetarians will argue that they do get protein, maybe, but often it's from processed foods such as fake meats and soy. Even if they are a whole foods vegetarian, some people simply cannot thrive on this diet.

In the survey the average time for going back to meat eating was nine years. This makes sense as our B12 stores diminish without animal protein. Contrary to what many veggies believe, the plant sources of B12 are not the same as what the human body needs.

Largely, ex-vegetarians who become omnivores choose quality and ethically raised animals. This is also true in my case. My nutrition teachers had been veggie for over 20 years, and they mentioned that in the 70's there jut weren't local and grass-fed sources of meat available. Many people switched back once better choices became available.

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Comments

JerryT's picture

"ethically raised animals"? It's ok to eat these as opposed to unethically raised animals? Seems more cruel to me. I mean, you give the little guy an air conditioned apartment to live in. Free range grass fields to play and develop. You feed him/her well balanced, nutritious organic foods...then you slit his throat and eat the poor sod. Seems the height of cruelty to me.

At least with the animals living in squalor you could look at it like you are doing them a favour by killing them.

Whatever gets you through the day I suppose.

P.S. I'm a meat eater, I just find it fascinating when people justify themselves by only killing and eating animals if the animal lived a good and happy life.

shoshanna levy's picture

Well, for one thing when animals eat other animals you don;t see them raising them in squalor. The deer who gets eaten by the wolf IS a pasture raised animal with a happy life. It's a cycle. BUT the cow who lives a tortured existence and never sees the outside and is jacked up on drugs, goes against nature. Why would I want an animal to experience even one second of that kind of life? It makes no sense to me.

JerryT's picture

I couldn't agree more with you on not wanting any animal to live in the conditions that large scale food processing renders.

I just find it funny that most former vegetarians disclaim their meat eating with the exact same hoity-toity "I only eat well raised, happy animals" as though they are really trying to convince themselves that what they are doing is ok rather than convincing me.

I rarely hear a non vegetarian, or non former vegetarian feel the need for such disclaimers.

That was my only observation, I was not advocating the "big" meat industry in any way.

I like your writing BTW, keep up the good work.

Anonymous's picture

If we are to look to nature as an example of how humanity should act, perhaps we should all hunt down our own meat sources, kill them, without the use of tools of course, and then eat them raw, provided we are capable of breaking through the animal's tough skin with our two lousy canines.

Many people are vegetarian/vegans for decades, or over the course of their lives, and feel fine, despite the fact that we, apparently, consume more processed foods than the general population. It is a personal decision based on how a person feels best. Thanks very much.

Wanda Rybak's picture

If we are to look at nature to serve as an example of how to go about obtaining our "quality protein" perhaps we ought to stalk, hunt down and kill our own meat, without the use of tools, then eat it raw, given that we manage to break through the tough skin with our two lousy canines.

Many vegetarian/vegans spend decades, or the course of their lives, without animal products and do just fine, despite apparently eating more processed foods than the general population. It is a personal decision that ought to be based on one's own body. I would hope that a holistic nutritionist would be a little more sympathetic to a diet that is getting more popular all the time and the benefits of which are touted by more scholarly groups and organizations than "Psychology Today."

Wanda Rybak's picture

If we are to look at nature to serve as an example of how to go about obtaining our "quality protein" perhaps we ought to stalk, hunt down and kill our own meat, without the use of tools, then eat it raw, given that we manage to break through the tough skin with our two lousy canines.

Many vegetarian/vegans spend decades, or the course of their lives, without animal products and do just fine, despite apparently eating more processed foods than the general population. It is a personal decision that ought to be based on one's own body. I would hope that a holistic nutritionist would be a little more sympathetic to a diet that is getting more popular all the time and the benefits of which are touted by more scholarly groups and organizations than "Psychology Today."

Wanda Rybak's picture

If we are to look at nature to serve as an example of how to go about obtaining our "quality protein" perhaps we ought to stalk, hunt down and kill our own meat, without the use of tools, then eat it raw, given that we manage to break through the tough skin with our two lousy canines.

Many vegetarian/vegans spend decades, or the course of their lives, without animal products and do just fine, despite apparently eating more processed foods than the general population. It is a personal decision that ought to be based on one's own body. I would hope that a holistic nutritionist would be a little more sympathetic to a diet that is getting more popular all the time and the benefits of which are touted by more scholarly groups and organizations than "Psychology Today."

Abbie (Thriving Vegan)'s picture

I suspect that those people that go back to an omnivorous diet do so because it's super hard to live a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle in our meat-obsessed, diabetes-riddled, artery-clogged American society and they use the 'I can't thrive' excuse to feel less guilty about caving to the pressure of society telling them they're wasting their time and being too self-righteous and they're missing out on delicious salty fattening animal carcasses and byproducts. The truth of the matter is, I don't know ANY omnivores who eat as many fruits, veggies, and whole grains as I do, or exercise as often as I do, or feel as good about their bodies, or get as many adrenaline highs from their workout as I do, or even know as much about fine cuisine as I do. I 'thrive,' thank you very much, and for the vegans/vegetarians who don't....I suggest they cut out processed vegan-friendly crap (coconut milk ice cream and beer and fruit loops with vanilla soy milk) and focus on whole foods. I would also like to ask the author to back her article's statements up with references and explanations. What is 'quality protein'? I get 10 grams of protein from just 125 calories of fresh broccoli...I would like to know why this isn't as good for me as carcass-protein is...other than 'I heard in this one-quarter nutrition class I took as an elective three years ago'. How does b-12 from animals differ from that of plants, and why does it matter? I take a multivitamin every day and feel fine. My doctor has never said I am b-12 deficient when I get bloodwork done. Will 9 years from now, my b-12 vitamin supplement magically stop working? This article offends me with its bold statements backed up by nothing other than observations on a Psychology Today article and some random nutrition class the author took. If we're going to talk nutrition and animal rights and health, we're gonna need some real arguments. t

Candace's picture

Wow, take it down a notch "thriving" Abbie. If you are sticking with a healthy vegan diet, congratulations! Your response seems a little hysterical, self-righteous and over the top.
Perhaps a little meat would make it better... (That's mean-but your response was really the over the top. Why?)

Abbie's picture

The reason why I react so strongly to arguments like this is that I truly believe that veganism is the right choice for MOST people and that articles like this unjustly make veganism look impossible, potentially unhealthy, too idealist, and self-righteous. I also don't appreciate the eating meat comment. That was uncalled for. I didn't call anyone names, I simply pointed out that this article doesn't have much of a backbone. My use of the word 'carcass' and my statements on the common American diet are meant to point out flaws in the system we live in, and I don't regret using them and I don't think they should be seen as hysterical. They are true. Meat is a carcass, and the American diet in general promotes diabetes, heart disease, and generally poor health. These are commonly known facts.

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