From Vegan to Omnivore: Not A Growing Trend After All

Cheap Air Jordan Aj1 Low, Air Jordan 1 Low Aj1 jordanshoescheap4sale.com
July 11, 2011

In a recent issue of Psychology Today, Dr. Hal Herzog pursued an interesting statistic found by a CBS News survey: more people identify themselves as ex-vegetarians than vegetarians. Clearly, it is easier to make the decision to cut out meat than to stick with it. Dr. Herzog was curious as to why so he set up a website and invited ex-vegetarians to comment about their experiences cutting out meat in the first place and then going back to their old ways. Over 50% of the 78 people who responded had initially gone vegetarian for ethical reasons. Thirty-five percent claimed health decline as the primary reason for returning to meat.

One such ex-vegetarian featured in the article was a woman by the name of Staci. She was quoted as saying she had eaten raw beef livers that morning for breakfast. A little more digging in a sister article by Dr. Herzog also revealed that while she was vegetarian, Staci had struggled with an eating disorder. Unfortunately, this was not mentioned in the current article discussing her “failing health as a vegetarian” though it may have shed light on why she had felt weak and become anemic.

The remaining 65% majority of responds claimed things not related to health issues, including the hassles related to cooking and eating vegetarian, urges to consume flesh, and changes in their views about eating meat. Another reason for abandoning the vegetarian lifestyle cited the related social stigmas. I can not help but think of a former post written about this article, in which rather than summarizing an interesting article, the blogger portrayed vegan/vegetarians as uninformed, unhealthy, and tending towards processed foods...big steaming helping of social stigma, anyone?

Somewhat ironically for the blogger of that former post, Dr. Herzog himself made a point at the end of the article to say, “I believe the case against eating other creatures is strong on moral, environmental, and health grounds.” Indeed, the research (based on medical studies, tests, and comparative analysis, not informal online surveys) overwhelmingly shows that vegetarian/vegans tend to be healthier overall than meat eaters. Sticking to a vegetarian/vegan diet is certainly a challenge, and for many people, one that is not worth it for any number of reasons. It is too bad that the need to constantly defend your lifestyle choice has to be one of them.

Image Sources:

.

Comments

shoshanna levy's picture

I wrote the article that you are referring too, and I never said anything about informed, etc. I spoke of MY OWN JOURNEY!!! And in nutrition school, we learned that b12 stores DO decline after a number of years. HERE ARE MY EXACT WORDS! IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE TRYING TO CREATE DRAMA. I BASED MY STATEMENTS ON MY JOURNEY AND WHAT I LEARNED IN SCHOOL> I NEVER SAID ANYONE WAS UNIFORMED! " 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."

shoshanna levy's picture

I have MANY veggie clients who come to me after eating nothing but processed foods, this is my professional opinion based on what I have seen. I also went out to say that even for those that DO eat whole foods, it may still not be the right diet for them. Biochemical individuality!

Abbie's picture

I would still like to see some scientific research backing up the idea that b-12 from animals and protein from animals is better for our bodies. Is that so much to ask?

"Contrary to what many veggies believe, the plant sources of B12 are not the same as what the human body needs."

"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."

Both of these statements take your article from the realm of personal experience / opinion and give your article a voice of authority on nutritional science. So no, this article is no longer just about your 'personal journey.'

Also saying things like "Now, some vegetarians will argue that they do get protein, maybe, but often it's from processed foods such as fake meats and soy" really does imply that you feel that vegetarians are uninformed and generally fall into the pitfalls of eating only meat replacements. This is NOT true for all vegetarians/vegans and it makes you sound ignorant. Even following it up by admitting that some vegan people get their protein from other sources, you still end it by saying that it's not even guaranteed to be healthy for you anyways.

I understand that you have studied nutrition and currently work as a holistic nutritionist, but I want to see some scientific articles from well-researched studies that prove your statements to be accurate. You can be a certified personal trainer, but if you tell me that I will get a more tone belly by sleeping upside down on the full moon, I will still question why you think this and what facts back it up.

Bottom line is: If you wanted to write an unbiased article that simply talked about the trend of people going back to an omnivorous diet after being a vegetarian, you wouldn't have thrown in a bunch of statements about how it's unhealthy to be vegetarian/vegan and you would have given vegans/vegetarians more credit for their choices. Instead, your article is about how unrealistic it is to be vegan because scientifically, it is not a diet you can thrive on.

PS: REFERENCES TO BACK UP YOUR STATEMENTS ON THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION, PLEASE! :) Can't say it enough. Prove your facts.

Wanda Rybak's picture

I appreciate your individual experience and that you found a diet that works for you, that's great. I found one that works for me as well, and I'm sorry that you see my defending that diet from misrepresentation as "starting drama;" that is not the case. I will refrain from pointing out that you did in fact portray vegetarians as uninformed as you did me the favor of quoting that very section of your article in your comment. If you don't see the inflammatory, offensive tone of your own writing, I can't help you, but I will ask that in the future, if you want to defame a person's lifestyle, you try to use a little more tact and evidence beyond your "personal experience" and "nutrition school" knowledge, because you are not only attacking me but the DOCTORS that agree that my diet is perfectly healthy.