Vegetarians and vegans: just a temporary choice?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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Is it possible to become omnivorous after being vegetarian or vegan? The answer of those who follow a plant-based diet with conviction is certainly no. But the data doesn't tell us exactly that. If, in fact, in the United States the population of current vegetarians and vegans amounts to about 2% while 88% have never been veg, as many as 10% are former vegetarians and vegans



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Is it possible to become omnivorous after being vegetarian or vegan? The answer of those who follow a plant-based diet with conviction is certainly no. But the data doesn't tell us exactly that. If, in fact, in the United States the population of current vegetarians and vegans amounts to about 2% while 88% have never been veg, 10% are former vegetarians and vegans.



This was revealed by a recent study by the Humane Research Council and Harris International, conducted on a representative sample of over 11.000 adults in the United States. It was found that 84 percent of vegetarians and vegans return to eating meat - 53 percent of them within a year and more than 30 percent of them within three months.

Just like that. Only one in five of new vegetarians and vegans stick to the diet. Describing the results as 'disappointing', the researchers investigated what factors may have contributed to the omnivorous 'relapse'. in other words, 84% of vegetarians / vegans go back to eating meat or other animal products. The lesson for animal advocates is that we need to pay more attention to retention.

"While there is rarely a single reason people adopt or give up a veg diet, it is not entirely clear whether the rethinking is more due to social pressures (it's a diet that seems unusual or out of the ordinary), or some other difficulty inherent in the diet itself. That said, the findings may enlighten us on some things that many former vegetarians and vegans have in common, such as transitioning to dieting too fast, not getting socially involved with other veg people, or the not being able to deal with certain cravings for certain foods ", the researchers write.

The positive side for the environment, health and animals? More than a third (37%) of former vegetarians and vegans say they are interested in re-adopting the diet.



Roberta Ragni

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