This Is the Percent of Vegetarians and Vegans That Go Back to Meat

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021

Going vegetarian or vegan requires a lot of hard work, especially if you grew up eating meat. And for most people, it's too tough a life to maintain.

vegetablesMagdanatka/ShutterstockMaking the decision to go vegan or vegetarian has plenty of perks for your health and the planet. (But there is one major mental health downside.) Still, it can be a tough switch to make, especially in America; only Australia eats more meat per capita than we do. The switch is one thing, but according to a new study from the Humane Research Council, sticking with it is even tougher.

The study, which analyzed a representative sample of 11,000 U.S. participants 17 and older, found that 84 percent of people who have adopted vegetarianism or veganism at some point in their lives have gone back to eating meat. A bit less than one in five vegans and vegetarians maintain their diet. All told, two percent of the U.S. population is either vegetarian or vegan.

But the research went a bit further, digging into the rationale behind the diet drop. The researchers posit that some of the drop might be due to a lack of a gradual transition into the diet; 65 percent of former vegetarians and vegans said they made the transition abruptly, over a few days or weeks. For current vegetarians or vegans, only 53 percent transitioned that quickly. (Here are 4 traps you need to avoid when you become a vegetarian.)

The current vegetarians and vegans have different motivations than the former, however. Most (58 percent) in the former group cited just only health as the main motivator, while most in the current group named several factors, including personal health, animal welfare, and environmentalism.  (These 13 things will happen to your body when you adopt a vegan diet.)

[Source: Fast Company]