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The Surprising Reasons Why People Quit Being Vegan

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According to 2023 statistics, about 1.1% of the world population is vegan. That isn’t a lot, and apparently there are many reason why people quit being vegan. We scoured the Internet to learn why, and found several discussions online. First, let’s look at some vegan facts.

Who Is The Typical Vegan?

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Vegans are most likely to be a woman under the age of 35 reports the website Veganbits.

Where Are The Vegans?

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In the US, Portland, OR is considered the most vegan-friendly city, while the Dakotas and Mississippi have the fewest vegans.

Plant-Based Eating Is Healthy, and It Isn’t Veganism

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What does it mean to be a “plant-based eater?” Well, for one, it is not the same thing as being vegan. Eating a higher proportion of foods from plant sources, compared to animal sources, has been shown to provide long-term health benefits for your heart, metabolism, and digestion – but you don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to reap these rewards.

In other words, you can eat mostly plants, most of the time. A dish that uses fish sauce as a condiment would not be out of bounds, nor would eating a treat made with honey, as examples. And, if you wanted a small steak with your dinner, have at it!

Culture Counts

Orthodox Christian.
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Greenpeace tells us that Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines are very vegan focused, most likely due to fasting traditions of the Orthodox Christians, who abstain from all animal products for about 200 days per year. India has about 400 million vegetarians, although vegan stats are not as clear. Globally, the highest rate is in Israel, with around 5% of the population considering themselves vegan.

Why Do People Quit Veganism?

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As usual, Redditers had plenty to say. 

“It was destroying my health and I was always hungry. I knew enough of the well-known vegans to know they are not that healthy even on endless supplements. Humans should not have to take pills to live.”

“I’ve been vegan for 3 and a half years. Thinking of quitting it as I simply don’t feel healthy. I really do care about the animals but the diet is literally making me sick.”

“Constantly having to read food labels and restricting choices meant I ended up developing an eating disorder. The misanthropy gave me an existential crisis and alienated me from society.”

“It was not the food for me although I live in a food desert. It was the horrible, culty mentality and dangerous behavior of the members of the vegan movement that made me ditch veganism as a whole.”

Let’s Look at Burgers: Grain, Bean, Beef…and Impossible

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This person talked about their trajectory from whole grain/bean burger, to beef burgers – and not ending up with faux meat.

“I grew up loving Amy’s brand veggie burgers, and those were mostly made out of whole grain and beans. I loved veggie burgers then, but they made me so gassy and still hungry after. If I ate two of them, I would be exhausted and need to nap…

I eat beef burgers all the time now and if I go with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun I have so much energy… 

I am grateful that I didn’t grow up with Impossible/Beyond meat though, at least with Amy’s you could see real beans. I haven’t tried the ultra-processed stuff and have no desire to.”

Celebrities Who Quit Being Vegan

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An online magazine, Vegan Food and Living, did a story on ex-vegan celebs.

Miley Cyrus quit being vegan. She said, “Now I’m so much sharper than I was, and I think that I was, at one point, pretty malnutritioned. [sic]”

Miley was part of a power couple with Liam Hemsworth, who also quit veganism, saying, ““The first two years, I felt great. I felt my energy was high. I felt like my body was strong, cardio was high, everything felt really good…(then) last year I was feeling really low and lethargic and wasn’t feeling good generally.”

Actress Anne Hathaway said she broke her vegan lifestyle with a piece of fish: “I had a piece of salmon and my brain felt like a computer rebooting.”

Channing Tatum allegedly tried to be vegan, but he doesn’t like vegetables. Yeah, that would be hard.

Influencers Influence

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A woman named Amber took to social media to explain how she was initially persuaded by an on-line Influencer to become vegan. She listened to these Influencers, who she didn’t know, who championed veganism with questionable nutritional reasoning. She finally realized that for her, she was better off not being vegan, and she made posts on-line to encourage other people to think for themselves. 

The CEO of a Pro-Vegan Company Comes Clean

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Brenden Fitzgerald is the Founder and CEO of Planet Protein Inc. Their Mission Statement is, “Planet Protein’s intention is to protect and provide for the planet, the planet people, and animals. Our mission is to give you delicious, holistic fuel while connecting you to the earth and the planet’s purest ingredients. We take great pride in our values and earthiness!”

So, when Brenden posted the following on his Facebook page in December 2022, it was met with a lot of derision from vegans:

“It’s been about 1.5 years NOT vegan. I feel incredible, both mentally & physically. Just realized I never announced the whole “not vegan anymore” thing on FB. Grass fed, pasture raised steak and eggs for the win… Boy my definition of ‘superfood’ sure did change. Learned a lot during my 6 year stint as a vegan, and definitely understand why people want to live that way. I’m respectfully retiring from the emasculating propaganda filled, fear mongering ‘movement’. I mean lifestyle. Time for some raw milk from our local farm. Peace & Love.”

Morality Is Different For Everyone

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One Reddit poster explained why they ceased being vegan, but also asked some hard questions:

“I became a vegan during the COVID lockdown. I did it for ethical reasons. Watching videos of animal slaughter disgusted me and made me sad. I went vegan and not only did I feel physically better, but I also felt morally better. What made be stop being a vegan was my constant lightheadedness… I now eat chicken and dairy. I still am uncomfortable eating beef, pork… I feel way better now. The constant lightheadedness is gone, and the anxiety is gone. Another interesting thing I have noticed since not being vegan anymore is that my mood swings are gone too. I noticed I was always grouchy as a vegan… I also do not understand why people, especially in Western culture think it is okay to eat a cow, pig, chicken, fish, but not okay to eat a dog?…Why do us Westerners think it is okay to eat cows, when cows are considered sacred in India? So, what is my conclusion now as an ex-vegan? Morality on this topic is very subjective and that is okay.”

For Some, Being An Omnivore Feels Better, Physically

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Eating a broader diet works better for some:

“I too struggle with the ethics of eating animals (of course, which is why I was vegan!), but it’s come to a point where I feel that I can’t martyr myself and make myself physically ill because of ethics.”

For Some, Being An Omnivore Feels Better, Mentally

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“Including meat in my diet has immensely helped my ADHD/ learning difficulties. I wasn’t able to focus on books in school, and now love to read and can’t put down books. I’m better at social interactions and keeping up with conversations.”

“Yes, that’s usually what people say, even without learning difficulties, they claim that they think clearer. Many ex-vegans said brain fog was a big problem and they were emotionally unstable.”

Veganism Doesn’t Always Equal Sustainability

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Many vegans say they eat that way because they are concerned about sustainability. There are many foods that vegans eat quite a lot of that are not considered sustainable, such as soybeans (due to land use requirements), corn (fertilizer usage and monocropping, which depletes soil), spinach (pesticide use), and avocados and almonds (water use).

Don’t Label Me

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This Reddit poster doesn’t want to labeled:

“For now, I’m loving the idea of no longer labeling my diet and prioritizing mostly vegan food, while adding in some carefully sourced animal products. I am still extremely opposed to factory farming and want to continue avoiding all factory farmed meats, which I realize is a huge privilege in itself to be able to afford to do.”

What Is The Science?

man eating sausages.

Some on-line ex-vegans talk about the science of being an omnivore:

“If it helps, there’s a point where you can’t fight biology. We are adapted to meat eating. Shorter intestinal tract. Lack of cecum for fermenting plant matter into fatty acids (which many apes have, but we don’t). Stomach pH that is closer to a scavenger’s than a herbivores. Some scientists even think meat eating and using tools to get at marrow was huge in our development as a species. 

Do we judge bears or raccoons for being omnivore? Of course not. They have needs for a balanced diet. So do we.”

5 Years A Vegan, But Not Now

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This commenter was vegan for 5 years, but feels much better having incorporated animal products into their diet. Their story is common; many vegans felt great at first, but it does not continue:

“I was vegan for about five years. First years were great, but it went downhill from there. Huge problems with blood sugar, always tired and weak, a lot of brain fog and quite depressed. I tried to cure it for two years with everything I could find. I supplemented, I ate whole foods, tried this and that but nothing helped. As a last resort I tried animal products again, although I didn’t think it was the vegan diet. Well, turned out, it was the vegan diet. So that’s why I quit.”

Hormones Can Be Affected

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This young woman quit being vegan due to hormonal upset:

“I was a vegan for 8 years. So was my mom. We both ended up with huge hormonal issues, chronic fatigue, and gut dysbiosis. And yes, we were eating a very healthy plant based diet. The best you could have eaten according to the vegan “experts.” We did not eat vegan junk food, yet we still ended up with deficiencies and very ill. We are trying very hard now to regain our health. For that reason, I strongly advise against veganism to everyone I know now. Especially if you are in your reproductive years. It has made my hormones so crazy that I would not be able to conceive right now.”

And Apparently, Dying Isn’t Vegan, and We Cannot Escape It

In Loving Memory.
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Here is a provocative closing note. One Reddit commenter offered the following: “Dying isn’t vegan. After you die, the body goes through a process of autolysis where cells are destroyed by their own enzymes, this is also known as self-digestion. Since you are an animal, eating yourself is not vegan.”

Your thoughts?

18 of the World’s Deadliest Foods: How Many Are You Eating?

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Whether you eat to live, or live to eat, let’s make sure you live to see another day! These are some of the world’s deadliest foods. They can bring on extreme symptoms, ranging from paralysis to seizures, choking and even death, so don’t go tucking these into your lunchbox. Click for 18 of the World’s Deadliest Foods: How Many Are You Eating?

14 Of The Craziest Hacks People Use Mayonnaise For – Even In The Bedroom!

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After you click through this slide show you will never look at a jar of mayo the same way again. Trust us. Click for 14 Of The Craziest Hacks People Use Mayonnaise For – Even In The Bedroom!

Don’t Fall For These 17 Foods That Pretend To Be Healthy

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Have you heard the term “Dr. Google”? That’s when you turn to search engines and the Internet to provide health and medical information – and unless you know how to vet sources, it is a mine field of faulty information. Here are 17 foods that you might have heard are “healthy”, but we have the whole story. PS: the moment a food becomes a trend, research carefully. We’re looking at you bulletproof coffee!

Click for Don’t Fall For These 17 Foods That Pretend To Be Healthy

17 Of The Most Expensive Foods In The World: Would You Pay This Much To Eat Any Of These?

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These days our food budget is not going very far, even for everyday foods. And yet, there are still those who seek out extravagant foods, regardless of price. I guess we can live vicariously through these pictures. Maybe someday someone will bestow a 4-pound white truffle upon us, but until then, this will have to suffice.

Click for 17 Of The Most Expensive Foods In The World: Would You Pay This Much To Eat Any Of These?

19 Of The World’s Most Overrated Foods

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We have foods we love, and those we won’t touch. We all have our own likes and dislikes, but what are the most overrated foods? That was the question posed on this Reddit thread by Even_Cause_3478. There were a lot of opinions. Some made sense to us, and some were things we had never thought of before!

What is the most overrated food in your opinion?

Click for 19 Of The World’s Most Overrated Foods

Miracle at 30,000 Feet: What Happens When a Baby is Born During a Flight?

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Have you ever wondered What Happens If You Give Birth On a Plane? Who delivers the baby? Where do you deliver the baby? What is the child’s citizenship, and do they get free trips for life?

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