84 Percent Of Vegetarians Become Meat Eaters Again, Study Finds

Aric Mitchell

Know any vegetarians? If so, you won't for long.

According to a new study from the Humane Research Council (HRC), those who identify with the strict, no-meat diet usually don't have the stomach to stay at it.

In fact, the HRC study finds that a staggering 84 percent of people who at one point identify as vegetarians find themselves "falling off the wagon," so to speak, and eating meat once again.

Worse yet, few of them are able to make it past a few months, notes Tech Times, adding that "half of them within a year's time and more than a third within three months" revert to their carnivorous habits.

More than 11,000 Americans responded to the survey and only two percent claimed to "not eat meat at all," while 88 percent said they had "never tried the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle."

That leaves just 12 percent, who at some point identify as vegans or vegetarians, but the regression rate is five out of every six, which is, as HRC Executive Director Che Green notes, "not good news for animals."

Why so much failure? For Green it has to do with "a lack of social support from partners or family, and a dislike for being seen as 'different' by their friends and social peers based on their dietary preferences."

New York nutritionist Lisa Young added that a "cold turkey" implementation of the vegetarian diet can set hopeful vegetarians up for failure due to the cravings that meat deprivation will produce in the early stages.

"They say, 'I'm never going to eat that again,'" Young said, adding that if one starts "by eating smaller portions of pork or chicken, then cutting out all meat and dairy for a month, you can get a better feel for it."

HRC, looking for some silver lining in the study, pointed out that "more people are trying" to become vegetarians and noted that "37 percent intend to go back to a non-meat diet" at some point in the future.

Still, the group found the results "disappointing."

What about you, readers? Have you ever tried to implement a vegetarian diet? If so, what were some of the techniques that helped you throughout the process, and did you eventually fall off the wagon?

Also, do you have future plans to join the exclusive ranks of vegetarians in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, and best of luck.

[Image via ShutterStock]