Ex-vegans reveal why they lapsed, returned to meat

There are many reasons why people go vegan - love for animals, concern for the environment, or just generally wanting to improve their health. 

But while many people go plant-based for life, for some others, the lure of meat - or in my case, cheese - is just too much. 

Now many ex-vegans are revealing why they lapsed and returned to their omnivore ways after someone posted on popular forum 'Ask Reddit': "Ex-vegans why did you start eating meat again?". 

The post has racked up almost 12,000 comments from people sharing their experiences. For a lot of people, it was down to health conditions, either theirs or a partner. For others, it was about affordability, or convenience.

We've collaborated some of the most interesting responses below: 

  • "My husband was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and coeliac which means that a high fibre/lower iron diet is not an option and a lot of the substitutes aren’t gluten-free. More often than not when he has meat I'll leave it or have the veggie equivalent but there are just not enough hours in the day to make two separate lasagnas and sauce etc." 
  • "My aunt was a vegetarian for health reasons. The day she got diagnosed with cancer she went to In-N-Out."
  • "I'm still as veggie as possible but I moved to a country where it is 10000 percent harder to be vegan (Japan). This is mostly due to not knowing a ton of Japanese and the fact that there is fish or meat in so many restaurant foods and the culture here isn't like in America where you can ask for items to be removed or substitutions... not that my Japanese ability would allow me to do that anyway." 
  • "I became vegetarian specifically to fuel an active eating disorder. When I got on the path to recovery, I started eating meat again."
  • "I was vegan for three years and had gone home to my community which is tremendously poor. To have cold cuts and a bag of Doritos is a luxury. My aunt, who was going blind, made a family feast and everyone came, and she made a very traditional lamb stew. My heart broke when I thought of how much of her income she must have spent to make this possible and felt like a completely entitled outsider when I told them I was vegan... Being vegan comes from a first world position of entitlement. It is a luxury to choose what you eat, when so many eat whatever is available, not out of an ethical decision, but out of necessity."
  • "Fairly stupid reason, because I broke up with my ex I became a vegan to support her, and it felt weird eating meat while she was so against it. When the relationship was over, however, I no longer felt the need to support my ex in that way. Thus meat was back on the menu boys!"
  • "Went vegan for about six months after watching some documentary. I love kimchi and tofu, ate a lot of grains and pasta, I'd bring whole cooked red potatoes around and eat them like apples. Cooked a lot of Indian and Thai recipes - the whole experience did make me a better cook. But in the end, it was just too goddamn inconvenient. You have to put a lot of thought into your food, and a bunch of things have weird prep times so I'd get home from class/studio at 8pm, do my dinner prep, and realise something has to soak or cook for an hour before it can be added to the recipe, which means it's now 8:30pm and the earliest I'll be eating is 10pm so I'd say f**k it and have a salad."

Despite these anecdotes, veganism is still firmly on the rise in New Zealand. Last year we ranked third in the world for veganism.