Former Vegetarians Explain Why They Started Eating Meat Again

This is eye-opening.

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Over the past few years, it's become clear that a meat-free or reduced-meat diet is the way many people are heading.

Even those who aren't fully veggie or vegan are eating less animal products. Some are switching from regular to almond milk, joining the "flexitarian" movement or taking part in meat-free Mondays.

However, just as people are mindfully trying to reduce the amount of meat and fish in their diet, it works the other way, too. Our friends at Cosmopolitan UK spoke to a number of people about why they decided to re-introduce meat into their diet.

1. "I was hungover …" —Laura

"I was veggie from the age of 11 but I turned to the dark side the day after my 30th birthday when a massive hangover and bacon sandwich got the better of me. I was veggie before mainly because my mom was a terrible cook, if she cooked meat it was fatty and tough and accompanied boiled-to-death veg. I now eat bacon, sausages, chicken and chorizo but it's always good quality organic and I probably only eat it a maximum of three days a week."

2. "I won a bet with my sister …" —Cristina

"When I was 10, my sister bet me I couldn't be veggie for five years. The bet was for $13 which, at the time, seemed like a good deal. Out of being stubborn more than anything. I stuck it out for five LONG years. It was actually a really positive experience because beforehand I didn't eat any vegetables, just chips, chicken and chocolate, now I love eating all kinds of food. On the day the bet ended, I spent half of the money on chicken nuggets and chips."

3. "I became severely anaemic …"— Laura

"I stopped eating meat in 2007 but started again in 2017. Being a vegetarian was annoying in some respects, because people constantly question you about it or instantly decide they don't like you! There's always limited options when you go out to eat and some places don't even have a vegetarian option. Apart from that, I liked being vegetarian. Last year after giving birth I was severely anaemic, so I started eating meat again for health reasons. I am finding it easier to eat meat as time goes on, but I'm very fussy about what kind of meats I eat and mostly stick to chicken. In whatever I eat, there has to be a lot of flavor so that I can't taste it too much."

4. "My passion for food took over …"—Danielle

"I decided to become a vegetarian when I was eight because I was absolutely mad about animals and couldn't bear the thought of eating them for my dinner. It wasn't an easy decision to eat meat again a decade later and I thought long and hard about it because I'd been so committed for 10 years. However, as my passion for food grew as I got older I eventually decided to eat meat again. It's just as well because, since then, I've worked as a restaurant reviewer and food writer during my time as a journalist, so that would've been a little more challenging had I still been vegetarian. I eat every type of meat now, probably five dinners out of seven will be meat-based in our house. I'll always try and have at least one vegetarian meal a week because I do still love vegetarian meals and my breakfast and lunch will typically still be vegetarian."

5. "I was diagnosed as coeliac ..." — Imogen

"I'd been a vegetarian since I was six, I think I'd just decided I didn't really like meat. My parents humored me as a phase but it lasted quite a while … I started eating meat again in January after being diagnosed with coeliac—an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. A lot of vegetarian restaurant options are gluten-based (like pizza and pasta) and, as I travel a lot for work, it would have been too restrictive so I wanted to be able to have a wider diet. I like chicken, if it's spicy and has lots of flavor, bacon and salami but have tried lamb and hate it."

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Olivia Blair

Olivia is ELLE's Digital News Editor covering pop culture, royal, lifestyle and women's news and features. Previously a features writer for Hearst's digital brands and lifestyle reporter at The Independent, she's amassed a healthy - and varied - expertise of Meghan Markle, women's and reproductive health issues and all 10 seasons of Friends.