Why are so many vegans and vegetarians starting to eat meat again?
According to a report published by Chef’s Pencil, from April 2021 to April 2022, Google Trends data showed a decline in the popularity of veganism. In the United States, searches for vegan food and vegan recipes fell during this time period (although there was a significant spike in searches for vegan restaurants).
As for what caused the dip, the authors ruled out home cooking fatigue, noting that “total recipe searches in the United States actually increased [from 2020 to 2022].” It’s probably not an availability issue either. The global vegan food market report predicts that the global vegan food market will grow from USD 16.05 billion to USD 18.27 billion by 2023.
Instead, nutritionist Melissa Wasserman Baker, RDN suggests that health concerns are driving many vegans and vegetarians to reintroduce meat into their diets. Nutrient deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, and protein deficiencies that lead to a lack of collagen (and thus weakened bones and joints) are just a few reasons why vegans and vegetarians may decide to make the switch, Baker says.
To see these decisions being made in real time, all you have to do is log into social media. “Many people feel instantly better after switching [to a vegan diet], but I actually felt the opposite,” says mindbodygreen influencer Christine Addis (@bemytravelmuse) about travel and lifestyle. “I got dizzy, my skin broke out more, and although I tried to get all the nutrition I needed, it was very difficult when traveling to remote areas.” Sometimes, she notes, her only recourse was to eat bread or vegan snack bars, which further exacerbated the problem. For Addis, there was no doubt that reintroducing meat into her diet would alleviate her symptoms.
TikToker Abigail Martin was vegan for four years before her hormones kicked in. “I think there is a right way to be vegan and maintain yourself properly,” Martin tells mindbodygreen, “but it’s a lot more complicated and I don’t think everyone is cut out for it.” after her diet, Martin says she feels healthier physically and mentally.