Many lapsed vegetarians become ethical omnivores.
In the interest of educating readers on consumer trends, here is how some former vegetarians and vegans rationalize their return as carnivores. The thoughts expressed perpetuate the misinformation on "factory farms."
In 2005, a CBS News study found that ex-vegetarians outnumber current vegetarians by a ratio of three to one, suggesting that 75% of vegetarians lapse. A survey by Hal Herzog and Morgan Childers found that these born-again omnivores were mostly women (as many vegetarians are), an average age of 28 years old and had been vegetarians for nine years when they reverted. The majority went vegetarian due to concerns about the treatment of animals and returned to meat because of declining health, logistical hassles, social stigmas and meat cravings. Only two of the 77 former vegetarians surveyed resumed meat-eating because their moral views changed.
For some, like Berlin Reed, 29, the return to meat has ironically been a humane one. Reed, who went vegetarian at age 12, was such a die-hard that his friends once staged a “bacon intervention.” He has the word “vegan” tattooed on his neck. But these days, he both eats meat and works with it, calling himself “the ethical butcher.”