Many vegans quit the diet after only a few years, but why do vegans quit veganism?
Vegans generally quit veganism because of social pressure, convenience, health issues, or to save money. Others quit the lifestyle because they want to try out other diets they find interesting. Meaning veganism itself is usually not the reason people quit.
It should also be noted that many people try out veganism without proper dedication. You don’t need to be a saint in order to turn vegan, but it does take some getting used to. There are suddenly things to consider everywhere, food labels, restaurants, vitamins. You name it.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise known as IBS, is a quite common disorder, which can cause pain and other discomforts to the sufferer(source). Many people suffer from the disease but don’t have many issues with it. That’s because the symptoms and discomfort is largely impacted by the foods we eat.
Some have more severe symptoms, while others don’t. So how can this make someone quit the vegan diet? Well, switching to a vegan lifestyle also means eating different, and the vegan diet consists mainly of foods high in fiber. That’s usually not an issue, at all, but high fiber diets can be an issue in regards to IBS.
So some people with the condition may see worse symptoms from switching diet. Not all vegan foods are high in fiber, but a lot of them are. Meaning many of these people actually don’t have much of an option.
More Clean Protein
The world is obsessed with diet and exercise, and the holy grail within this space has always been “clean protein”. With this I mean foods with very high protein contents, which are also low in other macro-nutrients, like carbs.
Clean protein foods are fairly rare in the vegan diet. Some people believe that it’s not possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, and that’s wrong. However, vegan foods high in protein are also fairly high in either carbs or fats. -Even beloved protein sources like lentils have fairly large carbohydrate contents.
Take a look at this comparison between chicken and lentils blow.
These numbers are why many people choose to quit the vegan diet. However, carbohydrates and fats are both important nutrients in your diet. So the fact is that you need to get them elsewhere, if you eat clean protein.
Some people do this because they are trying to loose weight or build muscle. Although, having a proper vegan diet could yield the exact same results as meat eaters get from clean protein.
It’s a common myth that the vegan diet is much more expensive than other diets. The assumption is that fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive, which can be true. Some are truly expensive, especially during the winter. But do vegans really spend more on groceries?
Vegans eat mostly the same thing as meat-eaters, the only difference being meat. This means that vegans and meat eaters buy the same foods expect for meat. -And meat is actually much more expensive than vegan options as legumes. In addition to that, the foods that vegans eat instead of meat is generally considered healthier.
Lentils, beans, tofu are all incredibly cheap compared to meat. So there is really truth to the argument that being vegan is expensive. However! Some vegans may buy expensive meat substitutes, and these are quite expensive. This could be why many people quit the vegan diet in favor for cheaper non-vegan meat.
Restaurants And Cafes
Eating out can be a real challenge for many new to veganism. While many restaurants and cafes have vegan options some don’t. Chances are that most restaurants and cafes in larger cities will have a few options available, but it highly depends on the country. This can become so frustrating to many vegans that they actually decide to quit.
Happy Cow, a website for vegan eateries, lists +24,000 vegan friendly restaurants, 1,474 of which are exclusively vegan. However, Statista, states that there are more than 660,000 eateries in the US, meaning there is still a long way to go.
This is a big issue for those of us who enjoy going to restaurants with family and friends. If the restaurants don’t have any vegan options, you’ll have to skip on your meal or go somewhere else. This is a major concern for many. Having to ask family and friends to take your diet into account, can be annoying.
However, more and more restaurants and cafes have vegan options nowadays. This is likely going become even more of a standard in the future, but that will only happen if people don’t quit veganism. So it’s quite an unfortunate reason to quit the diet.
Social Pressure From Non-Vegan Friends
Veganism is one of those topics where you are either on board, or you are not. Many people are very much against veganism, even though their reasons can seem ridiculous. After all, veganism is a lifestyle which seeks to reduce harm, and who could be against that?
Nevertheless, we all know one person, or more, who ridicule the concept of veganism. Even small comments such as “vegans need protein” can be irritating, when you know it’s simply not true. This is one major reason many vegans quit the diet.
I cannot say why people have so much against veganism. Maybe they are against change, who knows. But this can be such an issue for many that they actually choose to opt out of the diet. Luckily, veganism is becoming more accepted in newer times, as more vegans arise.
Veganism Is Too Hard
Being vegan can be an issue at times. Not being able to eat out at certain restaurants, having to read nutritional labels, and having to avoid food favorites. There is no arguing that it’s more difficult to be vegan, in a world of meat-eaters, than being a carnivore. Meaning someone who eats both plants and meat.
This is most likely the biggest reason so many people quit the vegan diet. They don’t want to spend time adhering to the lifestyle. This can seem lazy, but it can be truly difficult to adhere to the lifestyle in some countries and areas.
Clothing And Accessories
Many new vegans are surprised by the things you need to consider once switching to the vegan lifestyle. One of these being clothing an accessories, because there is actually quite a lot of clothing which is not vegan.
All clothing items with leather or animal-based glues are not vegan, and need to be avoided. -And it can be both difficult and impossible to determine if an item is vegan. Most brands don’t disclose which glue they use, and sometimes products have tiny amounts of leather. Even the tiniest amounts are not vegan, so this can be an irritating process.
Especially shoes can be difficult. Luckily, brands like Nike have many vegan options available. In fact, you can have a look at these 7 vegan Nike Shoes here. These are all vegan, with both vegan glue and synthetic materials.
Other brands like New Balance have vegan options too. You can have a look at those in this article about vegan New Balance shoes.
Feeling Weak And Tired
Many people who are just getting started with veganism may experience feeling weak and tired. That’s because the vegan diet lacks one essential vitamin, the vitamin B-12. It’s a water-soluble vitamin produced by bacteria. Humans used to get it from rivers and water, but today’s water is cleaned from bacteria and consequent B-12.
This means that we need to get the vitamin B-12 elsewhere. Meat-eaters get plenty of this vitamin because all food the animals eat are fortified with the vitamin. So it’s not an inherent quality in meat, merely present because animals eat it. A study found that 60% of vegetarians are deficient in the vitamin, and the same is likely true for vegans.
Most of the fortified food we humans eat also have added B-12, such as “fake meat”. So vegans need to either consume fortified foods, or take a supplement. Vitamin B-12 supplements are both very cheap and safe, in correct doses.
However, not knowing this could cause many to quit veganism, even though this condition can occur in carnivores as well. Vegans are way more likely to get a deficiency so be sure to eat plenty of fortified foods, or even better take a supplement. This ensures you get the exact amounts you need.
Non-Vegan Fad Diets
There are many reasons people go vegan. Some do it for the animals while others do it for the health benefits, or entirely different reasons. Therefore some are more inclined to quit veganism in favor for another diet, if animals are not the primary concern.
While veganism is a lifestyle for many, it’s nothing more than a diet for some. In fact, there are plenty of people out there calling it a fad diet. So a major reason so many vegans quit is because they want to try out other diets.
Although most diets don’t take the suffering of animals into account some do work. There are numerous so called fad diets, that deliver on the promises, but most of them are also inherently unbalanced in the long run. However, the vegans quitting for this reason were most likely more dedicated to the vegan diet, rather than the lifestyle.
Did you know that you can be both vegan and try out other diets? You should check out these 3 vegan keto cookbooks, approved by me.
Not Liking Vegan Foods
The world is full of picky eaters, some more picky and some less. Picky eating mainly starts in childhood, at least according to this study, and can be difficult to overcome. Some are so affected by this “condition” that they cannot consider eating something they don’t like.
The vegan diet is vastly different from what other diet groups eat. So there is a big possibility that many vegans quit because of this unfamiliarity with the foods. Luckily, the rise of vegan meat-like products works wonders to alleviate this issue.
Vegan meat-like products may not be much healthier, but they make it easier for vegans such as these to stick to the diet. Additionally, there is also the fact that it’s free from animal exploitation.