List of videos to link when someone mentions ex-vegans, to show a bigger picture.

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Re: List of videos to link when someone mentions ex-vegans, to show a bigger picture.

Post by NonZeroSum » Thu May 30, 2019 3:13 am


Click here to see the full article which is part of a larger vegan video resource library, what follows is a preview of all the text in the article:


Vegan Recidivism

A broader look at the ex-vegan phenomenon.



Table of Contents

Meat Eater:
• Unconscious Consumer
• Anti-Vegan
• Ex-Plant-Based

• Apathy
• Health fears

• Ex-Ex-Vegan
• Ex-Raw-Vegan
• Ex-Anti-Vegan
• Vegan activism critical

Vegan Responses to Ex-Vegans


Meat Eaters

Everyone starts off as an unconscious consumer for how their parents raised them and subject to the culture into which they were born. Vegans are a minority and simply put there are practical and social pressures for vegans to give up their lifestyle.

Anti-Vegans are people who understand the reality behind animal agriculture and the philosophical arguments for abstaining from supporting that process, but who seek out people to argue against making that change. Some ex-vegans start advocating a 100% raw animal product diet because on the first instance of putting meat in their mouth, they have an emotional reaction which feels overwhelming because it's something they've made taboo for such a long time.

Finally some meat eaters try a plant based diet for health reasons without ever taking on the ethical vegan lifestyle, then when they try other diets are confused for ex-vegans.



“Data from the EPIC-Oxford study shows that nearly three-quarters of the participants who were vegetarian or vegan at recruitment in the mid to late 1990s were still either vegetarian or vegan when they completed a follow-up questionnaire in 2010,”

“Compared to the U.S. population, former vegetarians/vegans eat significantly less meat, notably chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and other meats (duck, lamb, rabbit, deer, goat, etc.). The biggest difference is in chicken consumption: former vegetarians/vegans eat 1/3 of a serving per day, compared to 4/5 of a serving for the U.S. population, which is noteworthy given that chickens account for the overwhelming majority of land-based farmed animals. However, there are limitations to the chicken calculations as discussed in the following pages. These findings suggest that the average former vegetarian/vegan may be more appropriately thought of as a meat reducer or possibly even a semi-vegetarian, given that on average they eat only slightly more than half the daily servings of meat.”

For a long time most of the plant-based people on YouTube were following a raw vegan diet motivated by pseudo-scientific health claims and the prospect of getting to live a permanent vacation lifestyle by selling the idea of quitting your job and doing YouTube full-time to others, like a pyramid scheme. This means YouTube would also show a disproportionate number of ex-vegans relative to average figures.



The existence of ex-vegans is grasped on to and played up endlessly so that meat eaters can hope to dismiss veganism as a passing phase. This is confirmed by rumors told by friends in pubs, adverts for fast food on the telly or the YouTube algorithm suggesting videos that confirm popular preconceived notions.

The bigger picture reality however is far more interesting and complex. Many people who are die hard vegans today are in fact ex-ex-vegans, having fallen off the diet, then gotten back on, sometimes multiple times until it settles in and becomes their new normal.

As well, many meat eaters may have had limited interactions with vegans in real life who are from diverse backgrounds, so it can be easy to not be aware of the amount of diverse philosophies within veganism and the number of internal debates and critiques of forms of vegan activism.

Finally many may be unaware of the many vegans today who were at one time anti-vegan because they thought they needed to justify the habits they grew up with against a group they didn’t understand.

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