It turns out up to one-third or more of vegetarians might not be vegetarians at all — at least after they've had a pint (or three) down at the local pub.
A survey team organized by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk surveyed 1,789 U.K. vegetarians, finding that around 37% admitted to eating meat when drinking. The remainder insisted they never partook of animal flesh.
The lapsed vegetarians mainly ate kebabs (an extremely popular fast-food option in the U.K.) and burgers, according to the survey. The next most popular options were bacon, fried chicken and pork sausages.
Thirty-four percent of those who admitted to consuming meat said they did it every time they drank. Another 26% percent and 22% admitted to doing it "fairly often" or "rarely." Perhaps feeling a tad guilty for indulging, 69% of the meat-eating vegetarians told VoucherCodesPro they did not tell others about their meat-eating escapades.
In 2014, researchers working for the Human Research Council concluded 84% of vegetarians go back to eating meat, with many of those involved in the study describing the difficulty of an abstinence-centered lifestyle. Some health experts, like writer Mark Bittman, instead recommend the majority of people adopt a diet containing significantly less meat rather than abandoning it entirely.
Many Americans who try to abstain from meat do so for health reasons rather than ethical ones.
But remember, carnivores: Doctors have consistently found that diets rich in fatty animal products are bad for human health, while healthy plant products like vegetables are essential to staying in good shape.
"Why should we criticize the growing number of individuals who occasionally eat meat, say, 10 pounds per year, when many of us are eating way too many hamburgers and drumsticks?" Reducetarian Foundation head Brian Kateman told the Huffington Post. "The difference between 200 and 10 pounds of meat per year is far greater than the difference between 10 and zero pounds of meat per year."