START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
653,056 people care about Real Food

Former Vegans Explain Why They Eat Meat: Are You Convinced?

Former Vegans Explain Why They Eat Meat: Are You Convinced?
  • 1 of 2

Editorís note:†This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally posted on December 24, 2011. Enjoy!

I became a vegetarian when I was a teenager. I didn’t have the most well-formulated reasons, but I had convictions. I had learned about the slaughtering of baby harp seals for their fur and felt appalled at such inhumane treatment of animals; I was troubled to learn about how unhealthy fast food is. The thought of eating dead animals — certainly the pork that is frequently found in the Cantonese cooking my grandmother made –†simply came to bother me.

To this day, I don’t miss meat.†I’ve never minded foregoing the Christmas roast or the Thanksgiving turkey. In a recent article in The Atlantic two former vegetarians and vegans explain why they have again chosen to eat meat; a vegetarian of many years explains why she supports other’s choice to eat meat. The last-mentioned individual, Nicolette Hahn Niman is a livestock rancher, environmental lawyer and author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms; her husband, Bill Niman, is founder of Niman Ranch, a “natural meat company.” Tovar Cerulli is a deer hunter and author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance. Joshua Applestone is a butcher, an instructor, and co-author of The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat.

Arguments For Eating Meat

All three describe becoming vegetarian around the age of 20 or so, for ethical, religious, moral reasons, after learning about how beef-raising practices were deforesting the Amazon, about the Buddhist teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, about the less than pretty practices used in rearing and slaughtering cattle in the beef industry. What changed two of their minds?

Niman, while remaining a vegetarian, notes that, in her work as an environmental lawyer, her study of ecologically-based farming showed her how essential animals are to sustainable farms as they “increase soil fertility, contribute to pest and weed control, and convert vegetation that’s inedible to humans, and growing on marginal, uncultivated land, into food.” Cerulli recounts how living in a rural community showed him that raising all sorts of food comes at a cost:

From habitat destruction to combines that inadvertently mince rabbits to the shooting of deer in farm fields, crop production is far from harmless. Even in our own organic garden, my wife and I were battling ravenous insects and fence-defying woodchucks. I began to see that the question wasn’t what we ate but how that food came to our plates.

According to Cerulli, adding eggs, dairy, chicken and fish back into his diet also led to an improvement in his and his wife’s health.

A vegan for 15 years, Applestone says that he “overcame [his] aversion to consuming meat” after seeing farmers raising animals “sustainably and ethically”; he realized that he really had a “problem with the inhumane practices of the commercial meat industry.” Indeed, it is the practices of†industrialized agriculture that come under critique by all Niman, Cerulli and Applestone. “Eating animal-derived foods” is not, in and of itself, a health risk, they say; it is over-consumption that is.

Health, the environment and ethics are often cited as arguments for not eating meat. Niman rather calls for a “new ethics of eating animals.”

  • 1 of 2

Read more: , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo by qmnonic

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
8:55PM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

No Lynda, it was lights out at the psych ward, so the members of the Borg Collective had to stop posting. They were given their nightly jello and meds and put to bed. But I am sure they will be back with more lies, hateful comments, and general nastiness tomorrow.

8:54PM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

Ha Ha! I vote for the last one Lynda.

8:52PM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

...and the comments suddenly ceased? Did someone set a troll trap? A lightning bolt from the Heavens? Some nice young men in white coats...?

8:00PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

michael H; what is a rand?

6:23PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

Marie B.
5:53pm PDT on Mar 25, 2015
'Suba G'--you and the other 'trolls' are a pathetic joke. Get help. smh

Read more:

Projecting your stupidity.. Now that is pathetic. How was that for a dose honesty..

As for me. I enjoyed a a cheeseburger.. The wife made her potato salad.. Now that was good meal. I knew you wanted to know..

5:53PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

'Suba G'--you and the other 'trolls' are a pathetic joke. Get help. smh

5:41PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

Other than screaming insults, ALL you've been doing here is talk about yourself, or rather, LIE about yourself.

Remember, you repeatedly claimed you "care about animals", but miserably failed to back up that claim with an ounce of proof.

Thus, you already demonstrated that don't give a rats behind about animals (and that. you are a liar). No point in trying to save face.

5:28PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

Why can't the Borg Collective get it through their thick heads that by the time a plant, fruit, or vegetable is on their plate it is ALREADY DEAD! You killed it when you harvested it.

5:17PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

Marie. I have seen those same links. The same stupidity. You have shown yourself to hateful. Unwilling to find any common ground. There is I have pointed out that ground on more thanone forum.


In the words of the wise one. Bill D. Cat Blech Acth oop TTHHIIBBBTTT!

5:14PM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

'sweetie', like I've told you a dozen or more times 'Suba G', I'm not on Care2 too talk about me, I'm here because I CARE about animals, the environment, people and the Earth and the future. You just get it do you?? No, you don't. Grow up and stop acting like an idiot. I don't know why I waste time anytime on you 'trolls'.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

I've seen photos of elephants being used as bulldozers in India. Then they chain them to a tree at night…

Maybe we should take note of just which people are really asking for these laws to be passed. Maybe…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.