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One third of vegetarians eat meat when they're drunk

Cravings go up and willpower goes down with alcohol consumption

Kali Holloway
October 19, 2015 4:00AM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet When you’re drunk, sticking to promises you’ve made to yourself can be difficult. Planning to have a bunch of drinks and then not text that dude/post that thing on Facebook/shop for things you would never otherwise buy on Amazon? Good luck with that. And congratulations on your brand-new collection of every episode of “Gossip Girl.”

The drunk effect happens where committed eating habits are concerned, as well. According to a new study conducted in the UK, more than a third, 37 percent, of the 1,789 vegetarians surveyed copped to eating meat when they’re good and liquored up. Those drunken meat eaters also admitted they did so in secret; 69 percent said they didn’t tell others that they’d done so.


The Daily Beast spoke with psychologist Hank Rothberger, who suggested the basis for a person’s vegetarianism could be a predictor of how often he or she would stray from the diet.

“Probably a greater percent of those who have fallen off the wagon are health vegetarians,” Rothberger told the site. “Ethical vegetarians tend to have more reasons for why they’re avoiding meat and why they don’t eat meat in the first place and probably have a stronger commitment to it.”

Though there are plenty of perfectly happy vegetarians and vegans, not everyone seems to be able to make it work in the long run. A 2014 study of the eating habits of 11,399 adult Americans found that 84 percent of vegans and vegetarians return to eating meat. About 43 percent said the problem was "sticking to a 'pure' diet," which suggests moderation might be the best first step for those just starting to change the way they eat.

Kali Holloway

Kali Holloway is the senior director of Make It Right, a project of the Independent Media Institute. She co-curated the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts 2017 summer performance and film series, “Theater of the Resist.” She previously worked on the HBO documentary Southern Rites, PBS documentary The New Public and Emmy-nominated film Brooklyn Castle, and Outreach Consultant on the award-winning documentary The New Black. Her writing has appeared in AlterNet, Salon, the Guardian, TIME, the Huffington Post, the National Memo, and numerous other outlets.

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