The average amount of time it takes vegetarians to go back to eating meat.

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At this time of year we can chalk it up to overzealous New Year’s resolutions, but if new research is to believed, vegetarians consistently have a difficult time refraining from eating meat.

Every vegetarian has their own reasons for forgoing meat products – for some it’s ethical, for others, environmental or political – but it seems the majority of them have this one thing in common.

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A recent survey by a US animal advocacy group has revealed 84 per cent of vegetarians and vegans eventually return to their meat-eating ways. In 53 per cent of cases, this happens within a year of beginning their animal-free diet; for more than 30 per cent of vegetarians, it’s just three months.

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Researchers cited the two main reasons for giving up as lack of support and unstoppable cravings.

For some, it’s also socially motivated: apparently, vegetarians do not like to stick out from their carnivorous friends in social situations, and often feel they’re lacking support from those close to them.

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The desire to consume animal products was another issue, especially as the texture of meat cannot easily be recreated (although fake meat products are giving it one helluva shot). One lapsed vegetarian who participated in the study noted his decision to go back to meat eating was health-related: “I will take a dead cow over anaemia anytime.”

However, it’s worth mentioning the study didn’t take into account the possibility that the vegetarians who are remaining meat-free have been doing so since birth, so perhaps this recidivism is committed by those who have tasted meat before and know what they are missing.

After all, it’s hard to quit anything cold turkey… and apparently, it’s even harder when there’s turkey involved.

If you’ve never tasted a steak before, why start now? Perhaps a few lifelong vegetarians have simply been born that way (or created, at least).

To the meat eaters: how long would you last as a vegetarian?