Not All Vegans Stick With It — But These Are the Ones Who Do, Study Says

It's all about why you ditched animal products in the first place.

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Remember a while back, when we told you guys about the somewhat disheartening new research on how many vegetarians and vegans actually ditch meat for the long haul? In case you need a quick refresher, the research found that a whopping 84 percent of vegans and vegetarians eventually return to their meat-eating ways.

The folks who did that research found the main reason people bounced back to eating burgers and cheesesteaks was due to a lack of social support. But a new study published in the journal Appetite suggests that the reasons why you actually gave up animal products in the first place might have more to do with whether you stick to your meat-free ways than anything else. 

As TIME reports, the study surveyed nearly 250 vegans and found that those who’d opted into a vegan diet for ethical reasons — i.e. because they didn’t agree with the treatment of farm animals, for instance — remained vegan for significantly longer, at an average of eight years, than those who’d adopted a meat-free diet solely to reap the health benefits; the health-seekers stuck to veganism for an average of 5.5 years.

It makes sense when you think about it: If you gave up cheese and meat because you wanted to trim down, eventually that ever-present ice-cream craving is bound to wear you down; but if you gave up cheese because you watched Food Inc. and were completely appalled by where your dairy was coming from, the chances of an ice cream cone tempting you are a bit more slim.

So the big question, vegan friends: Why did you give up animal products in the first place? Was it for ethical reasons or for health reasons? Your answer could determine whether you actually stick with it.

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