Just curious because I notice a bunch of people mentioning in passing something like "when I was a vegetarian...". I too started as a vegetarian and it was the most miserable 2 years of my life looking back.
I suspect that you will find former vegetarians/vegans over-represented here, because people who question the dominant paradigm (agribusiness) could lead to veg or to paleo. I suspect that you will not find many former paleo who have devolved to veg, though!
12 year veggie here. Got sicker and sicker and fatter and fatter. After 3 years of healthy paleo, feel great and maintain 75 pound weight loss effortlessly. Can't imagine ever going back.
Also, I had lunch with vegs turned paleo yesterday. They are dedicated paleos, but with lingering guilt about eating animals. It seems like a shame. If you are born a cat, you have to kill for optimum health, if you are born a cow you don't. If you are born a human, you do. It's not cruel or evil.
Now being turned off by the filth and stench of commercial livestock operations, that I can understand.
I was a vegetarian for around 12 years, five of those as a strict vegan. I was, by the end, suicidal, frizzy, dry, crazy in my brain and dreaming every night about eating fish. I've been omnivorous for the past nearly 10 years. I started by eating the winged and finned folks and in the last five years (pre-conception, pregnancy and now) I have been enthusiastically on board the meat train. Since discovering paleo this past year I feel better than I ever have, ever.
I was vegetarian for 2 years and vegan for half a year. It does seem to be a mini-trend for veg*ns to go paleo, possibly because most are somewhat health conscious and also might pick paleo to heal from crap caused by not eating meat.
I wasn't a vegetarian, but I didn't buy meat for ten years (just ate it at restaurants). People who saw my fridge and lunches said things like "rabbit food". In those days, I had strong cravings for leafy greens. I would grab a bundle of dandelion greens at the grocery store and be unable to wait for the checkout line, finishing half the bundle as I walked through the aisles.
Then I started really eating meat, mostly pastured. My cravings for greens disappeared. Now dandelions taste like unpalatable weeds, even my beloved lettuce is fairly unappetizing. I suspect I was deficient in certain vitamins, and that now that I eat meat and the deficiency is gone, the craving for greens is gone.
My wife and I began vegetarianism back around 1990, which morphed into veganism, and finally Macrobiotics. Since processed food and sugar is shunned, our diet consisted mostly of brown rice, non-starchy vegetables, and sea vegetables. There was a little bit of soy, mostly as miso soup. We did that for about five years. During that time I lost a lot of weight and we both felt good. I attribute that to not eating all the junk that many vegetarians do eat, and that may also explain the short term success of people like Ornish and Fuhrman. But I believe that eventually the lack of animal fat and protein catches up with you. When the wife and daughter of Macrobiotic guru, Michio Kushi, died of cancer it started us re-thinking.
I was raised vegetarian for 17 years, but never low-fat anything: I ate whole raw fats, dairy, eggs, butter, ghee, etc. Lots of veggies and fruits. No junk food. I was really healthy actually - only got a cold 1-2x a year... However, I also had to have braces "for cosmetic purposes" and had my wisdom teeth removed = malformed facial structure. What a bunch of fish and bacon could have done for me in my formative years, or to realize my gluten sensitivity, I can only imagine.
It wasn't until I started eating a lot of soy that things went down hill, and then I went vegan and raw vegan and just destroyed myself (hypothyroid, anemia, hypoglycemia, panic attacks, hair falling out, bottoming out body temperatures, like I'm talking 93-94 degrees) but even being fit and slim during my teenage years, I always had a tiny wheat-bloat belly.
It's been almost 2 years since I started eating meat again. Rebuilding, rebuilding. Note to self: have healthy kids.
I bought into the lipid hypothesis lock, stock and barrel (of s#!+). The day after seeing my dad in the hospital after his heart surgery I was a vegetarian. A month after that I was a vegan. The whole 8 years I had nagging doubts that we could have evolved to be vegan, but I saw such an abundance of "scientific evidence" to support it that I continued on.
I think there is a sort of dietary tinkerer mindset that will draw people to the fringes. Even though veganism and paleo are diametrically opposed, it's the same type of person who is drawn to both. There are then those who are drawn to the fringes of the fringes, such as raw vegans/fruitarians and zero-carbers.
I had been a vegetarian for the last 2 and a half years, prompted by viewing the chicken transportation truck that drove daily past my old apartment on its way to some Brooklyn slaughterhouse. Then 2 and a half years later I realized that I had been tired and hungry for the last 2 and a half years. I started eating meat again after my friend directed me to paleonu.com, where everything I read made an overwhelming amount of sense to me.
Quantity of meat consumption... 7 Answers