I've heard stories about vegans/vegetarians trying to eat meat again after a long period of time of vegetarianism and getting sick. Just an example, one of my best friends talking about his girlfriend rejecting meat after stopping to eat it for 3 months.

Are there any steps a vegetarian/vegan should take before eating meat again? Is there any "transition" time?

Note there are also reasons why a vegetarian may want to eat meat for a short period of time even if they plan to continue to be vegetarian in the long term (for example if they will visit a country where vegetarianism will be difficult, or they have a short term medical condition)

P.S.: This question can be thought of as the reverse of this question.


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I have some experience with this. After being vegetarian for a couple years, I started eating meat again a couple times, mostly while on trips.

I didn't observe any major side effects. My digestion tends to get a bit messed up at the start, but it never was any worse than the usual travel related / not being used to the food kind of feeling.

I noticed that after not eating it for a couple years, that I don't like the taste of certain types of food any more which I used to be fine with. For me this is mostly meats with a strong meat taste, such as some beef or mutton as well as most kinds of fishy sea food)

I also feel that I am more prone to food poisoning. Although this could be entirely subjective and coincidental I got (mild) food poisoning a couple times while trying more exotic meat/fish dishes. So maybe take it slow on trying stuff you haven't had before.

However I generally don't really need a transition period. And even if I go from no meat for a year to eat one big meat dish, it is usually no issue. However your mileage might vary on this and I'd recommend you to start with small portions first if it's the first time you are doing this transition.

As a side note, I don't experience any 'withdrawal' symptoms after going back to a vegetarian diet, so if you are scared of eating meat once will make you crave for more meat, this is probably unfounded.

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