What happens if a vegetarian eats meat suddenly?

Many vegans and vegetarians have heard the rumor that your stomach will get things like stomach cramps, nausea and other ill feelingsĀ if you eat meat suddenly. There have been many different responses, but I thought I would start with my own personal experience.

When I first became a vegetarian, I went for my first year with my only animal products being cheese and eggs. At that time, I really did not know much about nutrition so even though I wasn’t eating meats, I figured that as long as I am not eating meat, I would be healthy. That meant I would eat cheese pizza, potato chips and other meat-free things that were simply not very nutritious. So at the end of the year, I wasn’t feeling well at all. I felt constantly starving and nothing seemed to fill me up or satisfy me, my energy was extremely low and I was miserable, although I had kept my word to myself about sticking with being a vegetarian for all of that time.

However, I wanted to stop because I felt so awful. Friends who were vegetarians warned me that I needed to ease back into eating meats by taking one bite one day and then two the second and so on. They advised that it would give my body time to adjust to the meats again and prevent myself from getting sick. I completely ignored their warnings and scarfed down a double bacon cheese burger. It tasted absolutely amazing and I loved it. Wonderfully, I didn’t get even the slightest bit sick. For the next couple of years, I was back at my old meat-eating self, but I still did not feel great and I was disappointed with myself for eating meats because I also believed in not harming animals.

So I did a lot of research and studied up on nutrition and learned how to be a healthy vegan and vegetarian by ensuring I would get the proper nutrients, proteins and fats. Now, more than 25 years later, I am a 98% vegan and every now and then, I will have a meat product, but it is at a rare minimum. The key for me was making sure I was getting enough whole foods and proteins in addition to taking extra iron and a daily multivitamin.




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  1. animal lover13 says

    if you suddenly eat alot of meat when ur a vegetarian than you will get a real sick feeling in your stomach. Your stomach gets rid of most of the chemicals in your body that digest meat when ur a vegetarian. So if you want to start then eat real small amounts at a time like every third day
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  2. bubbbless75 says

    yes its true, Im not sure what its called. You will feel sick and most likely vomit. your body is not used to this meat so if you are going to start eating meat, start very slowly, like having a piece of chicken a day or something. don’t eat a lot of beef when youre going to start eating meat, just ease into it
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  3. Frosty The Snow me! says

    LOL…nothing will happen. Looks like the answerers have fallen prey to veger marketing tactics.

    yeah OK thumbs downers, I know how it rolls…..if you’re a veger and you start eating meat you get sick but the other way around you wouldn’t…..LOL……god, sometimes I think my eyes might freeze rolled up like that.

    So was it PETA or some other veger site that filled you up with this nonsense?
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  4. maggie says

    Well happened to me today, I bought something from a Japanese store that I thought was vegan but it turned out to have little shrimp in it. I noticed about 2 tablespoons into the stirfry, I guess they mislabeled it. Oh well, I saved the rest for my husband, he’s an omnivore.

    I feel a bit gross and bloated but so far, so good. I’ve heard the gamut of stories, some people do get sick but it might be psychological.
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  5. nora says

    It’s enzymes that your body produces and that vegetarians lack. You’d probably get nauseous and probably throw up.
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  6. tangmel says

    You get sick. It happened to me on accident.I ate a quiche that had a mild meat flavor,found out it was ham bits….I was furious
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  7. iAm says

    Well I can’t speak for everyone, but after 8 months of being vegetarian and eating meat I didn’t get sick- physically. Your taste buds do change though. :)
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  8. Cade says

    Since your body will have adjusted to not having meat, a sudden intake of large amounts of meat can cause stomach pains, vomiting and a very loose bottom.
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