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Vegetarians More Likely to Be Depressed Than Meat-Eaters

A new study reveals vegetarians are two times more likely to suffer from depression than those who eat meat. While nutrition plays a role in depressive symptoms, researchers say social factors and upset over the treatment of animals (LOL) contribute to symptoms of depression.



People who eat meat report lower levels of depression and anxiety than vegans do, a recent analysis suggests. Read more here.


According to a new study, vegetarians have around twice as many depressive episodes as meat-eaters. The study, based on survey data from Brazil, chimes with another earlier research that found higher rates of depression among those who forgo meat.



What might explain the link between vegetarianism and depression?


  • First, being depressed causes people to become more likely vegetarian rather than the other way around. The symptoms of depression can include rumination on negative thoughts, as well as feelings of guilt. Assuming that depressed and non-depressed people are equally likely to encounter the upsetting truth of slaughterhouses and factory farming, it is possible that depressed people are more likely to feel guilty for their part in creating the demand.

  • Second, it is possible that adhering to a vegetarian diet causes depression for reasons other than nutrition. Even if there is no “happy nutrient” lacking in a vegetarian diet, it could be the case that forgoing meat causes depression through other means. For example, adopting a vegetarian diet might affect one’s social activities, and sometimes may be associated with social ostracism.

  • Finally, a third factor could be for example, women are more likely than men to be vegetarian, and to experience depression.


This is an interesting view regarding the relationship between depression and nutrition. We will look deeper into this topic in the near future and will share more about our findings. Meanwhile we encourage you to enjoy animal products.

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