by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats
Tags: .

Alyson Hannigan has revealed that geting pregnant made her crave meat — and ultimately drop her vegan lifestyle. “I basically went from being a vegan to… now it’s meat and cheese — and ginger ale!” she said at an event for her TV show, How I Met Your Mother. “Ginger ale, I love. Apparently, my mom craved ginger ale when she was pregnant with me! Maybe it’s a hereditary thing. But, yeah, I didn’t eat any meat or cheese before – now I have to.”

We covered other pregnancy-related veg shifts here on the ‘razz — from Jennifer Connelly to singer Carnie Wilson. As far as I can tell, there are no health-related issues with continuing a vegan diet during pregnancy. It seems Hannigan’s intentions for going vegan were probably related more to health than to animal activism. I’ve read some accounts of other vegan moms going through the same thing — but stopping short of giving in to their cravings simple because of the animal issue.

Anyone else experience something similar?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Renée

    Rubbish. What you “have to” eat are more nutrients. If you’re already eating well as a vegan that just means more food. More nutrients can be found anywhere. It certainly doesn’t have to be dead flesh or animal secretions. Saturated fats & animal hormones & etc aren’t going to be any better for babies than they are for adults (ref: China Study). I’m coming up to 8 months. No problems here, no difficulties, no weird cravings, hardly any morning sickness in the beginning, no swollen anythings or stretch marks etc now, iron levels & everything are high & stable, as they’ve always been. If you eat well, which you should if you plan to produce offspring, you don’t have problems with cravings. The book Skinny Bitch: Bun In The Oven covers a lot on how to eat well & vegan while pregnant. It’s not hard. If you’re not prepared to read a book or two &/or put a little thought into things then you probably shouldn’t be having a child.

    “Vegan” means more than just a diet. If you’re “vegan for health” there’s a big portion missing & you should be using the word “vegetarian” if it’s just about your diet rather than misleading people.

    • Sara

      who gives a flying ef. be pro peace….not anti cruelty. anti cruelty ONLY BRINGS MORE CRUELTY. think on it a little. and who the hell is anyone to judge what other people do in this country or any other country. I’m vegan. I’m pregnant. and if all you do is sit around thinking about the negative aspect of the animals IT WILL NEVER END. it doesn’t matter how much you DON’T eat. it matters how much peace and positive energy you excerpt to everyone you know. THAT’S when people will start to ask questions “why is she so happy? why is she in such a good mood” ..and if someone asks what your secret is THEN YOU TELL THEM. that is the only way anyone will ever change when it comes to animals and cruelty on factory farms. I don’t have to tell you that animal cruelty laws (or human cruelty laws for that matter) do not exist on farms, or in scientific experimentation. period. so what does the average person do about it? be positive. enlighten. most people HATE animal activists because they’re so sensitive. the more you let it tear at your soul..the more people see how unhappy you are which can’t be urging them to line up behind you. worrying gets you nowhere. ACTIONS get you everywhere. and for the record when your pregnant you eat what your body will tolerate. I have thrown up more veggies and beans and supplements then I can count. I cant keep much down lately and when it comes to a supplement that contains gelatin or my baby not getting nutrients? ..hmmm. get out there and show the world how much you love animals or health or whatever drives you to be vegan. but please consider not hating meat eaters. and if its just that difficult maybe don’t bother leaving a comment til your pregnant. :) PEACE! im gona go play with my animals now :)

  • Christine

    What an irresponsible idiot! Way to carry on the moronic myth of this ‘need’ for eating meat!

  • Sarah

    I freaked out when I was pregnant and couldn’t eat much and I had 2 fish sandwiches, but I felt like a jerk about it. I lapsed. It was stupid and I acknowledge that I didn’t actually NEED to eat that stuff.

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  • steph

    yeah….she just HAS to.

    This means, she doesn’t really care about the animals.

    My sister got through it. Her baby is VERY VERY healthy and the docs and everyone marvel at how “alert” she is for only being 3 months old. even before that.

    My morals mean way more then ANY craving…no matter how bad they get.

    Shame on her.

  • B.

    Shame on you all for telling her what she should and shouldn’t do. It’s her choice, get the frick over it.

  • Becs

    Good for you Renee!! I haven’t read Bun in the oven yet, but the China study is amazing. Another really good reference (and short) is Vegan Diet: As a Cure for Chronic Disease. It really helped me get over so many of the myths that’d I’d been told since childhood. I’ve been vegan for almost a year and besides weightloss and feeling healthier have noticed no changes. Except everytime I donate blood they comment on how awesome my iron is!

  • GirlieGirlArmy

    All of these girls arent true ethical vegans.. they are on a brief vegan diet, or a quick foray into something exotic. They aren’t in it for the animals, period. If they were, no craving would come close to being worth the brutal factory farmed death of a chicken or cow. So this, although sad and terrible publicity for all the wonderful pregnant vegan girls I know, is not surprising. There are HUNDREDS of articles, sites, and books on vegan pregnancy. All you need to do is google. I have a bunch of them on my site girliegirlarmy dot com. xo

  • Karly

    I was a veg for 15 years until I got pregnant. I craved meat all the time and ate it all the time. You cannot just someone for the choices that they make during pregnancy if you have not been pregnant yourself.Lets see you “control” your cravings when 8 months preggo.

    Also, there are organic farms and free range farms, not all “meat” is from “factories”.


    • kelsey evans

      to “Karly”;
      I can just the choices made…I AM pregnant and a vegan. and NO craving is worth it. I’ve gotten bad cravings before, you ignore them. if you aren’t strong willed enough to give a shit about animals while being pregnant, you obviously weren’t a good vegan to begin with.

      and free range doesn’t mean cruelty free.

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  • Inga Ambrosia

    Maybe it comes from the “non-vegan” sperm?

  • erin

    love it how the people telling you what you should and shouldn’t say go simply by initials. it’s always the same.

    i dont mind people speakin’ their mind on this board but when they say “YOU SHOULDNT SAY THAT” it’s bs.


  • Mo

    I don’t understand why pregnant women who give up the veg lifestyle because they’re craving meat don’t eat a meat-substitute. There are some out there I can’t eat simply because they taste TOO MUCH like meat and it grosses me out! They exist and there’s no excuse for a rich celeb to be unable to find them.

  • Rob

    The Vegan Society do a book on raising vegan children –

  • herwin

    maybe these celebs werent happy anymore with a vegan diet and being pregnant is just a good excuse to go public about it, even though maybe they stopped their vegan diet before while they werent pregnant yet.

  • Chloe

    Renée, you can’t say that someone who’s vegan for health reasons is not a vegan.

    Vegan means that the person does not eat animals or animal by-products, period. It can be for any reason they please… veganism doesn’t automatically mean that the person has a passion for animals. You have to listen to your body. I’m a strict vegan, but if it came down to my body telling me I need meat, especially during pregnancy, I would easily chose my health over the animals.

    Does that make me less of a vegan because I value my health?

    I also wear secondhand leather, because buying anything secondhand is better for the environment than buying anything new, even faux-leather. Am I less of a vegan because I value the environment over animals?

    There are three main reasons for people going vegan: health, environment, and animal welfare. Regardless of which reason supports your vegan diet, if you do not eat animals or animal by-products, you are vegan.

    And anyways, why is this woman getting so much hack for giving up her vegan diet? Why not focus on the millions of uneducated people who would never even consider a vegan diet? This woman contributed to a cause for a long time of her life. Give her a break.

  • Sally

    I always wondered if “Friends” was playing off of something real when Phoebe craves meat when she’s pregnant. Maybe there is some sort of correlation, I mean it’s a proven fact that PMS makes women want chocolate and salt, right? :p

    If your not 100 percent committed to being vegan, I can see how a craving could change your diet.

  • KH

    chloe actually the person who coined the term vegan would disagree with you. vegan isn’t just about a diet at all. Read more a quick google can give you a overview and incentive to do more research:
    The word vegan was originally derived from “vegetarian” in 1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, frustrated that the term “vegetarianism” had come to include the eating of dairy products, founded the Vegan Society.[11] They combined the first three and last two letters of vegetarian to form “vegan,” which they saw as “the beginning and end of vegetarian.”

    [15] The Vegan Society defines veganism in this way:

    [T]he word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.[1]

  • herwin

    “Does that make me less of a vegan because I value my health?”

  • herwin

    we vegans call people like you VEGETARIANS !! hahahahaha!!!

  • Laura

    Renee…I can’t believe that you seriously expect people to take you seriously after you recommend the Skinny Bitch books. Really? You have made yourself look like a total idiot. As for vegan eating for some pregnant women that is great! Vegan women like me who have endometriosis is another story. There is natural progesterone in some animal products and unfortunately very little in fruits and vegetables. If anyone has any experience with endometriosis and pregnancy and veganism I would love to hear what you have to say because I am at a loss. As for Renee…..hope you don’t have endometriosis and are listening to the Skinny Bitch girls because when I looked over their book to see what kind of genius they had to offer me all I saw were weak attempts at recipes full of soy which increases estrogen levels which can be very bad for some women.

  • liz

    I am a vegan and was recently pregnant. I think that unless you have been a vegan and pregnant you have no right to judge anyone. It was very easy at first, despite the fact that everyone I knew was saying how horrible it was for me to be a vegan while pregnant… I was a vegan for all of the ‘right’ reasons… animal welfare and anti-cruelty. I used only vegan and cruelty free products for home and person. I have no animal products in my wardrobe. I read every ingredient in all of the food that i purchase. All went well until my seventh month. That’s when the cravings hit… and pregnancy cravings are not just ‘oh i think i want a chicken wing’… its ‘if i don’t eat a chicken wing right now i am going to rip someones throat out’. i don’t even like chicken. Faux meat did not cut it. Seitan did not cut it. I agonized for weeks over my craving versus my morals. then this vegan lady came into the bookstore where i was working and told me during her pregnancy she craved roast beef sandwiches, and that she ate just one, and it satisfied her, and she had been vegan for 20 years. Long story short i ate one chicken wing, craving satisfied, and have not touched an animal product again since. Don’t beat yourself up over it. its not a contest to see who is most vegan or most pure vegan. its a lifestyle, and sometimes you have to adapt and flex a bit.

  • Chris

    My mum was vegetarian when she was pregnant with me, now I “feel” I need to be a vegan (she is too now). Unlike when she was pregnant with my sister she ate meat, my sister is a 100% flesh eater and no way she could go vegetarian unless she had to kill for it herself. I wonder if Alyson will raise her baby vegetarian or vegan? Somehow I’m doubting it.

  • Natasha

    She’s a moron. She said ‘she had too’. Yeah I’m sure it was being forced down her throat.

  • Chloe

    There are no “right” reasons to be vegan.

    “Don’t beat yourself up over it. its not a contest to see who is most vegan or most pure vegan. its a lifestyle, and sometimes you have to adapt and flex a bit.”- Liz ……..she’s absolutely right.

    herwin, I’m vegan.

    yes, i understand that the vegan LIFESTYLE includes more than just DIET, but i don’t think that one automatically includes the other. I also don’t think that if you’re committed to the vegan diet for health or environmental reasons its makes you “less” of a vegan.

    Why would anyone actually care about someone’s motivation behind doing something so great? Just accept it and be thankful, don’t knock them because its not the “right” reasons.

    PS herwin, valueing animal rights over your health isn’t veganism… its moronic.

    “you vegans” call me vegetarian… like KH pointed out, vegetarian includes eating dairy products etc, which i most certainly do not do. clearly i’m not just a vegetarian.

  • herwin

    look, its not a question what or who is better, its not a contest, its simply a matter of calling things and lyfestyles the correct way, there is nothing wrong with that.
    and insulting me for valuing animal rights over health, sorry to say, but its not an uncommon slur from vegetarians to vegans.
    i share the same values , way of thinking, etc, with fellow vegans, but i always have this kind of shit with pseudo vegans like you, who feel attacked, and at the end always treat other vegans like they are extreme persons, “how can you value animals over your own health ?” and preach “flexibility”.

  • No Cheese Please

    Hey, folks. I’m starting to get really irritated by the vegans here and elsewhere on the internet who think they can stop the English language from changing. A dietary vegan is a person who adopts _only the diet part_ of being vegan. The phrase has been in use for twenty years or so. It was coined to describe the people who are following a diet that has been shown to reverse heart disease, prostate cancer and type two diabetes. It is not about deceiving anyone regarding the purity of our vegan-ness. It is a practical description designed to ensure that we are not served cheese. Please just get over it.

  • Claudia

    Wow…lots of judmental people on here! I am a vegetarian – who ate a primarily vegan diet before pregnancy. Now that I am pregnant – I have an aversion to all meat and dairy subs. I am thoroughly grossed out by the tofu, soy and seitan that I loved only a few short weeks ago. This is my second pregnancy, and in my first I also craved meat – and I caved. I have fought of the meat cravings but have caved in the face of dairy. Judge if you will, but pregnancy can really do a number on your body. Though it is true you can have a very healthy pregnancy as a vegan – I know many vegetarians/vegans who have temporarily given up the lifestyle while pregnant due to overwhelming aversions/cravings.

  • A different Renee

    Good God! What a way to waste my time, reading all of your self-righteous diatribes! I came onto this site for some education… I googled endometriosis and vegan, because I have personally experienced the benefits of the vegan diet on the devastating disease that is endometriosis. But, MY GOD, people! You sound like fools fighting over who is more vegan or truly vegan… it reminds me of my ex. I became vegan for my health.. first he ate cheesy, sausage pizza right there in my face. Then he decided to try it. Now that he’s on board, he’s so stuck up about it. He acts like he coined the term “vegan”. He makes me want a hotdog. So do some of you!
    When did liberal ideas become so black and white?
    It’s annoying. Please stop, lest you turn more people away from this kind and healthy lifestyle.

  • Neda

    The road to “Perfection” is a long road, but any attempt to reduce suffering is praise-worthy. I hope that when I am pregnant, I am well prepared and stocked with EVERY type of vegan food, and have lots of support so I can maintain my lifestyle. Mostly, I really want every molecule of my child to be created free from suffering. Since the nature of the womb (and even the mind of the mother) is meant to impact the ENTIRE life of the person.
    I’m just glad there are so many people who care; even just to comment, raise awareness and share thoughts.

  • Krista

    My first pregnancy I was lacto-ovo-veg, and for the first trimester I could only eat super cheesy food. Fine, I did that. Now comes this pregnancy. I have progressed to being a vegan, but morning sickness has hit me. All I want is Big Macs and cheese. Last week the thought of a Big Mac would make me queasy. Now it’s the thought of Boca Patties that makes me nearly hurl.

    My feeling is get through the morning sickness and get back to a vegan diet as soon as possible. Sometimes your brain can’t argue with your body.

  • conclo

    Man, people are so judgemental! “What an idiot, she gave in to a craving while pregnant! Let’s all atack her and preach about how we’re better than all the celebs!!!” You’re the idiots. I ate meat while pregnant, and went right back to my vegetarian diet when my son was born. She can eat what she wants, you people have no right to judge. It’s disappointing that vegans & veggies, who are supposedly very conscious about world issues and whatnot, would be so close-minded to other people’s choices.

  • Andrea

    While I am also uncomfortable with the term “need” in regards to meat, I am more uncomfortable with the elitist vegan club that has been projected here. We can only do the best we can do and should support the ones around us that are attempting to follow the same path of awareness-whether it be health, environment or animal welfare. As a vegan, would you seriously tell a person they are not “good enough” to meet our standards if a person is a vegan for health reasons? For those of us that are vegan for animal welfare-that is ALL I care about-the animals, how they are treated. I am not concerned with others personal reasons for becoming vegan because we still get the same result: less animals being strung up and thrown into grinders, boiling water or throats slit. THIS is what matters-not the box you have created. As a vegan who is also pregnant, I can sympathize with thoughts of non-vegan food. I have been having dreams of eggs and right now would love some mac and cheese. It is not easy. We do the best we can and to continue to grow the vegan community, we need to support the folks around us, not alienate them-maybe to the detriment of several animals.

  • dia

    what an idiot. i hate people like her, who give up for retarded reasons.

  • Missy

    Hey I’m 18 weeks pregnant with a boy. I have been vegan for over 10 years and vegetarian for 18 years. I have had no cravings for animal foods. I have craved red potatoes and green beans which I normally don’t eat because I favor raw vegan food. I also craved vegan junk food like french fries, cookies, vegan ice cream, and veggie burgers during the first 16 weeks. After week 16 I am finally able to eat my super healthy salads and raw vegan foods again and I am so happy to be back to my healthy vegan diet versus a junk food vegan diet.

    These girls who started eating animal foods again after being vegan are assholes plain and simple. If you care about animals, you will do anything to protect them, craving or not.

  • Mia

    Wow. I used to think that being vegan meant being kind to animals, ourselves and the environment. Now I see that it is some elitist group that tries to act better than everyone else. I am a vegan, true vegan. I am also not OCD about my vegan behavior either. I volunteer with animals rescues and stick to the vegan lifestyle but I don’t try to put others down because they see things differently than I. I just smile and give my reasoning for being vegan and offer suggestions. Being a vegan is a political standpoint – the nasty, disgusting factories and animal abusers won’t be getting my money or the money of my family. I also think it is ridiculous that people are calling her stupid because they don’t agree. How would you like it if people said that you were stupid and a moron because you choose not to eat meat? Live and let live. And Missy, the only assholes on this site are people like you who post ridiculous, judgmental posts about people you don’t even know. Disgusting. You should be ashamed. Alyson Hannigan did a lot for the vegan movement and her choices are her choices. Follow the golden rule and love others.

    • herwin

      Hi Mia, its so nice to read your post and i totally agree with you. disagreeing with her and critising her is okay i think, but it shouldnt be done as a personal nasty attack, it should be done more in a way that we try to understand her and other people.

    • Chastity

      Mia, I agree with you on some points but not on others. Ad hominem attacks aren’t welcome which is understandable. However, in order to be an effective advocate, one must not censor nor spread misinformation. This is what I am seeing in the above. Lauding someone’s half hearted efforts isn’t effective nor is it compassionate for the nonhuman animals. Remember, they are the victims. We as human animals, are not. We are the ones who exploit them so it’s easy to take it to our level. Nonhumans need justice and they need the voices of those who will be clear and consistent. Vegans, like myself who are coming in here aren’t attacking and being elitist. We are trying to clarify that misinformation. You know about the vegetarians eating fish concept? That’s because enough people spread the wrong message and now to this day, people are still confused about what vegetarians can and cannot have. Nonhuman animals deserve so much better than this.

      First of all to be a vegan is a matter that is based in ethics. I didn’t choose that nor did any other “elitist” vegan. Donald Watson, who invented the term “vegan,” did. We’re modeling ourselves from someone who knew what was up and who truly stood up for nonhumans. Welfarism doesn’t do that. Welfarism says it’s okay to partake in their exploitation whenever it’s convenient for you. To be vegan is a serious issue. It is the antidote to the rampant speciesism in society. Anything less than being vegan would speciesist and this is a fact. This isn’t based out of my opinion. Even PETA has animal rights all wrong. Along with Peter Singer, Erik Marcus, and Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s not a matter where you can pick and choose to your liking. If you yourself are vegan but are encouraging others to continue engaging in the exploitation of nonhumans (i.e. encouraging others to go vegetarian, pursuing single issue campaigns like anti whaling, anti fur, anti whatever and not shedding light on veganism because “it’s too hard and it will scare the public away,” then I’m afraid to say that you are not vegan. In addition, undermining the educational opportunities that vegans present (for instance, myth debunking) doesn’t do a thing for the nonhumans. I can name at least ten instances where welfarist based activism doesn’t work.

      Sure you follow a plant-based diet BUT in order to fully understand speciesism and to alleviate it, one must not pursue the matter half heartedly. You can’t be homophobic one day, then decide to be anti homophobic the next, then go back to being homophobic again. The magnitude of veganism is equivalent to being anti racist, anti sexist, anti homophobic and overall anti discriminatory.

      As vegans, we have a responsibility to spread the message in a nonviolent fashion (of course) but we need to spread the REAL message. Not a censored, watered down version of what industry wants us echoing. Crying foul because you feel offended by someone correcting you doesn’t cut it.

      • Abe

        The best thing about being a non-animal human is we can eat whatever we choose.

      • LMO913

        I suspect the “elitism” she is referring to is the continuous policing of the term vegan as an identity category. You can do that, but one might ask what the political expediency of that is. If veganism is a political movement rooted in ethics, than effectiveness of that politics must be called into question, and castigating people who do not follow a “perfect” vegan lifestyle does not seem politically effective. IN fact, this is the type of policing that make veganism a very difficult pubic position. You may argue that you cannot be vegan and support other people eating animal product, but I would suggest that reaching out to a broader group of people, rather than alienating them, and working to better animal welfare–even if that means getting someone to consider buying eggs from a local, ethica farmer where they can check on the welfare of the chickens–is politically advantageous and completely in keeping with a vegan ethics.

  • Chastity

    Sorry, my message was addressed to Andrea and others.

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  • Jessica

    Before becoming pregnant, I was vegetarian for 2 years and thought of it as a life choice. I had a rough first trimester unable to stomach anything of any nutritional benefit without vomitting. This even included iceberg lettuce, all fruit, tomatoes you name it, I could not keep it down. I lost so much weight, didnt have the energy to even shower. I chose too eat a small amount of meat again as I felt I had too, it wasnt just a “craving”. I would imagine this is how Alyssa felt, all pregnancies are different my sister who is vegetarian craved cakes and biscuits, yes I wish my body had accepted my vegetarian diet but it clearly didnt. I dont think anyone can judge this as all pregnancies are different.