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Bryce Dallas Howard Explains Quitting Veganism

Bryce Dallas Howard Explains Quitting Veganism

Bryce Dallas Howard opens up to Self magazine in the July 2010 issue (featuring cover girl Anna Paquin) about her choice to no longer pursue a vegan lifestyle.

“I was a vegan for several years – all the way through my pregnancy and the birth of my son,” the 29-year-old actress shared.

“Becoming Vegan was actually more of a personal choice than a health choice for me, but there were many wonderful health benefits that came along with that lifestyle. Unfortunately, I learned a few months after my son’s birth that I actually had a rare condition that was triggered by pregnancy, where consuming the amino acids from meat became critical to my health. My doctor sat me down and finally said, ‘Bryce, you need to choose between your ethics and your future.’”

“It was actually a very challenging and emotional transition to make,” Bryce added, “but I was grateful to my doctor for putting things in perspective for me, and I was grateful for my time as a Vegan as I now have such a more profound appreciation for where my food comes from.”

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Posted to: Bryce Dallas Howard

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  • celebrity gossip

    come on.. who can resist bbq? have a cheeseburger or some tri-tip, you wont be vegan any longer.

  • troi

    Actually I’d like to know the name of this condition.

  • offtheproperty

    So-called “Inter-racial dating” is a joke on the white girl. They don’t know how much they stand to lose and the low-down black man doesn’t have the decency to warn them or just keep his dirty sh*t away from them.

  • Yea,

    Me too. Sounds like she was just eating junk food and not watching her protein intake.

  • me

    I’d like to know the name of the condition as well. And since doctors have little nutritional training, I wonder if she consulted a dietition. I have this issue of Self and she doesn’t explain at all. Its just a blurb.

  • Dance In The Dark

    As much as I respect Vegetarianism and Veganism, there are undoubted health benefits to meat in our daily diet. To me personally, the same with Bryce, my health overrides my morals.

  • Iffy Miffy

    Love the comments about doctors not knowing what they learned while at uni, how many years exactly? Please people, the human gastrointestinal tract is incredibly complex and the diseases we have are numerous, some nowhere near explored enough even though we know certain foods add to the problem – I know, I have one of those. Not fun. We were meant to eat meat, that is our natural diet. Our morals came after. I respect any vegan, their choice but to suddenly get on the case of this woman because she has a medical reason not to be one any more … I mean, seriously?!

  • Vinylholic

    To be honest, I truly doubt her condition requires the consumption of meat. There are many supplements that can provide a much more concentrated and powerful supply of amino acids. Biologically and nutritionally speaking, our bodies do not benefit from meat in our daily diet. The ability to consume meat is an adapted trait that is rather rudimentary, at best and while possible, should not be reccomended by doctors or nutritionists.

  • Anne

    Yeah, i’d also like to know the name of the disease.
    To a lot of people it might sound stupid, but I wouldn’t know what to do if I’d be in her position. As a vegan of many years, I can’t imagine to ever consume meat, just the thought makes me sick and sad.

  • me

    I didn’t say she didn’t have a medical issue, I was wondering what it was since she didn’t go into it. I kind of think she just wanted to eat meat again, but felt guilty and is saying she medically needs to, which personally I do not believe.

    And no, doctors do not study nutrition for very long. My brother in law and 4 friends are doctors-they’re the ones who told me, they would know. They just don’t study it in depth, that’s it. Its scientifically proven that a plant based diet is much healthier for us nevermind the environmental issues.

  • Zzzzz

    I’m not buying it but whatever! I don’t blame her. Meat is yummy.

  • Dance In The Dark

    I’m actually really suprised how many Vegans on here literally jump down Bryce’s throat, and those who say they eat meat.

    We live in a world of free choice. Those of us who eat meat have said we completely respect Veganism and Vegetarianism, so how about you guys try and be a little more tolerant of us? You sound really aggresive and to be honest are giving me quite a bad impression.

  • me

    Oh, please we call BS on something and we’re aggressive? Come on now-really? I thought that everyone was actually being very nice, which I’m surprised because on this site people are usually in Brangelina posts. I think we can all agree to disagree, right?

  • Claudy

    I am confused…the doctor says it’s critical for her health to consume amino acids from meat…but she stops being vegan!? so she is going to eat the acids which are bad for her health? ehm…weird!

  • lexy hates bilson

    Nice to see some talented actresses on this website!

  • freya

    @cluady….obviously you dont understand….the doc said it is critical that she consumes amino acids from meat….meaning it is IMPORTANT that she DOES!…geeze!

    guys just let her do what she wants and respect her choice….mea eaters are always told to respect vegans and their choices so how about vegans doing the same.

  • CanadaGirl

    @Vinylholic: I was Veggie for years. I took supplements, including iron, but after getting a health condition (which sadly is lifelong) I wasn’t getting enough iron from supplements. I had no energy and a host of other problems. My GP and another health practitioner said that my condition and the meds that I’m on make it challenging for my body to absorb iron from a supplement source. So I had no choice but to start eating some meat, and things improved quickly. Meat still grosses me out but I had no choice but to consume it.

  • Stan Thomas

    Her Dr. is a quack, she is a lier, or both. Just what is this rare, magical condition?

  • Shakira

    Brice is an amazing actress and I can hardly wait to see her in Twilight 3.

  • riri

    Why does she feel the need to “excuse” her eating meat?
    Do you need a “condition”? to eat chicken or fish?
    In fact, being Vegan while pregnant sounds a bit problematic towards her fetus and the well-being of the development of the fetus.
    No need to go into extremes and no need to excuse a culinary/ lifestyle choice.

  • paraabe

    oh my god all the vegans in here may not be eating meat but they surely go cannibal against others’ opinion.

  • martha

    Doctors know pitifully little about nutrition. Many have never even attended a seminar on it, much less studied it in medical school.

    Humans don’t have to eat meat. All the amino acids necessary for health and complete protein intake are available with a vegetarian diet. Being a vegan is harder than being a vegetarian because they must carefully monitor the balance of their plant based foods, but certainly, it’s not impossible.

    Bryce could easily adapt to a vegetarian diet which includes dairy and eggs [both contain 100% complete proteins, as do a few plant based foods like tofu], but not dead animals. Meat is not necessary for health if one is watchful.

    What one eats or doesn’t is a personal choice, but I don’t like reading Bryce’s excuse, because it isn’t scientifically factual.

  • Dance In The Dark


    My husband, a doctor of 12 years, would disagree with that statement.

    And yes, he has attended many seminars, as did all his fellow medical students, and has extensive knowledge of nutrition.

  • sigh

    I am an organic vegan of 12 years and I would never abandon my vegan lifestyle. She is a lying fool. If you have a shortage of Amino Acids, he should have suggested an Amino Acid supplement such as Amino Fuel. There are substitutes for EVERY aspect of a carnivorous lifestyle. A doctor who simply implies that you must abandon something such as veganism is nothing more than a sham. A good doctor can offer substitutes.

  • Sss

    @Vinylholic: You know that we have canine teeth, which is for tearing through meat. So biologically speaking, meat is required in our diet. But it is our choice whether or not we follow through with it. And adapting a trait is still considered to be a biological factor. You would know that if you took any biology courses.

    And with regards to being a vegan or vegetarian, I don’t have any problem with either. I just love meat too much to give it up.

  • Eva

    There is no such condition, she is a liar. Her doctor clearly is not educated about the vegan lifestyle and is close minded. My mother was a vegan too, but she became anemic and her doctor told her that its because she wasn’t eating meat. Bullsh*t! With research and common sense, my mother discovered that she wasn’t eating the right foods, that’s why her body wasn’t absorbing Iron and Protein. Its not because she was Vegan, but its because she was an unhealthy vegan. There is a difference.
    My mother went through a period of eating meat because her doctor told her to, but gave it up afterwards when she did her own research and found out what changes she had to make to her Vegan diet.
    Guess what? My mother is now a vegan again for the past 2 years and is no longer anemic and is not deficient in anything. She couldn’t be any healthier.
    My sister and I are also vegans and couldn’t be healthier.
    I suspect Bryce was an unhealthy vegan mainly relying on fake meat products for protein and iron and wasn’t eating enough dark leafy greens and vegetables. I have heard of many Vegans like Bryce turning back to meat and that is ALWAYS the case. Don’t blame veganism, blame your own individual diet. Obviously if you’re going to live a junk food vegan life style you won’t be healthy.

    @ Dance In The Dark
    It’s easy to claim that you or one of your family member’s is a doctor to try to win an argument on the internet. ;)

    I am currently in medical school and I agree 100% with Martha.
    Besides, doctors don’t know everything. You don’t study nutrition extensively in medical school, so being a doctor is irrelevant.

  • Eva

    Humans are NOT meant to eat meat. We may have canine teeth, but have you ever attempted to rip apart RAW meat with those teeth? Until you have, be quiet. It may seem easy to eat meat when you buy it cut and packaged at the grocery store and then cook it, but that’s not natural.
    If you really think eating meat is natural, I’d like to see you killing an animal in the wild with your BARE hands and eating it raw. If you’re incapable of doing that, then clearly you can not logically say its “natural” to eat meat. Humans have those teeth because of evolution, but early humans and other extinct species of homo sapiens (i.e. Homo sapiens idaltu, Homo neanderthalensis) did NOT have canines. Proof: Homo neanderthalensis

    Humans physically adapted to conditions through evolution. Human populations expanded quickly and vegetation was not enough to nourish them all, therefore they had to adjust and eat what they could, including adding animals to their diets.
    Original Homo Sapiens, however, were herbivores and we STILL possess herbivore qualities up until this day such as:

    When you look at the comparison between herbivores and humans, we compare much more closely to herbivores than meat eating animals. Humans are clearly not designed to digest and ingest meat.

    Meat-eaters: have claws
    Herbivores: no claws
    Humans: no claws

    Meat-eaters: have no skin pores and perspire through the tongue
    Herbivores: perspire through skin pores
    Humans: perspire through skin pores

    Meat-eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding
    Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
    Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding

    Meat-eaters: have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly
    Herbivores: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.
    Humans: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.

    Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat
    Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater
    Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater

    Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits.
    Herbivores: well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits
    Humans: well-developed salivary glands, which are necessary to pre-digest, grains and fruits

    Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
    Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
    Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains

    Sorry, but you can’t argue with science. These are facts.

  • Amy

    I’m studying nutrition and it’s true that she probably should have consulted a nutritionist,but she like many people out there, probably put a lot of trust in her doctor and that’s not her fault.

    A vegetarian/vegan diet can be suitable for all life stages including pregnancy and it can provide sufficient amino acids. I doubt that the doctor thinks she doesn’t get enough amino acids. It is probably a problem with her absorption of proteins, and supplements are not always readily absorbed by the body, which is why he probably recommended her to give up her vegan diet.

  • CanadaGirl

    @Eva: If you are a future health practitioner, you’d know that each person’s body is different and reacts to diet and medication differently. What’s good for one may not be good for another.
    I fear for your patients if all your time is spent on gossip sites instead of studying.
    In truth, I call BS on you being in Med school.

  • Cola


    We have 1 M HCl in our stomachs. It’s hard to get much stronger. We also secrete enzymes that only digest animal products like meat. We are not carnivores, we are not herbivores. We are scavengers, which makes us omnivores. We are adapted to be able to eat whatever is on hand.

    That being said, it is far and away more environementally friendly and healthier to eat far less meat than we do.

  • Mary

    I myself is a vegetarian, and I´ve been so for soon 10 years now. Very few of my friends – and none of my family – are vegetarians or vegans, and I respect their choice to be carnivores.

    For me, the problem with Bryce saying this in the press (perhaps unaware that her statement is not correct), is that sickness is a “cheap” excuse for a lot of vegetarians to go carnivore again. Several vegetarians I have known through the years have done the same thing, and it gives people around them the perception that being a vegetarian or vegan is RISKY or DANGEROUS. It is NOT, as many others have commented, if you just educate yourself about what you are eating. If you do not do that, it CAN be risky, and you should not be a vegetarian. But that is a personal choice, and people are responsible for lacking nutrition themself.

    Personally, I´ve been sick a lot. I´ve had colon cancer, a not prperlu functioning colon, and currently have CFS (Chronical Fatigue Syndrom), and I´ve seen a lot of doctors and several nutritionists. I´ve never met ONE that has told me I have to give up meat – actually, they have generally agreed that vegetarianism is healthy is done right!

    Veganism is ofcourse a more difficult lifestyle, but can still be done. I believe Bryce is mislead or wrong, although I respect her choice, but I wish she either would explain her condition more specifically or that she should educate herself more. If not for herself, then for the case of vegetarianism/veganism.

  • Jasmine

    I love how people are getting angry and demanding to know details when they have no right to…she has every right to stop being a vegan and it doesn’t sound like it was an easy choice either. She doesn’t need your acceptance or forgiveness for eating meat, get the fvck over it! Personally, I don’t see how she stayed away for so long, meat is soo good :)

  • noone

    I love how so many have so much more knowledge then a REAL personal physician does when it come to someone that they have never met.

    Welcome to what Obama care will be like!

  • Athonwy

    I’m calling bullshit on this one. There are no amino acids critical to human nutrition available in flesh that are not available in plant-based foods.

  • Arne

    You’re so right, Mary!!

  • Sean

    Our teeth are designed specifically for tearing through meat. It’s very hard to get enough iron as a vegan. You have to work very hard at it. I have five women friends who were vegetarians. Then they became pregnant. Their bodies craved meat, and they listened to their bodies.

    The plight of abused children concerns me far more than whether someone eats meat or not.

  • screw you

    How about omnivores…why does it have t be carnivores and herbivores. Through evolution you also loose the ability to use appendages that you no longer need. Look at your appendix, serves no purpose who knows maybe that was the magical organ that helped digest raw meat. Stop being butt-hurt, it’s her choice. Food makes the world go round, if everybody was well feed, we would all be lazy and happy with less wars and crimes.

  • Happiness

    Our bodies don’t crave meat…. we crave protein. If many of you saw the manner in which factory farmed animals are treated, slaughtered, sometimes butchered while still alive, you might re-think your positions on meat. Yes, you can say that it is “very good” tasting, but NOT very good for you health-wise. Whey protein is a milk based protein which comes from animals (which are not slaughtered) and is easily obtainable and very satisfying.

    Those of us with a truly strong conscience and who boycott the slaughtering and mass producing of tortured animal products could never be talked into eating meat again for any reason. I’m calling BS on this one too. I have never been healthier since giving up meat, fish, chicken, leather, the whole shooting match. I feel better mentally and physically knowing I am not supporting those cruel slaughter houses and that an animal doesn’t get murdered for me to have a meal.

  • Girly Girl

    Yes, I have seen those videos of slaughterhouses, etc. Hideous. No excuse for that. I will not support that industry either… we are not “meant” to eat meat. That is a ridiculous notion.

    In the old days, there was nothing else…. no other options. There are way too many healthier, even way more delicious options now. Meat nowadays is full of hormones, antibiotics, steriods, e-coli and so on. Unhealthy and proven to cause cancer. Also, it is a corrupt industry that doesn’t deserve patronizing. If more people knew what went on behind closed doors, they wouldn’t be ordering those “burgers” they enjoy so much.

  • Keep It Real

    lol @ all the angry and entitled vegans. A few of you should re-read your posts. Your coming off as anything BUT educated and That is why your hated. NO ONE knows everything about food/nutrition/disease or anything else. Doctors arenot perfect but neither are lay people. The human body is highly complex. Is it possible her doctor is wrong and informed her wrong? Sure. Just because something works for you doesnot make it right.

  • Chris

    If I had to take a guess, she probably lacks the ability to synthesize one of the non-essential amino acids. Note that “non-essential” is a bit of a misnomer, as these are amino acids that we do need, but that mammals usually don’t need in a diet because we can synthesize them. That said, all twenty of the amino acids (essential and non-essential) are available from non-animal sources, and amino acids from meat aren’t absorbed any easier than those from plant sources.

    I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that there’s more to this story than what was shared in SELF magazine. My interest in certainly piqued, though, and I’m interested in learning more about this medical condition.

    For what it’s worth, I am a vegan. I have been vegetarian for over 15 years now. I am not a nutritionist, but work in the field of food science.

  • Harry

    Who hates vegetarians “Keep it real”? Never heard that one. Entitled? To what? You are really ignorant.

    By the way, you may want to take some grammar lessons before making a fool out of yourself on a blog like you did. He he.

    Calling you out…. just sayin’

  • fanya

    My God! will a real doctor and/or nutritionist please stand up. Where is the compassion vegans that you are always spouting off about. If she is fibbing it will be found out. I would personally like to her get a second opinion to see if vegetarianism might be an option if not veganism. You people make someone feel as if they should be burned at the stake (no pun intended).

  • Blah

    You just contradicted yourself. You said you we’re not naturally meant to eat yet we evolved to. Therefore, our generation of humans are meant to eat meat because of evolution. If you say it’s not then technically speaking no living animal were meant to because they evolved from cells and cells weren’t “naturally” meant to eat meat.

  • Been There

    I find the commentary about Howard’s condition somewhat ironic, since few people realize the long list of health issues unfermented vegetable protein (particularly soy) can have in some people — and it’s not something that is easily determined. In my case as a vegan for two years, I dropped to 80 pounds and developed contact allergies to soy ink and lotions before I realized that I was allergic to soy (a main component in countless vegan food preparations) and could not properly digest most vegetable proteins without them being fermented — they effectively caused malabsorption. Upon further research, I discovered that a significant percentage of soy products contain genetically modified soy plants — the same genetically modified crops that are thought to be significant contributors to the decimation of pollinators in the US and Europe. So it was change the diet or have a health crisis — I chose to reassess what I was eating. Food allergies can be complex and even life threatening, but I chose to become a better informed, conscientious omnivore than a sickly vegan zealot.

  • megs

    ha our canine teeth are that only in name. Go and have a look at all the animals with actual canine teeth. Those are made for ripping meat, ours are not. If you compare the human body, particularly teeth, hands, nails and digestive system ( all the way from the tongue/ saliva to our intestines etc) it is clear that were were meant to eat a predominately if not complete vegetarian based diet. Animals that are meant to eat meat can catch the meat themselves and eat it raw, we can’t do that so there is a huge difference in saying our canine teeth allow us to eat meat and that we need it to be healthy because that is plainly untrue.

  • Vegan Lifter

    I’ve met a few people with conditions that required them to return to eating meat but none have ever been able to name the condition.

    It is suprisingly easy to get enough protein on a vegan diet. I have been vergan for 5 yrs (and vegetarian for 8 years before that) and am a competive powerlifter. I am the strongest women at the gym I train at (and the only vegan) and do not take anymore suppliments than any other serious lifters that I know. Which means I have a protein shake after weight training and sometimes use creatine. The rest of the time I just make sure I eat a healthy varied diet. If it is so difficult to be healthy as a vegan than how do I manage this?

  • deka

    she wanted a steak

  • estefanos miro

    Definitely I would have not change my vegan diet, but I would have change doctor

  • Anya

    @Eva: I agree with you, you have given a good explanation. I hope more people read this. As human being our system is not made for meat. The actress needed to incorporate the right foods in her Vegan diet to absorb amino acids, like dark leafy vegetables, tofu and tempe (soya crackers which is a great source of Vitamin B12).