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Meat Eaters Are Macho; Vegetarians Are Wimpy

Meat Eaters Are Macho; Vegetarians Are Wimpy

Meat eaters are macho; vegetarians are wimpy, at least in Western cultures. That is the conclusion of a study scheduled to appear in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

The online version went live March 6th. Sharp-eyed news hounds picked it up last week, and the study has been making headlines.

I confess I didn’t shell out the $14 to read the whole study, so I’m trusting the accuracy of Medical Xpress, who quoted from it:

To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, †All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, †All-American food. Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.

The team of researchers included Paul Ruzin from the University of Pennsylvania, Julia Hornes of Louisiana State University, Myles Faith at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Brian Wansink from Cornell University. They set out to study “whether there is a metaphoric link between meat and maleness in Western cultures.”

They found that consumers linked meat with masculinity and considered male meat eaters more masculine than guys who were vegetarians. Since eating less meat is usually equated with better health for people and the planet, the researchers suggest more efforts to disguise the veggies, such as striping those soy burgers with grill marks.

I checked on the reactions of some of my guy friends. They are a mixed group of carnivores and vegetarians, mostly from Commonwealth countries. They would probably have skewed the study because they are quite happy eating their vegetables. On the other hand, for most of the men who surrounded me when I was living in cattle country, a meal without meat was incomplete and definitely on the wimpy side of culinary experiences.

When you think about your experiences with family, friends, and co-workers, do the researchersí observations ring true?

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226 comments

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12:08AM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

I will share it more

11:29PM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Right on, Alexandra!
Also, anyone who has been on Care2 long enough will note that the SAME meat eaters turn up on every discussion that mentions vegetarians or vegans and they pile their regurgitated lame excuses...and for someone to say they don't need an excuse to eat the tortured body of a dead animal, means they are ignoring their own complicity in the unconscionable suffering animals endure just to end up on their menu.

3:18AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

Alexandra S, I need no excuse to like meat nor is it an obsession anymore than bok choy is for those who like veggies. One can eat organically raised meat and avoid factory farms. Monoculture in rain forests which provide pineapples, palm oil, tea, coffee and other non-animal sources of food have environmental impact as well. Few people except say, Inuit culture (Americans often call them Eskimos ) eat solely meat. A balanced diet, exercise and reasonable portion size is healthy.

As for American arrogance Silvana G, that is their problem and not mine. Organically raised meat has nothing to do with factory farm meat and Americans can work for changes in their own country regarding CAFOs. As for eating meat, that is not going to change in most places around the world as it has been part of the diet for centuries. Am not celebrating anything, just mentioned Monsanto and GMOs are a threat to natural plant life. No one has any gain if GMO kills off all natural plant life in future with the seeds of Monsanto's destruction.

7:46AM PST on Jan 29, 2013

In my opinion it's just the meat obsessed people who know that eating less meat would be better for them/the environment/the animals, and feel bad about liking meat so they have to make up excuses that it's not manly not to eat meat.

5:46PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

macho? ...pfff...more like ignorant and arrogant. nothing macho about that

2:01PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

In my experience, most people just do what everyone else does, they don't put much thought into it. Vegetarians may be more empathetic, and that is, I guess, seen as wimpy by idiot macho conformists.

2:12PM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Big deal discovery. Carol Adams has been saying it for 20 years. The connection between meat and maleness is A FACT. Read "the sexual politics of meat" It's all there.

10:12AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Dale O. I perceive a note of satisfaction in your comment like if we have to die everybody should die with us. Well we are not lucky we pulled out the balls to say our reasons, we made a choice. I know that the US arrogance sooner or later will be better, but this should not be it for you nor for any other cause for celebration unless you do have to gain. In any case I still do not know why the US people allowed and still allow this shit industry.

4:23AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Silvana G, me thinks that since Monsanto is an American corporation...they are using the their populace as guinea pigs to see what happens with the human body when fed genetically modified foods. Since animals have died while eating GMO crops maybe the doctors will get more work before even they die off in 30 years of GMO induced tinkering. Europe is lucky...but wait for it, it wouldn't surprise me if soon Monsanto secret agents will secretly start dumping GMO seeds in fields elsewhere in the world thereby cross contaminating the global veggie food supply. Enjoy your organic soy...while you still can!

Kate H why should people kill their own meat before eating it? Does everyone eating veggies have their very own veggie garden? My small amounts of meat are organic but then I don't live in the U.S. where large amounts of meat is the norm, only small portions are required. Not all meat comes from factory farms either.

11:48AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Can someone explain to me why the production of GMO has become so extensive in U.S.?
I have no experience of U.S. situation but I know a bit the EU situation.

Here the population rebelled against the introduction of OGMs and for this reason we still have a chance to eat natural soy. At least until the arrogance of the U.S. lobbies will not be able to take over by force the control as has often happened.

What has been done in the U.S. to prevent the OGMs were introduced and became the 97% of the production?

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