Are Men Embarrassed to Order Veggie Meals in Front of Other Men?

Some men find it difficult to order a vegetarian or vegan meal when out with their meat-eating male buddies. At least, that’s what an informal British study discovered when talking to men about their eating habits.

Even though it was a small study, the results were telling.

Researchers from the UK’s University of Southampton found that many men are so worried about being ridiculed or ostracized that they’ll order meat dishes when out with their friends — even when they don’t like meat or aren’t supposed to eat if for health reasons.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Photo credit: Thinkstock

“We found that many men are interested in eating less meat, they just need social permission to do so,” said the University of Southampton’s Dr. Emma Roe. “Men in the year-long research experienced social isolation among groups of male friends and acquaintances after reducing animal protein intake.”

The study focused on 22 men who were interested in plant-based eating and identified themselves in one of three ways. The “green-minded men” were leaning toward a plant-based diet because of its effect on the environment. The “exercising men” wanted good protein sources without eating a lot of meat. The third group often found themselves needing food from food banks.

These men didn’t answer questionnaires. Rather, researchers observed their conversations with others while in focus groups as they enjoyed plant-based meals together in a relaxed atmosphere.

According to Dr. Roe:

The good news is over a quarter of men are choosing to eat less meat … — the so-called ‘flexitarian’ trend – or no meat for a variety of reasons, from health concerns through to concern for the environment.

However, meat-reducing men are still in the minority. Even amongst men who are more concerned about the environment and are actively thinking about and adopting more ethical and sustainable lifestyle choices, such as flying less, using their car less, cycling more; [instead of eliminating meat] they may chose different food production system choices, such as buying organic or food with higher animal welfare standards.

Who are these companions who are so ramped up about meat-eating that they’d “food shame” a friend? Frankly, who’d want to be friends with them anyway?

The men who are removing meat from their plates are the ones who are forward thinkers.

  • They’ve figured out that reducing or eliminating meat from the diet is the best way to ensure a healthier and longer life
  • They’ve realized that producing meat uses 83 percent of the world’s agricultural land, but delivers only 18 percent of our calories.
  • They understand that meat production is responsible for 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • They know that the factory farming that produces most meat these days is a cruel, heartless industry. The animals suffer untold terror and pain.

Gentlemen, don’t fear ordering the veggie option. Don’t shy away from identifying yourself as a vegetarian, vegan or a plant-based eater. Be proud of your intelligent choices.

Photo Credit: Dan Gold/Unsplash

87 comments

Yvonne T
Yvonne Tabout a month ago

really?

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Sophie A
Sarah A6 months ago

thank you

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Martin H
Martin H6 months ago

fascinating.

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Fiona Ogilvie
Fiona Ogilvie6 months ago

This article is absolutely ridiculous, disgusting, disturbing. This Susan byline article is also being judgemental and sexist. Why would anyone ever be embarrassed to order clean healthy food for their bodies and for this planet. VEGANISM is a committment to one's health and the planet upon which we live......who would ever think VEGANISM would be embarrassing....I have heard one individual express this outrageous opinion...that VEGANISM is a cult.....I sincerely hope this is not the case for the byline Susan.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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