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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Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Dennis D.
Past Member 2 years ago

Stalking.. Another troll trick..

Marie B.
Marie B2 years ago

haha, that's why 'Dennis D' is searching for articles that are almost 2 years since the last person posted on it!!! 😝 Sorry, but your a 'macho man' is a joke, and this proves it!!!
Your soooo funny!!! 😜

Dennis D.
Past Member 2 years ago

I eat meat. I do not need a reason. It does not make me macho.. Or wimpy...

*head desk*

Seriously, what you eat does not make you macho or wimpy..

Barrie Flowers
Barrie Flowers4 years ago

I will share it more

Trina S.
Trina S4 years ago

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.

Dale O.

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.

Alexandra S.
Alexandra S5 years ago

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.

Sammstein M.
samantha M5 years ago

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

Candice M.
Candice M5 years ago

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.