How We View the Masculinity of Vegan Men is Changing

Currently, there seem to be more vegan men out there than ever before. More guys are being vocal about going plant-based for their health or choosing veganism for its ethics, which means there must be something different about how vegan men are perceived by the general population. Like every other progressive movement, however, things inch along slowly. Although, research is now finding evidence of shifting attitudes toward veg-minded men—especially in younger generations.

Herbivorous dudes seem to get more flack than their female counterparts, which brings into question what it means to be a man. Masculinity, which was once thought to exist on a binary spectrum, is now seen as more of a scatterplot with endless presentations and combinations with other gender traits. Yet, the archaic view of masculinity requiring the worship of burgers and steak and erroneously trying to embody a vision of cavemen who consume three servings of meat per day persists as the ideal image of those who present as masculine.

What is most baffling about this stereotype is that it shuns actions or ideas which represent totally healthy and compassionate ideals. A man chooses to eat vegetables and legumes because he does not wish to follow in his father’s omnivorous footsteps of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity? What a wimp. Another guy chooses veganism because he does not wish to pay people to terrorize and slaughter innocent animals? He’s a pansy. Yet another chooses veg foods to reduce his carbon footprint for the benefit of future generations? Loser! What on Earth is going on here? Since when is taking care of yourself, others and the planet seen as an eye-rollable offense?

This may be precisely what younger generations are thinking, as new research has shown that, while masculine stereotypes still exist toward vegetarian and vegan men, the participants in one study (with an average age of 32) were less judgmental than previously studied groups. The research also shed light on the reasons there were “less masculine” perceptions: the reasons why men choose vegetables over meat. It turns out choosing plants was understandable when it’s for health reasons, yet ethical vegans received harsher judgment.

Over the years, men have been shattering the stereotype by announcing their veganism confidently and shamelessly. Famed actor, bodybuilder and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger recently went public about the importance of going at least “part-time vegetarian.” David Carter, “The 300 Pound Vegan” and football player is educating people about ethical veganism. John Joseph, old school punk-rocker, Ironman triathlete and author of Meat is For Pussies, inspires anyone who will listen to eschew a violent lifestyle and embrace compassion. George Matthews’ blog, A Vegan Man, breaks down what it means to be male and an ethical vegan and offers a growing network of support. Robert Cheeke has built an empire for vegan bodybuilding, the ultimate macho pastime. It’s clear that the idea of “manliness” is moving away from the caveman image and toward being informed, compassionate and holistically health-conscious.

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211 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y1 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y1 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J1 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J1 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Gino C
Past Member 4 months ago

thank you

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Hannah K
Past Member 4 months ago

tyfs

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Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer4 months ago

I met a couple - he was big like an American football player and she a little oriental girl. They invited me to dinner. To my surprise HE was a vegan and SHE ate meat!!!

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Anna R
Anna R4 months ago

thank you

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Mona M
Mona M4 months ago

thank you for writing on this evolutionary step.

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David C
David C4 months ago

thanks

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