Huh? I’m vegan, I’m pretty sure I’m real, and my doctor can testify that I’m a man.
Why some people believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the possession of both a Y chromosome and a conscience somehow renders one less-than-manly mystifies me, but some recent research has revealed how persistent and pervasive this idea remains—fueled, of course, by macho meat-industry marketing. Studies published in Psychology of Men & Masculinity and the Journal of Consumer Research suggest that many American males still confuse meat-eating with manliness.
The notion that there’s only one acceptable way to be a man (or a woman) is always ridiculous and oppressive. Whatever any man does is, by definition, masculine—whether it involves baseball, brokerages, or ballet. And since the consequences of meat-eating on animals, the environment, and our health are so disastrous, the “men-eat-meat” myth is particularly insidious.
Since it seems that most guys can’t be objective about this topic, maybe the ladies can help us out.
Men’s Health magazine took a survey of women to find out what they see as the ideal qualities in a man. Here are some of the top traits they identified. Let’s see who fits them best—vegans or meat-eaters?
Healthy vegan foods support a lifetime of good health, whereas consuming meat, milk, and eggs raises your risk for numerous diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes.
• Being Good in Bed
Cholesterol—which is found only in food from animals—doesn’t just hurt your heart. It can clog blood vessels further south, if you get my drift.
Well, how smart can you be if you’re mostly eating stuff that’s likely to make you impotent and overweight and cut your life short? Advantage: vegans.
The decision to go vegan stems from a passionate commitment to kindness and justice. Meat-eaters, on the other hand, convey a message of apathy about animals, the planet, and even their own health.
Instead of going along to get along, a vegan has the self-assurance truly to be his own man and not to conform with stereotypes. Meanwhile, it’s hard to avoid the thought that those supposed “real men” make a big show of eating meat because they’re worried about the inadequacy of their own, um, manhoods.
• Moral Integrity
Need we say more?
It’s no contest. So let’s put a stop to the lie that red-blooded males need bloody red meat, and spread some truth. Virile vegan he-men are cool—and smokin’ hot!