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Just curious about this. I did a video about this subject early this year and I got some interesting feedback. I have my own thoughts but I want to hear all of your perspectives on it.

So many of the pro-veg books written in recent memory have had a distinctly female audience in mind. Now I like Kathy Freston, Rory Freedman (who is really cool in person), Kim Barnouin, and Alica Silverstone but this has me curious. Why does it seem so much more acceptable for women to list vegetarianism...much less veganism...as an interest than it is for men?

Here's my video FYI
 

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I think you're right that the imagery surrounding being vegetarian and vegan seems to mostly apply to men because they are often tied up in diets and weight loss, which are directed primarily toward women. Weight Watchers does have male members, but I've been wondering lately why they felt the need to develop commercials making it sound like they have a different online environment for men -- they don't, it's just a commercial that makes it sound like they do and to appeal to men by telling them about things like the grilling and tailgating "cheat sheets." It's very stereotypical to think that those things would automatically appeal to men (or that knowing the PointsPlus value for beer wouldn't appeal to women). The grilling cheat sheet also brings up the vegetarian/meat eating assumptions as they apply to men.

I have no idea why eating meat is masculine and caring about animals and not eating them is not. It doesn't make sense. It's just food. Food shouldn't determine one's gender identity.
 

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I think it has to do with what meat is - dead animals. There is violence inherent in meat. For men and boys it's more socially accepted to be violent and aggressive than it is for women. And in the case of meat and hunting the violence is downright encouraged.
 

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Exactly. Killing things is encouraged in young boys a lot of the time. I think it's a ridiculous stereotype. My husband is a vegan, but that doesn't make him any less of a man. I think it makes him better as a person.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkgarden View Post

Exactly. Killing things is encouraged in young boys a lot of the time. I think it's a ridiculous stereotype. My husband is a vegan, but that doesn't make him any less of a man. I think it makes him better as a person.
It's this, but I think you've got it in reverse. The fact that a violent attitude is seen as being more socially acceptable amongst males makes them less receptive to the idea of animal welfare as an important thing, and therefore less likely to be vegetarian. In other words I'm not sure many people would see a veggie bloke like me as less "manly", but a more "manly" man is less likely to be touched by the same ethical impulses that swayed me toward choosing vegetarianism.
 

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The practice of domination has historically been a male trait, whether it's been domination of people or animals.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattthr View Post

It's this, but I think you've got it in reverse. The fact that a violent attitude is seen as being more socially acceptable amongst males makes them less receptive to the idea of animal welfare as an important thing, and therefore less likely to be vegetarian. In other words I'm not sure many people would see a veggie bloke like me as less "manly", but a more "manly" man is less likely to be touched by the same ethical impulses that swayed me toward choosing vegetarianism.
I agree with your point as well, but I also think those same untouched manly men think veg*n men are less manly for being veg*n. Does that make sense?
 

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Its purely cultural.
In the western based cultures for many hundreds of years meat has been linked to wealth and dominance because it was the ruling classes and the wealthy that could afford to consume meat frequently. Meat consumption was a status symbol separating the dominating classes from the majority who lived on grains, potatoes, and vegetables.
In many of the western-style cultures dominance and being the provider ('wealth' acquirer) was often deemed a masculine trait because of their definition of gender roles, such is the case in the USA where it the current ebb and flow of the sentiment that cultural opinion was at its height around the 50's (look back at the ideal of the working father, at-home mom, nice house and a new car). Today women are working all most as much as the men and things are balancing back out but the traditions of self identity take longer to come back into balance so many people still regard men as the more dominant more natural provider. One way of expressing that obsolete sentiment is consumption of goods that imply dominance and wealth such as meat, tobacco, alcohol, sports cars, etc.
If gender roles continue to be more equal in the west then in time the dominance/submission tenancies should start to balance out more. Unfortunately if meat continues to be perceived as a dominant status symbol that balance may just mean for every man that stops showing off his ability to eat steak, one woman will start.
A fix would be a shift in the cultural perceptions of either the desirability of wealth and domination, or the symbols of such. Nowadays meat is cheap enough for everyone to eat it and its the upper middle class that are eating pre-packaged organic humane vegetarian meals- so perhaps that could be made to be seen as a dominant trait.
Better would be to get rid of the ideals of domination and excessive wealth but governments and corporations hate when people try that ;-)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auxin View Post

Its purely cultural.
In the western based cultures for many hundreds of years meat has been linked to wealth and dominance because it was the ruling classes and the wealthy that could afford to consume meat frequently. Meat consumption was a status symbol separating the dominating classes from the majority who lived on grains, potatoes, and vegetables.
In many of the western-style cultures dominance and being the provider ('wealth' acquirer) was often deemed a masculine trait because of their definition of gender roles, such is the case in the USA where it the current ebb and flow of the sentiment that cultural opinion was at its height around the 50's (look back at the ideal of the working father, at-home mom, nice house and a new car). Today women are working all most as much as the men and things are balancing back out but the traditions of self identity take longer to come back into balance so many people still regard men as the more dominant more natural provider. One way of expressing that obsolete sentiment is consumption of goods that imply dominance and wealth such as meat, tobacco, alcohol, sports cars, etc.
If gender roles continue to be more equal in the west then in time the dominance/submission tenancies should start to balance out more. Unfortunately if meat continues to be perceived as a dominant status symbol that balance may just mean for every man that stops showing off his ability to eat steak, one woman will start.
A fix would be a shift in the cultural perceptions of either the desirability of wealth and domination, or the symbols of such. Nowadays meat is cheap enough for everyone to eat it and its the upper middle class that are eating pre-packaged organic humane vegetarian meals- so perhaps that could be made to be seen as a dominant trait.
Better would be to get rid of the ideals of domination and excessive wealth but governments and corporations hate when people try that ;-)
+1
 

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i think it also has to do with the hunter/gatherer times. men were hunting (i believe), so now men who don't eat meat are considered not male enough, more like gatherers.
 

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I once read somewhere that men wee much more easily influenced by marketing than women, (particularly young men) especially marketing that reinforced masculinity.
 

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I think there is a number of things going on here. Men are told that protein builds muscles and that you need meat to get protein. It makes sense of it's face until you actually do the research. Men, are lazy, as a general rule, when it comes to having to give a crap about stuff. That is, that we can only handle so many things to invest in till we say "screw it." When men invest in something it's a big deal. So, it's easier to not worry about it and eat a burger. Also, meat is easy. Every frikkin fast food joint on the planet sells cheap hamburgers that require no effort in searching. Meat has been painted with the concept of masculine. It gets marketed that way with the implication that vegetarian is weak and feminine. Men, being insecure in our culture because we were told to have "feelings" fall for this marketing strategy. Our testicles were bartered to keep angry women happy. Or, that's the perception, which makes marketing to men real easy.

It's not just meat. It's also body spray (which aint so masculine if you think about it), motorcycles, grills, tools, sports paraphernalia, etc.. To sell to men you only need to sell a concept of a reality. It doesn't have to be real. (Frankly, this is true for women too.)

If vegetarian, vegetable, fruit, vegan, marketers wanted to sell to men it would be easy. Just make it seem sexy, tough, and masculine and men will throw it on the grill. Telling the average American man that meat is murder won't get you very far. Before I started "caring" I had heard this many times. I would say: "Pass the meat sampler and shut up".

Look at how steak house's in the US decorate. Cowboys riding bucking broncos, rough wood interiors, country music, NASCAR, rifles, rope, etc.. That's the image of the kind of strength that "settled the West". Looks different if your heritage includes American Indian as mine does. Until people get smart enough to see through the concepts of our culture this trend will continue.

Look at vegetarian restaurants. Generally well decorated, light colors, with a distinct feminine feel. I like this but, I'm not insecure about my testosterone levels. If I were, I wouldn't be crazy about going to a pink restaurant to eat grass. I would be more about going to a steakhouse for some dead cow.

And, I might add the argument that groups like PETA tends to alienate the average guy more than win them over. If I throw rocks at you your response wont be to want to join my team. Your reaction will be war. As much as he is hated on this forum, Dr. OZ went a long way towards helping the cause when he took the fat cowboy and made him a vegan, and healthy. That kind of activity will do more to turn the tide of slaughter for big corporations than anything.

At the end of the day, men want to be healthy and good citizens of the planet. But, the "regular guys" also aren't interested in even more emasculation by our culture.

That's my opinion anyway.
 
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