A new survey by non-profit No Meat May has revealed that old-fashioned attitudes towards meat and manliness have not changed.
Out of 1000 Aussies questioned, almost 1 in 2 associated a diet high in meat with manliness, including 47% of women.
Moreover, 73% of the men surveyed said they would rather die 10 years earlier than give up eating meat.
This shocking statistic corresponds to the figure of 90% of previous No Meat May participants being women. Men are significantly less likely to try plant-based options, and it is apparent that doubts about masculinity are at the root cause.
‘What’s more masculine than protecting the planet?’
No Meat May co-founder Ryan Alexander explained:
“Australian men are still being fed a lie that meat-eating makes them more masculine, when in reality, what’s more masculine than protecting the planet, sparing innocent lives and ensuring you live a long and healthy life for the people you love?”
What was perhaps the most ironic statistic was that 81% of men considered themselves someone who cares about the environment, yet when asked whether they would give up meat if it meant would reduce their impact on the environment, 79% said ‘no’.
This demonstrates the huge power that the media has in convincing men that they would lose their masculinity if they stopped eating meat. Moreover, it shows how much of a barrier it is to making more climate-positive choices.
“Significant research over many years has shown that eating meat and other animal products increases the risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease, obesity and having a reduced life expectancy, not to mention being one of the biggest contributors to global warming and the destruction of our environment.
“Yet our survey alarmingly shows that Australian men are either not aware of any of these facts, don’t believe them, or simply don’t care,” Alexander continued.
This data is certainly worrying, not only for global public health but also for the impending climate crisis.
It seems that we still have a long way to go in reversing the damage done by overwhelming toxic masculinity plugged by the mainstream media, which is why we need initiatives like No Meat May.
We hope that more men sign up this year, and give meat-free options a go whether it be for health, environmental, or animal welfare reasons!
Trying to get your partner to try more plant-based options?
Here is our guide to Dating a non-vegan: How to make your relationship flourish.