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Real Men Eat Meat?
Written by Amelia Whelan on May 05, 2016
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Women on average live 5.1 years longer than their male counterpart. Women are also less likely to die from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive lung disease, septicemia (blood infection,) influenza, pneumonia and kidney disease.
Scientists believe that there are a few dozen social, behavioral and biological factors that influence these rates. Many of these include...
Sex chromosomes, Hormones, Reproductive anatomy, Metabolism, Work stress, Lack of social networks and supports, Risky behavior, Aggression and violence, Smoking, Alcohol and substance abuse, Lack of exercise and Lack of routine medical care. But what if I were to tell you that there are other statistics regarding the comparison between men and woman that may be affecting seriously affecting the declining life span for our men....?
Out of the 16 million vegans and vegetarians in the US, 79% of them are women
Does our society link meat consumption with desired manliness? Do we allow these stereotypes to influence the expectations we have for men to eat a certain way? Regardless, studies have shown time and time again that a vegan diet is healthier longterm for BOTH men and women. But for men in particular, there are a few added health bonuses that may help you make the transition to cruelty free and plant based (Make sure your brothers, friends, boyfriends, fiancés and husbands read these for themselves!)
5 scientific reasons why vegan men are more manly
1. Vegan men have higher level of testosterone
If there is one scientific way to measure a man’s manliness, it would surely be testosterone – the hormone that literally defines masculinity. Men might assume that their testosterone levels would plummet by eating nothing but plants, but that’s just the stereotype at work again. A British Journal of Cancer study of 696 men (233 of whom were vegans) concluded this: “Vegans had 13% higher Testosterone concentration than meat-eaters and 8% higher than vegetarians.” Not only did vegan men have as much testosterone as meat eaters, they actually have 13% MORE of this manly hormone. On the flip side, too much testosterone can be a bad thing because it leads to higher levels of IGF-I – a risk factor for certain cancers. Surprisingly, the report also found this: “Vegan men had on average 9% lower IGF-I levels than meat-eaters.” A big boost in T and added protection against IGF-I? Win and win.
2. Vegan men have a more attractive scent
Take a group of 17 guys, put them all on a standard high-meat diet for two weeks and have a group of women rate the attractiveness of their scent. Record those results, then have the men switch to a vegetarian diet for two weeks and have the same women rate them again. Researchers in Prague did exactly that and the results were significant. The women rated the vegetarians as smelling considerably more pleasant, more attractive and less intense.
3. Vegan men are more fit
In this era of the super-sized epidemic, obesity isn’t attractive on anyone. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is a guaranteed way to look better and feel more confident. It turns out, vegans are the only group successfully doing this. After comparing the BMI of vegans, several types of vegetarians, and meat eaters, all categories were at the “overweight” level except vegans. On a whole-food, plant-based diet, dropping extra pounds is almost automatic, even without any other changes. And what about the notion that vegan guys are scrawny? I’d think Brad Pitt, Jared Leto and Mike Tyson (all vegan) would have put an end to that discussion by now…
4. Vegan men have less erectile dysfunction
Oh yes, we’re going there. ED isn’t just an embarrassing condition, it’s a deadly one. In the vast majority of cases, erectile dysfunction is a direct symptom of heart disease (our nation’s number one killer). As mentioned by Dr. Greger in his, ahem, ‘Survival of the Firmest’ video clip, “Erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease are just two manifestations of the same disease: inflamed, clogged, and crippled arteries.” And also, “men over 40 who experience ED have a 50x (5,000%!!) risk of having a cardiac event.” Of course, a plant-based diet is the single most effective step to preventing and reversing heart disease (and, therefore, erectile disfunction as well).
5. Vegan men live longer
Finally, what could be more manly than being alive and healthy to care for your family? Diet-related diseases are thieves that steal our quality of life and ultimately kill us prematurely – first taking away our ability to play alongside our grandchildren and ultimately taking us out of their lives altogether. The science is consistent on this point – vegans live longer. Studies often show 7-8 years of additional life, and at least 12% reduction in mortality from any cause over the same period of time as compared to meat eaters. These effects are valid for both genders, but are seen even more strongly in men.
Embedded into our very cultural fabric is a connection between meat and the stereotypical masculine realms of American life: sports, weight lifting, bar culture, cars, running a family. Imagine the Super Bowl without buffalo wings, or watching March Madness over salads instead of burgers and beer.
Is it any wonder, then, that a study in the Journal of Consumer Research has found that American men consume more meat than women? Or, conversely, that it’s women who make up the majority of vegan and vegetarian populations?
Which raises the question: Why are men linked to meat-eating? Is it the result of dudes just liking meat more—a relic of our hunter-gatherer past? Or could there be something more nefarious at play?
Violence In Many Forms
Let's talk about "toxic masculinity"
This concept, defined as the “socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth,” is one of the many ways the patriarchy hurts not just women, but men. And it could be hurting them when it comes to what they eat, as well.
A media analysis conducted by Children Now, a nonpartisan organization, found that most portrayals of men on television and in film show them ridiculing others, behaving aggressively, and solving conflict through sex. Data released by the FBI reveals that men are more likely to commit a crime, and that they make up the bulk of gun owners. Men are also disproportionately enrolled in the military and the police force.
Moreover, men are told that they should be sexually dominant toward women, pursuing them in a sport-like manner. These sexual and behavioral dynamics are at the root of rape culture in America, where one in five women report having been sexually assaulted with approximately 98% of rapes against women perpetrated by a man.
It’s not just the bodies of other people that men are told to oppress and domineer; animals, too, are seen as theirs to dispassionately dominate. Ninety-one percent of hunters are male—and of course, it’s men who are told that eating meat, even to their health detriment, is the manly thing to do.
“Apathy isn’t funny. Disregarding the suffering of living, feeling beings, or worse yet, laughing and joking about that suffering is not funny. It’s not cool. This is not an ethical side issue. This is [billions of] sentient beings suffering so horrifically that most of the people making those jokes can’t even bear to watch a three-minute video of it. It’s difficult for them to grasp the magnitude of damage caused by a comment like ‘mmm looks delicious’ after seeing the conditions in which these animals live and die.”