Only 7.3 million American’s are vegetarian but 22.8 million Americans have been found to follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. The study found that 59 percent of vegetarians are female, while only 41 percent are male. (1)
New research finds that being vegetarian is no longer consider to be effeminate by society!
In past decades, many people viewed that eating meat is a sign of masculinity, but times are changing. New research has found that being vegetarian is no longer seen as less masculine than meat-eaters. Unfortunately, the study found that the vegan diet is still seen as effeminate. (2)
The study from Earldom College in Indiana was a four part study designed to understand how people perceive vegetarianism and veganism. Lead author and psychologist, Margaret Thomas, reports that countless papers report that meat-eating is associated with degree of maleness. (2)
One study found that Australian men who did not eat meat felt that there was a pressure to eat meat in order to avoid femininity. Other studies show that specifically beef and pork are related to masculinity and therefore consumed by more men. (2)
Past papers found that men who avoided meat felt pressure to eat meat in order to avoid femininity!
Other studies found that foods such as fruits, vegetables, salads, chocolate and ice cream were associated with femininity. Thomas set out to see if this perception was still applicable in today’s society. (2)
Thomas took 131 adults and asked them to read a story. One story was about a girl named Jessica and the other story was about a man named Jacob. In some version of the stories the character was vegetarian and in other stories an omnivore. After the story, participants were asked to rate the personal qualities that included friendliness, health conscious, independence and forcefulness. Participants were then asked to rank masculinity or femininity. (2)
Thomas found that the results of her study contradicted past research. Thomas noted that it is possible that people involved in the study may be more liberal than the rest of the population.(2)
Possibly WHO’s announcement that processed meats cause cancer has shifted society to see vegetarianism as a health choice, not a gender choice!
It’s possible that following the World Health Organizations announcement that processed meats cause cancer and veal, beef, pork and lamb are “probably carcinogenic,” that vegetarianism is no longer seen as personality weakness but instead a sign of health. More and more men and women who are invested in their health may be turning away from meat and towards a vegetarian, vegan or Mediterranean diet as a way to prevent and protect against cancer and heart disease.(3)