Are Most Vegans Male of Female?
Eliminating meat and dairy products is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do for your health. There’s benefits of lower cholesterol, less risks of heart disease, and lower risk of cancers to name a few. You think with these benefits almost everyone would be adopting a plant-based diet. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegan eating can be a healthy diet for people of all ages and genders — including children, pregnant and lactating women, athletes, and the elderly. However, a study done in 2020 revealed that a whopping 79% of vegans were women. Even vegetarianism lacks that great of a divide, with only 59% identifying as female. Why might this be? We’ve explored this below.
The most likely reason for this discrepancy is simply that the media has portrayed a strong message of “Meat is masculine”. And eating it somehow proves your masculinity. The American media has always uplifted the "man as hunter" trope, referencing the hunter-gatherer image of the male as the family provider. The consumption of meat signifies a dominion over animals and the protein-rich strength suggests that a superior mate among his species. We all know that this is incredibly wrong, as you can get all the protein you need on a vegan diet and be even healthier than your meat-eating counterparts, yet the stereotype persists. Due to this stigma, there seems to be a common practice of corporations upholding the idea that real men would always choose steak over vegetables. Therefore, vegetarian and vegan men are often stereotyped as feminine in comparison to men who eat meat. This weighs heavily in a male’s decision on whether to adopt a plant-based diet.
Another reason why more women may be vegan is that women are generally more nurturing by nature. It is easier for a woman to show compassion towards animals and provide reasons to society on why she became vegan as most people will be more accepting towards a woman becoming vegan than a man. This again rolls back to the role society plays in how differently men and women are perceived. This is of course a generalization. This isn’t to say men aren’t compassionate people. Simply, that in mainstream culture, women are typically more accepted as vegans due to modern stereotypes.
By bringing light to these stereotypes, we can hopefully open a discussion that encourages masculinity no matter one’s diet. Every single person, regardless of age or gender, deserves to be accepted in their decision to adopt a plant-based diet. By doing so, we will be bettering our health, the environment, and the animals around us.