Veganism is a hot topic right now across the western world, I take a look at the significant lack of vegan men
Veganism on the Rise
The days of vegans being mocked are gone (almost). Veganism is getting serious attention and for good reason. No longer associated with just dreadlocked hippies. Now, people from all walks of life are getting on board. Every day, more people are gaining interest in the vegan lifestyle.
This recent article from The Independent claims instagram is accountable. It makes sense. People have always associated vegan food with ‘rabbit food’. The people of instagram beg to differ.
Social media has helped transform people’s opinions on veganism. Thousands of vegans share wonderful recipes every day, challenging peoples ideas of what vegan food is. Who knew vegans ate such tasty things?
Whilst all this attention is great for the vegan movement, it can’t help be noticed there is a distinct lack of vegan men.
On my journey into veganism, I picked up on this quickly and I have been building this blog ever since.
So, where are all the vegan men?
A bit of research suggests that there are very few vegan men voicing their vegan lifestyles. Those that do, seem to be only in it for the fitness goals and health reasons (Chris Hemsworth and David Haye to name a few). For these vegan men, it’s all about ‘vegains’.
So, what about me and you? Where does the everyday man fit into the vegan discussion? If the movement is to continue to grow in strength, then surely it needs to reach out to your everyday men too and not just high profile celebrities and athletes.
‘What about me and you? Where does the everyday man fit into the vegan discussion?’
The internet is full of vegan blogs, instagram accounts, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds but all are predominately run by women and the vast majority of vegan blogs exist only to promote vegan recipes. There are none that openly discuss the potential for men to adopt a vegan lifestyle, details of how to start, why they should consider the lifestyle and support for when they do.
This lack of information for men is reflected in the vegan stats.
So why are men struggling to make the transition? Here are the obvious reasons:
Masculinity – it’s not seen to be ‘manly’ to care about animals, the environment or show too much emotion
Protein Deficiency – the no meat no muscle myth
Fear – fear of others judgment, fear of self and fear of identity
Communication – specific information for men considering veganism is scarce
Considering veganism for a man can be very daunting. What will I eat? What will people think? How will my friends and family react?
Not only do men have to stand up to their own fears and insecurities on their journey to veganism, the media also targets vegan men in certain stereotypical roles, leaving the average man feeling slightly inadequate within the vegan world.
The media would have you believe Veganism is a strange diet only for hippies, athletes or ‘snowflakes’. Some media even suggest it’s a form of extremism led by vegan ‘militants’ such as Joey Carbstrong (not an extremist, just a guy that cares a lot about animals).
Veganism is currently in the spotlight and men are being excluded from the discussion and when they are included it seems to be for the wrong reasons.
The media attempts to make veganism only attainable by men if they fall into the roles such as the ultra-fit vegan, vegan master chef or pesky ‘militant’ vegan.
It’s as if men could not possibly consider veganism unless they want to follow one of the socially approved ideas of what it should be and look like. Maybe there is credit to this, maybe men need that competitive push in order to feel comfortable with the decision.
Saying ‘because I want to be a world champion weightlifter’ is much easier than saying ‘because I love animals’ or ‘I care about the environment.’
The Vegan Lifestyle
Like anything that gets a lot of attention from the media, the real values are lost along the way. Just look at the state of yoga right now.
Veganism, just like yoga, is not just a ‘fashion’ or a ‘trend’. It’s a way of being. The lifestyle goes beyond the food on your plate, in fact, that’s just the beginning.
Veganism is a bit like stepping out of the matrix. You realise that everything you thought about food is actually wrong and the truth behind it all is pretty disturbing. Accepting this reality and aligning your life with it can be difficult.
‘Veganism is a bit like stepping out of the matrix. You realise that everything you thought about food is actually wrong and the truth behind it all is pretty disturbing.’
Veganism forces you to explore a wider variety of food, lifestyle habits and ways of thinking. As a result, you pick up invaluable skills along the way. Your cooking skills will move to the next level, your daily routine will become more purposeful, your stomach will thank you every day, your mind will become clearer and more focused.
Positive impacts I’ve noticed in my life since going vegan:
Weight – alongside an active lifestyle I’ve lost 12kg and now weigh a healthy 73kg.
Energy – energy levels are at an all-time high. This doesn’t mean I’m running around like a crazy person, just that I’m far more productive in my day.
Skin – healthier, fewer spots and no eczema.
Gut – digestion is much better, poo is healthy and like clockwork. It’s hard to explain how much this can change your life.
Confidence – I feel better than ever and most of all, comfortable in my body.
We’re all currently experiencing a planetary crisis. A mass collective consciousness trip. We are killing the planet and we know we are. Never have we been more aware of this fact than today. Every time you switch on the TV, log into Facebook or open a newspaper we are told that in some way we are screwing the planet up.
So what can we do? Simple men in a very complex world. What do we know about saving the world?
Here’s the thing, we all have the ability to improve our impact on the planet right now.
The Guardian released this article the other week. ‘Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth’. It found livestock provides a mere ‘18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland’ and ‘produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions’.
The lead researcher Joseph Poore said ‘“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,”
Basically, the vegan diet alone reduces your footprint on the world by a hell of a lot! “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,”
Buy an electric car from Tesla and you are adored like a God by fellow men. Become a vegan and you’re mad!
The Time is Now
It’s time for men to wake up. Shake off the archaic stereotypes of what it is to be a ‘man’. Veganism is no longer just for the few. It’s for the healthy, successful, conscious and progressive man.
To be a vegan, a man acknowledges his destructive impact on animals and the environment. He stands up to protect those that cannot defend themselves and a planet that cannot ask for help. He does this by making small sacrifices in his own life so that he may improve the conditions of others.
Veganism is no longer just for the few. It’s for the healthy, successful, conscious and progressive man.
Realise the potential for a better life and one that benefits our self, others and our environment. Do what you believe is right, knowing what you say is correct and that you have made the right decision.
What is more ‘manly’ than that?