If you had to think about whether you know more vegan women or vegan men, the answer would come to you rather quickly.
On average, you’ve probably met more women who follow a plant-based lifestyle than men.
Well, this isn’t just a stereotype. The statistics are in, and it is estimated that only 21 percent of the vegan population are men!
Now, that might seem quite depressing but, let’s face it, it isn’t all that surprising.
For as long as humans were around, men have been the hunters, and women took the role of gatherers.
So, while society may be taking several steps forward in terms of gender equality, the concept of masculinity is still deeply ingrained in us.
Of course, this isn’t the only obstacle that you will face when trying to convince a man to go vegan.
In this article, you will see some of the more common issues that come up when trying to get a man to switch to a plant-based diet.
Fret not, though, as you can also find some useful solutions to tackle these problems as well.
Why Men Don’t Go Vegan
To start with, let’s take a look at why so many men insist on avoiding a healthier, more humane lifestyle:
The Link Between Meat and Masculinity
The association between meat and masculinity isn’t anything new. There is evidence to suggest that this has been an accepted fact for thousands of years.
Meat, for one reason or another, is typically related to strength and virility – characteristics that most men value.
Now, with this link between meat and manliness so ingrained in peoples’ subconscious, it is no wonder then men are hesitant to change.
The very essence of their public image is tied up with their diet. As such, they may not want to appear anything less than manly.
Society is changing, and with time, this connection between meat and masculinity should fade or at least lessen.
Unfortunately, animals and the planet don’t have this kind of time. Thus, other vegans do need to step in and help them make a change.
Fear of Disapproval
People feel more comfortable with what is familiar or considered “normal.”
So, when someone acts in a manner that isn’t traditional, they tend to be excluded by the majority.
This may sound slightly outdated, but it certainly still takes place. And men experience it quite a bit too.
According to the experts, men are more likely to be penalized when they exhibit too much empathy or kindness, which some might consider feminine traits.
For better or worse, these are also qualities associated with being vegan. After all, it is only because of your compassion and empathy that you choose to commit to a cruelty-free, meatless lifestyle.
Thus, men are afraid that if they take on these characteristics, they would be shunned or made fun of, particularly by their peers.
Since it is easier to be part of the status quo, this is just what they continue to do.
On the surface, it can seem that men are instead focused on their health and try to improve it through diet and exercise.
However, if you were to take a closer look, you would discover that this isn’t the case at all.
Women are health-focused, while men tend to be physique-focused.
That is to say; men are more likely to make lifestyle changes when they know it will have a direct impact on the way they look and feel.
Unfortunately, most people believe that going vegan means that you will lose muscle mass, notice a drop in testosterone, and be weaker in general.
Since these are not side effects that any man wants to experience, it can be quite difficult for men to want to make a change.
After all, in their minds, there are no positive reasons to do so!
Lack of Directed Media
Now, this is something that the vegan community is partly responsible for.
If you were to look up the most popular vegan magazines and blogs, you would find that they are either run by women or directed at women.
This is only natural, considering that most vegans are, in fact, female.
However, to a certain extent, this does isolate men.
This is especially true of men who tend to read material targeted towards more traditional, masculine subjects.
So, even if a man wanted to make a change, they may find that the source material is severely lacking. At the very least, it may not appeal to them.
How to Change the Narrative
In case the above factors sound rather disheartening, the following information should provide a more positive view of things.
Although it can seem like there is very little you can do to get the average male to change their mind about veganism.
There are a couple of tricks that you can still lean on.
Address the Common Myths
Perhaps the first thing to address is the whole “lower testosterone” notion. Research has shown that vegan men have higher testosterone levels than meat-eaters!
This doesn’t mean what you think since the bioavailable androgens and testosterone are actually on par with omnivores.
Regardless, this goes to show that going vegan will not have any negative impact on testosterone levels.
Then there is the misconception of a lack of proteins and the inability to build muscle.
Once again, this has been proven false. There are plenty of ways for even bodybuilders to get enough protein for their training and mass building.
Thus, getting buff on a vegan diet is entirely possible.
The same study that showed that only 21 percent of men are vegan revealed another interesting fact.
When it comes to vegetarians, the divide between men and women is much less noticeable. 49 percent of men are vegetarian.
So, perhaps, it is the term “vegan” that puts men off such a lifestyle, initially.
Not to mention, most people struggle with veganism since it is more restrictive than a vegetarian diet.
Nevertheless, the way forward is clear. Instead of trying to get men to go vegan straight off the bat, it is more fruitful to convince them to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.
Even then, it is best to do so slowly. The more time they have to adapt to a new diet, the more likely it is that they will stick with it.
Once the person is comfortable with being a vegetarian, you can then introduce the possibility of becoming vegan.
It is crucial to avoid being too preachy or pushy when doing this.
Remember, the person has made considerable strides in going vegetarian so you should always applaud this decision above all else.
Appeal to their Taste Buds
If you are being honest, vegan diets don’t always sound the most delicious.
Once again, this is because of frequent, well-publicized misconceptions.
However, you can hardly fault someone for imagining that they will be stuck eating lentil patties and salad leaves for the rest of their lives.
Well, rather than trying to convince someone to forget about all these falsehoods, cook for them instead.
In particular, you may want to focus on vegan meats and cheeses to start with.
Look for ingredients with a texture similar to the foods omnivores are used to. Then, prepare these in the same way as you would meat.
Make sure to cook different kinds of food and make the taste a priority. This will show the average man that vegan food doesn’t have to compromise on either flavor or variety.
It also can’t hurt to show that they don’t need to give up comfort foods such as ice cream, chocolate, and cake.
There are plenty of vegan or vegan-friendly options to select from.
Find Appealing Role Models
One of the best ways to convince the man in your life to go vegan is to tell him about role models that might help change his mind.
There may be more people like this than you think.
For instance, NFL stars such as Tom Brady, numerous Tennessee Titans players, and David Carter have all credited improved performances to a plant-based diet.
It isn’t just football players that are reaping the rewards of a vegan diet. NBA stars are getting on the action as well.
Some of the more notable vegan basketball players include Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.
If multi-million-dollar athletes can do it, so can the average Joe.
If that feels like a reach, there are plenty of vegan bodybuilders on Instagram that they can follow.
More importantly, many of these men provide tips for how to maintain a healthy vegan diet and workout as well. So, this can give the best of both worlds.
There is no denying that a significant gap exists between men and women when it comes to veganism.
However, there is no need for things to continue that way.
With a little effort on your part, you could convince the men in your life to take a few steps in the right direction.
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