Reading Time: 2 minutes 'We want to challenge these destructive beliefs about men and their meat' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

One in 10 young British men would rather go to jail than stop eating meat, a new survey has found. 

The data, commissioned by No Meat May, also found that 51 percent of participants associate a diet that contains a lot of meat with being more masculine.

Moreover, 30 percent of men said they believe humans are meant to eat meat – and 39 percent of respondents said they’d prefer to not date a vegan.

While 76 percent say they care about the environment… Only 26 percent would stop eating meat to reduce their environmental impact.

‘Worrying stereotypes’

Ryan Alexander is the Founder of No Meat May. In a statement sent to PBN, he said: “The survey has uncovered some worrying stereotypes around meat-eating and how consuming a diet that’s heavy in meat products is viewed by both men and women as being masculine, despite the associated health, environmental and social concerns. 

“We want to challenge these destructive beliefs about men and their meat.

“Why do we expect our boys to eat meat to be considered manly? What’s more masculine than protecting people and the planet? 

“Significant research over many years has shown that eating meat and other animal products is not only hugely damaging to the environment… But can increase the risk of developing certain cancers, obesity, and reduced life expectancy. 

“The pandemic has also served to highlight the link between animal consumption and public health crises. 

‘It’s concerning how many young men and women we surveyed said they’ve eaten meat to fit in and avoid being mocked, even though many want to cut down their meat consumption, and care about protecting the environment and saving the lives of animals.”

‘Quite alarming’

Dr. Shireen Kassam is the founder of Plant Based Health Professionals UK.

She added: “This survey highlights a real disconnect between the science and public attitudes relating to meat consumption. 

“Given that eating meat, particularly red and processed meat, is a leading risk factor for some of our commonest chronic illnesses… It’s quite alarming to learn how entrenched some myths and beliefs about a vegan diet actually are. 

“This is undoubtedly a result of decades of effective marketing and PR by the meat industry. 

“There is even evidence to suggest that avoiding meat improves sexual function and sperm quality in men!”

Dr. Shireen Kassam, Founder of Plant Based Health Professionals UK

“Removing meat from the diet and replacing it with healthy plant foods is one of the best things you can do for your health. 

“There is even evidence to suggest that avoiding meat improves sexual function and sperm quality in men!   

“In addition, adopting a vegan diet is one of the most impactful actions we can take as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint. And, play our part in addressing the climate and ecological crises.

“In 2021, maybe we should consider taking care of your mental and physical health and caring about the environment as ‘manly and masculine’.”

No Meat May

No Meat May calls on the public to eliminate meat for 31 days for health, environmental and social reasons.

More than 100,000 people are expected to take part in the 2021 campaign globally. This is an increase of 100 percent from last year. 

However, 90 percent of sign-ups currently are women. No Meat May says this ’emphasizes this major disparity between the sexes in their attitudes towards adopting a meat-free diet’. 

Learn more about No Meat May here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.