I am a 23 year old guy. I have been a vegetarian for over 2 years and I am currently switching to become vegan. While ordering food at a Chinese food place yesterday, my co workers (all male) noticed I ordered the Tofu. Immediately I get asked a ton of questions. I was grilled more than Elena Kagan. I have always felt that men get treated differently for not eating meat and one of the first things my co workers asked was "Did your fiancé make you do it?" Why must men feel they have to eat meat in order to be "manly"? I stood my ground and shot down any myths they brought up, specifically the protein shortage. Do any other guys out there run in to this problem? I also hate the question that usually comes up first, "Why do you not eat meat?" I want to scream sometimes. Please, it would help to know other men run into these uneducated and insecure meat heads.
My husband was actually vegetarian before I was. He said that he made the switch one day when he was driving. He saw a truck stacked with cage after cage of chickens. He saw them all shoved in together, dirty and sad, and he stopped eating meat then and there. My husband is a real man, because he stands by his principles. He is smart and aware of the world, and, most importantly, he is kind.
To be honest, I think our idea of what is "masculine" in this country is stupid. The ad industry tells us that meat is manly--along with beer, sports, cars and making fun of your wife or girlfriend--and people just believe it. It's a narrow definition of what it means to be a man that is pretty convenient for selling things. People don't realize how much their ideas of masculine/feminine are manipulated by ad agencies. My husband just shrugs that kind of thing off.
There will always be morons who have something to say. No matter what. If you deviate from the norm, you will hear about it from someone. Consider it a sign that you are doing something right!
Drake, I just read about this book in my VegNews magazine: Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph. Maybe you should give it to your coworkers! He is a tatooed front man for the band Cro-Mags and looks pretty bad-ass! My husband hasn't gotten much from other guys this way but he always tells them how healthy vegnism is and they can't dispute it with all of his info from the China Study. My brother-in-law got some crap, but after they saw him lose about 80 pounds they were all interested! I don't know how eating meat got to be connected with masculinity, but it is ridiculous!
I have a friend that is dead set on trying to discourage my vegetarianism. He tries to come up with bets, dares, challenges, myths, you name it - in order to get me to eat meat just once in front of him. I think he does it mainly to be a jerk, and not because he disrespects my diet decision.
You have to take people like that with a grain of salt. I treat it like discusing politics. If they have questions, I answer them. When they start to get out of line and borderline rude, I politely tell them that my being vegetarian is what works for me, and then either change the topic or end the conversation altogether. I swear by the book, "Living Among Meat Eaters" by Carol J. Adams. It teaches you a lot on how to interact with people like this.
As a woman, I can say I would rather be with a man like you than like your coworkers. ;) Stick to your principles! They're probably very insecure and feel threatened in the face of your self-confidence and ability to be who you want to be, instead of being what society thinks you should be.
Vegan men are sexy. My husband and I have been vegan for almost 3 years now, and I find it extremely attractive when he sticks up for our dietary choices. He has a coworker who is constantly poking fun at him, telling him that he's going to 'grow a vagina' from the tofu we eat. I finally told him that I'd rather have a husband with a vagina, than a husband with heart disease. I'm okay with being bi... I am not okay being a widow.
I'm very grateful that my husband was willing to give up meat when I did... the thought of kissing a guy who just ate flesh kind of grosses me out.
My friend works with my boyfriend now and is always undermining our diets behind my back to him. Like offering him her crappy scraps of donuts and bacon/egg sandwiches and telling him he needs meat because he is big guy. She said he needs the aminos, the only meat she eats btw is bacon or pepperoni (the two top cancer forming foods). It's a complete joke and he sees through it, he looks and us and how healthy we are and her, and is unimpressed. I am chalking the whole thing up and complete jeolous behavior. She tried numerous times to give up meat and couldn't make it one week because she is addicted to the animal fat. She is completely hooked on dairy too, and eggs. That is all she eats donuts, eggs, dairy, white dough pizza. Yes, for sure she is expert in health education.
I agree with everyone else. I wish I knew a vegan man! It's been talked on a lot throughout the threads here, and to add to some of the previous comments: I don't think I would ever date a guy who wasn't vegan. Or at least vegetarian.
For whatever reason, in our society, people who are unfamiliar what the term 'vegan' and everything that entails tend to approach it with a degree of ridicule. I think its sad that so many people are so closed minded.
As far as the "manly" aspect of eating meat goes, I recently read a journal entry on Moby's website (if you don't know who Moby is, he is an amazing vegan musician) in which he talks about meat, and touches on the concept of meat being "macho". It's a great perspective.