Al­pha males can or­der the veg­e­tar­ian op­tion

The Guardian Weekly - - Comment & Debate -

Try to pic­ture an al­pha male, and you’ll prob­a­bly think of some­one who sur­vives mostly on steak, and pos­si­bly owns a large dog that also sur­vives mostly on steak. Steak is a manly food. Cel­ery is not. Those just seem to be the rules.

So it’s not sur­pris­ing that a sur­vey has found men in Bri­tain fear so­cial shame for choos­ing veg­e­tar­ian op­tions. This may stem in part from a time when meat was an eco­nomic sta­tus marker as well as one of strength and viril­ity. More re­cently this has mixed with the grow­ing cul­ture of male phys­i­cal per­fec­tion, ec­tion, with men and boys spend­ing more time in the gym to get that In­snsta­gram-per­fect sculpted look, k, helped along by a gen­er­ous dose of pro­tein.

The study’s re­sults sug­gest not just that men who want to choose veg­e­tar­ian op­tions feel so­cial shame, but also that this sham­ing is wide­spread. Al­though it hardly shouts “leader of men” to pick sausage and mash when re­ally you want grilled aubergine, what does it say about the peo­ple who are so de­fen­sive about their own choices they feel the need to pres­sure others to con­form? Meat eaters are in­creas­ingly aware of the eco­log­i­cal, eth­i­cal and health prob­lems caused by their con­sump­tion. De­cid­ing once and for all to give up meat is a sin­gle de­ci­sion that then doesn’t come up for d dis­cus­sion as of­ten, as it be­com comes an ac­cepted fact of life. Yes Yes, adapt­ing to en­vi­ron­men­tal reh re­al­ity hard. But in our if a mod­ern veg­gie diet world can is p power the tough­est men, it should surely be enough for al­pha males ev­ery­where.

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