I wanted to write about something I’ve given a lot of thought lately. As a Vegan Scaffolder, one of the few in the country no doubt, I couldn’t help but wonder: why aren’t there more of us?
In fact, as someone who works on construction sites and frequents the cafeteria, I find myself alone in my lifestyle choices. Anyone who asks why I’m eating carrot sticks or fruit for lunch, upon hearing my answer, seems to have a moment of cognitive dissociation. You can almost see the questions forming – “Where do you get your protein?”, “Don’t you miss Meat?” and the classic “Does that mean you can’t eat (insert common vegan sundry)?”
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
Where ARE all the Vegan Dudes? That’s exactly what we are here to talk about. If you had to name how many Vegan or even Vegetarian people you knew, you’d likely find the majority to be Women. And there’s a few good reasons why so lets first discuss the statistics.
It is estimated that the percentage of Vegan Women is roughly 80% with men being the remainder. That’s quite a stark contrast when you really think about it.
When you compare Vegetarian Men and Women, an estimated 49% are Men. Perhaps this could be that the Vegetarian Lifestyle is slightly less restrictive and socially, more acceptable among Males.
And this is where we touch on one of the reasons why so many Men shy away from the Vegan Lifestyle: it’s just not manly enough.
Meat has long been linked to Strength and Virility, the notion that if you consume meat, you will become strong; something all men desire to be; a valuable characteristic if you will.
There’s a real and genuine lack of concern for any health related lifestyle choices and we all know the meat industry has spent a lot of time and money convincing folks that meat is the ultimate health food. This innocent ignorance is especially prevalent in Men.
Media has worked very hard to drive this nail into the proverbial coffin, so to speak, by attempting to convince every Male that Beer, Meat & Sports are the epitome of masculinity and that every namby-pamby vegan “Soy-Boy” is one Tofu Bowl away from malnutrition.
That Vegan and Plant Based foods are low in Protein, so you will lose your precious muscles? And that Soy products boost Oestrogen, the female hormone, in a Vegan Male.
But that’s just wrong, right? You’re darn tootin’ it is!
HEART DISEASE AND ED
We all joke about it but the studies are in; ED (erectile dysfunction) can be fatal as it’s usually linked to Heart Disease. That’s because they’re just two different versions of the same problem: inflamed + clogged blood arteries.
1 in 5 men over the age of 20 have difficulties maintaining an erection. In fact, men over the age of 40 who experience ED are twice as likely to suffer from cardiac arrest. A plant-based diet is the only proven treatment to not just prevent or reduce, but to actually reverse heart disease.
It makes sense that if something helps your arteries, it will help arteries all over your body, including those down south. Plus, eating more fruit in general is also linked to reducing erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone is synonymous with masculinity – with the supposed connection between muscle gains and meat eating, one could assume that a plant-based diet would lower a man’s testosterone, but a British Journal of Cancer study found quite the opposite: Vegans have 13% more testosterone than meat eaters.
Too much testosterone, however, can be a bad thing. It often leads to higher levels of IGF-I, which increases risk of certain cancers.
But here’s the kicker: vegans actually had 9% less IGF-I than the meat eaters. So vegans actually have more testosterone and yet a lower risk of testosterone-related cancers! This just keeps getting better!
THERE AREN’T ANY VEGAN ATHLETES
Time for a humble brag on behalf of my fellow Plant Based Pioneers. Below is a short list of some of the most famous Vegan Athletes:
- Vegan wrestler Austin Aries
- Oakland Raider wide receiver Griff Whalen
- Celtics player Kyrie Irving
- Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler
- Football player Jermain Defoe
- NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick
- Golden State Warrior champion JaVale McGee
- World Championship Gold medalist David Meyer
- 2011 Germany’s Strongest Man Patrik Baboumian
- 2015 WWF World Championship Fitnesss winner Alexander Dargatz
- 1980’s World Athlete of the Decade Carl Lewis
- Four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton
Hopefully, this article has enlightened any budding male vegans in the making to take that step towards a Plant Based Lifestyle. It’s easy to get caught up in the media and propaganda (believe me, they will say almost anything these days) but ultimately, it’s about doing the due diligence and drawing your own conclusions.
We are all blessed with the choice to do what we want. This isn’t intended to inform or suggest that the vegan lifestyle is the only right way to eat because that’s for you to decide. If you’re still on the fence, consider these documentaries to give you impartial information about the industry and health benefits surrounding a Plant Based Lifestyle:
There’s a whole slew of informative and educational documentaries available to order or watch for free online and even via your favourite subscription services so I urge you to head out and make that decision for yourself.