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Calling all male vegans :)


Katiejane
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Are you a girl or a boy? :)  

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Question -

 

How does one come out as a vegan? What do you say? How do you avoid coming off as less of a man etc?

 

I am a girl and have found it to be more socially acceptable to be vegan then it would be for a guy. Since the majority of the world associates meat with being a man etc.....

 

The reason I ask how men deal with coming out as a Vegan is because my husband (after being inspired by Robert) decided Veganism is the way to go but is looking for some advice on what to say to people and how to avoid coming off as less of a man now that he is vegan.

 

So any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

 

- Kate

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You don't need to say anything really. When I became vegan, I didn't announce it to anyone, apart from my family, and that's just because I'd been talking to them about the decision beforehand. Other than that, I just went about my business. It comes up when people offer you food, or realise that you're not eating the same stuff. Then they might say 'why aren't you eating X?' then you just say the truth - 'I don't think it's right to eat it'. And answer any questions one by one, you don't need to make a big deal out of it, or even announce it to anybody in particular, just be vegan and if people want to know about it, they'll ask you.

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Also I don't think there should be a concern about being 'less than a man'. I don't really know what that means.

 

Ummmm hmmmm I guess maybe I should be a bit more clear?

 

My understanding of things is that the general population eats meat and thinks of meat as being a staple protien source... And in the eyes of most people protien makes you strong and have big muscle etc... So if you don't eat meat (which is most peoples mind is the only food that provides protien) then you can't possibly be strong and have big muscles, and even though Robert has proven you can be big and vegan, the perception is still that you need to eat meat to be a big strong man.

 

So seeing as this is the general populations view on meat I was hoping to hear from some guys as to how they deal with this misconception... In hopes that I can help my newly vegan (and future bodybuilding) husband who I am sure is going to have to deal with comments like "Have a steak" a few thousand times over the course of his lifetime.

 

My husband is following a diet and fitness program set in place by Robert but it will take a while before my husband is a big and buff like Robert and can simply flex his muscles at anyone who doubts a vegan diet can make you big strong... So in the meantime I imagine he is going to have to deal with some "be a man & have a steak" type comments.

 

So when you are going out for beers after work with your co-workers and everyone is ordering wings and ribs and you order the garden salad how do you handle peoples remarks?

 

- Kate

 

P.S. Thanks in advance for all of your advice!

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I'm open about it if the topic comes up. As for "feeling less like a man", I think so lowly of most of the culture (which I blame for the "alpha male meat eater school of thought) that it doesn't really bother me to think about like that.

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It doesn't bother me either. You can read about the "seems" strategy in The Pleasure Trap.

You basically say that what you do "seems" to be working for you right now and that it is probably not for everyone. Don't try to push it on people since it will never work. When someone takes the step they will ask you.

If it suits my goal I can have people call me anything, it has nothing to do with who I am anyway. If someone labels me non-manish then so be it, I really don't care. If I for some other reason have to defend some stupid title then I have no choice but it rarely (if ever) happens.

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I don't think it matters what idiots have to say about it, if they're trying to wind someone up about veganism. It is a shame that a lot of people react negatively to veganism, but there is no need to think of anything in particular to say to them, or to treat the subject any differently to anything else. It's like dealing with school kids and bullies. It's a case by case thing and it depends specifically on what they are saying and why and what the scenario is.

 

If they think he is 'less than a man' (whatever that means) then so be it, it shouldn't matter to him what they think, as it's unquantifiable in the first place, but also just childish babble. If a kid came up to him and said 'poo poo head, poo poo head!' I'd give similar advice; it doesn't matter what somebody like that is saying.

 

In terms of trying to fit in, there is only so much you can do. Here are a few things that I do:

 

1) Just don't talk about it

 

2) If other people are asking you about it, try to be relaxed and matter of fact about things, rather than emotional

 

3) If someone is being rude about it, ignore them completely, as though they hadn't spoken, or dismiss it by saying something like 'very funny' or whatever, and just carry on.

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Doing what you know is right, even if it's against society's view, shows the ultimate strength of character and leadership (i.e. "man-liness" in the societal definition that I think you're reflecting).

When someone asks me why I'm vegan, I tell them the truth (ethical and health reasons). If they want to know more, which is usually the case, I'm happy to explain it, ad nauseum if necessary.

If they want to be close-minded and ignorant, or to project their own insecuritities by trying to put me down, then I ignore them, refuse to feed into their negativity.

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  • 2 months later...

I think it is an issue depending on what you do. People smaller than me(when I was a shot putter) didn't think it was a big deal but my physical peers really thought I'd disappear. It just took a couple weeks before they realized the assumptions they made were pointless...especially since I got considerably stronger. My father thought it was a bad idea thanks to advice from his niece who is a doctor but since then he has changed his tune too...some people just take longer and some people will constantly be waiting for you to roll over and die from not eating meat...unfortunately for them...they'll be waiting a long time.

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I generally make comments about how at least I don't have dead animals in my colon.

 

I've proven to all my friends that protein is protein and there is no difference in quality. Jocks usually look at me like I'm diseased when I'm in the weight room at my college and I have my VBB shirt on. I usually just tell people to fuck off if they come across as cocky or an asshole. If they actually want to know about veganism, I'll have an intelligent conversation with them.

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I've worried about this some but the issue has never come up at all. Not from strangers or friends or family. Actually a lot of people have respect that i'm able to live a life they once thought impossible or non existent, and i've stuck with it for so many years. And actually I work out with a guy who only eats meat and he's never said anything pertaining to my diet aside from "are you eating." Maybe he doesn't want to offend me, but in any case i'm holding my own. No threat to my manliness. Just make sure to point out to him the effects in the bed unless they are negative. I think a man's credentials can be measured by that well enough in the general sphere of men. And then there are feats of strength as well. Gotta have those. And if he eats like potter... Potter is a man's man. I've seen those pictures. I too will eat multiple watermelons someday.

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Hi Kate!

 

Yep, this is one of those comments I find so annoying. I mean think about it, what's this person really getting at? Don't women and men have the same basic needs for protein? Can't women be big and strong? I bet people who say this sort have some backward thinking when it comes to women.

 

I think these comments are cross of male chauvinism and a disregard for other animals. You get the same "be a real man" crap when you refuse to exploit or be cruel to women. Like, it might be just as easy to think of someone telling your spouse to be a "real man" and break an important commitment with you to go hangout and have a few drinks. After all, he wouldn't want to be thought of as "whipped," right? For crying out load, if you're male and oppose most forms of violence, like dropping bombs on women and children in far off countries, you're also accused of not being a "real man."

 

Hopefully, if someone was telling your spouse to "be a real man" and disrespect you he would at the very least ignore them or tell them to buzz off. It wouldn't do either of you any good for him to try to conform to the male-stereotype, and the same goes for eating animal-products. But ignoring them, or telling them to buzz off, might not be the best option.

 

I think what I would do is attempt to be more assertive. If I ignore them then they may likely just keep trying. And if I tell them to buzz off they might just keep trying. But if I stand up for my rights and the rights of those they're insisting I ignore then they'll at least have an understanding of where I'm coming from and that I'm not likely to be easily manipulated by attacks on my "manhood." But then again, I'm not interested in acting like a "man."

 

<3 Guest

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  • 4 weeks later...

Many ladies that i have dated thought about a man being a vegan as a strange thing. It's true that alot of people think that veganism is just another diet for girls trying to be in shape! It's preposterous how our society brainwashes us!

 

Being who you are will prove that manhood has nothing to do with meateating...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your chap can tell people that many animals get all the protein they need from plant sources and that he and hordes of other humans do, too. And many of them run ultra marathons or hoist huge weights over their heads with ease. Some of these are tofumonsters and others are mixed vegetable monsters.

 

I have never been asked how I can be a real man without meat. It is plain for everyone to see that I am a very real man. Probably one reason why women swarm all over me. That, and my natural modesty.

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I've never had much of a problem with people viewing me as a not-so-masculine thing in the seven years I've been vegan.

 

I had one incident at an old job with somebody saying I wasn't a real man because I didn't eat meat. He said, since he's smarter than animals and can kill them, it's his manly duty to eat them.

 

I pointed out to him that I'm smarter than he was and that I could easily take him down if he wanted to test out how manly he thought he was. He backed off and left me alone (and everybody in the room laughed at him).

 

At 6' 4", I had about half a foot on the guy. I think hitting him with words and making him question if I was serious about taking him down showed just how not-so-manly he was.

 

He never said another word to me after that, and the laughter of the group humiliated him.

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I've never had much of a problem with people viewing me as a not-so-masculine thing in the seven years I've been vegan.

 

I had one incident at an old job with somebody saying I wasn't a real man because I didn't eat meat. He said, since he's smarter than animals and can kill them, it's his manly duty to eat them.

 

I pointed out to him that I'm smarter than he was and that I could easily take him down if he wanted to test out how manly he thought he was. He backed off and left me alone (and everybody in the room laughed at him).

 

At 6' 4", I had about half a foot on the guy. I think hitting him with words and making him question if I was serious about taking him down showed just how not-so-manly he was.

 

He never said another word to me after that, and the laughter of the group humiliated him.

 

My one friend who gives me shit about my veganism sort of does the same thing. I always say "I don't really know if you're smarter than an animal dude..." and he usually gets pissed off and, in a very defensive manner, accuses me of being defensive. It's fun to mess around with him. I'm a stubborn mother fucker and I have my own reasons for doing things and that's good enough for me. Of course that's not always good for other people.

 

All my friends know that the only thing different about me is the way I eat. Most other people don't even joke with me about it. I haven't had to tell anyone to fuck off or intimidate them ever. Usually people find out I'm vegan after being friends with me for awhile so I don't care if they tease a little bit.

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