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Meat-eating and masculinity stay inextricably linked within the Australian psyche, a brand new survey of 1,000 Australian adults has revealed, which could possibly be making it troublesome for males to really feel comfy exploring a more healthy and extra climate-friendly weight-reduction plan, specialists warn.
The research carried out in March 2021 was commissioned by Australian-founded non-for-profit No Meat May, an organisation that challenges individuals throughout the globe to eradicate meat from their diets for 31 days for the month of May for well being, environmental and social causes.
The survey revealed that 47% of feminine and male respondents nonetheless seen consuming meat as a masculine enterprise, versus gender impartial or female.
“What was maybe most stunning, was that 73% of male respondents stated they’d somewhat cut back their life expectancy by as much as 10 years than surrender consuming meat, with three quarters of males not satisfied of the well being advantages of a meat-free weight-reduction plan, regardless of the mounting proof on the contrary,” No Meat May co-founder, Ryan Alexander stated of the outcomes.
Indeed there’s a rising physique of proof that reveals consuming plant primarily based meals provides a spread of well being advantages. According to a research revealed within the Journal of the American Heart Association, increased adherence to a plant-based weight-reduction plan lowered coronary heart illness and reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 25%. Other situations which have been discovered to be prevented and higher managed by a plant-based weight-reduction plan embrace strokes, kind 2 diabetes and sure forms of cancers. Research additionally means that individuals who eat primarily plant primarily based diets are inclined to have a decrease physique mass index and decrease charges of weight problems than those that eat meat.
The conventional meat-is-masculine picture has additionally been the topic of many articles and movies, most notably within the fashionable Netflix documentary by James Cameron, The Game Changers, which makes an attempt to deal with the parable that males must eat meat to be bodily robust, highly effective, sexually enticing and ‘manly’. Clever advertising and marketing has formed the impression that ‘actual males’ eat meat – a notion that may have detrimental results on human and planetary well being.
“Significant analysis over a few years has proven that consuming meat and different animal merchandise will increase the chance of growing sure cancers, coronary heart illness, weight problems and having a decreased life expectancy, to not point out being one of many greatest contributors to world warming and the destruction of the environment. Yet our survey alarmingly reveals that Australian males are both not conscious of any of those info, don’t imagine them, or just don’t care,” he stated.
The world marketing campaign expects greater than 60,000 individuals to take part this yr, however given 90% of previous No Meat May individuals have been ladies, the not-for-profit is concentrating on males and those that determine with masculine qualities to scale back the gender disparity in adopting a meat-free or decreased meat weight-reduction plan.
“Up till 2013, I used to be a heavy meat eater and as an Australian man I grew up with the identical media and neighborhood messages that actual males clogged their arteries with meaty saturated fats and may get pleasure from nothing greater than guzzling a child animal leg down at meal-time,” stated Alexander.
“Australian males are nonetheless being fed a lie that meat consuming makes them extra masculine, when in actuality, what’s extra masculine than defending the planet, sparing harmless lives and guaranteeing you reside a protracted and wholesome life for the individuals you like?”
The No Meat May survey additionally discovered that males had been much less doubtless to surrender consuming meat or animal merchandise for each profit listed within the survey akin to residing longer, serving to the setting or decreasing most cancers dangers when in comparison with ladies. The survey additionally confirmed that whereas 81% of males surveyed think about themselves as ‘somebody who cares concerning the setting’, 79% of this group stated they might not surrender meat to scale back their affect on the setting.
“We reckon it’s time to step up and reject outdated and damaging gender stereotypes round meals. It’s by no means been simpler to surrender meat and whether or not you’re giving up for a month, or trying to make a long-term change, No Meat May is right here to supply that protected stepping-stone, evidence-based info and a tonne of meals inspiration that will help you alongside the way in which.”
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases every year – roughly equal to the emissions brought on by trains, planes, automobiles, and ships. Livestock also takes up 83% of farmland and generates nearly 60% of meals emissions.
Climate scientists agree that decreasing meat consumption is the only most impactful factor a person can do to scale back their environmental footprint and mitigate local weather change. In David Attenborough’s new movie, A Life On This Planet, the world’s most recognisable environmentalist means that adopting a “principally plant-based weight-reduction plan” will enhance biodiversity, save wildlife and restore the planet.
Despite the No Meat May survey outcomes, one in three Australians are additionally actively searching for to restrict their meat consumption and transition to plant-based or flexitarian diets, with main Australian retailers Coles and Woolworths doubling the variety of plant-based meat merchandise on their grocery store cabinets to satisfy buyer demand. In reality, plant-based is the quickest rising meals class estimated to be price $6 billion by 2030 in Australia alone and $85 billion globally.
Cover picture by cottonbro.