Masculinity and Men’s Resistance to Meat Reduction


  • Daniel L. Rosenfeld Orcid


This article conceptualizes meat reduction as a masculinity threat for men and presents strategies for making men more receptive to meat reduction. Meat consumption is stereotypically associated with traditional masculinity. Compared to women, men tend to eat more meat and to be more resistant to vegetarianism. Eschewing meat has potential to undermine feelings of and portrayals of manhood, whereas eating meat may provide men with a sense and image of traditional masculinity. Efforts to frame meat reduction as a masculine act may be useful for promoting behavior change among men. Three strategies are proposed for aligning meat reduction with masculinity, ripe for testing in future research. These strategies include emphasizing new forms of masculinity, masculine branding of meat reduction, and touting athletic/sexual performance benefits of meat reduction. Efforts that target beliefs about masculinity have promise for reducing meat consumption among men.