Vegan Men's Food and Health Practices: A Recipe for a More Health-Conscious Masculinity?

Am J Mens Health. Sep-Oct 2021;15(5):15579883211044323. doi: 10.1177/15579883211044323.

Abstract

In the age of the Anthropocene, questions of ecological sustainability, animal ethics, and human health are intimately entangled. From a gender perspective, compared to women, men's diets tend to be less healthy and sustainable. This is linked to worse health outcomes for men. Therefore, alternative, more ethical ways of eating that have the potential to improve men's health and well-being and simultaneously contribute to better public health and sustainability outcomes should be encouraged. Veganism addresses issues of food, health, climate change, and animal justice simultaneously.This article explores vegan men's food practices in relation to health and well-being, drawing on qualitative interviews with 61 vegan men. The interview material was analyzed using the method of thematic analysis. Our findings suggest that becoming vegan encourages positive changes in men's health behavior. This includes paying more attention to nutrition and taking better care of one's health. Vegan men report experiencing better physical and mental well-being upon going vegan. Based on these findings, we argue that vegan men's food and health practices contribute to the emergence of healthier masculinities, as vegan men help to challenge links between risky health behavior and masculinity.

Keywords: gender; health; health behavior; masculinity; men; veganism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Men
  • Men's Health
  • Mental Health
  • Vegans*