There's a real stigma around veganism and men.
Over the years, men have been led to believe that the only way to be a man is to be a king of the barbeque, bloody-steak loving and generally alpha-male caveman. This does not fit in with being a vegan, apparently. Society has told men that being plant-based in their diet is emasculating, which has led to insecurities for men around their dietary choices. But veganism is about protecting the environment, being kind to the world around us and eating delicious food, not about insecurity and awful marketing practices. In our own experience, we've found that there are many men who have fallen for this marketing ploy, and in recent years the term 'soyboy', meaning 'lacking masculinity' has been thrown around to describe vegan men.
Now, we at PEP Kitchen think this manly meat stereotype is pretty harmful and very outdated. Plus, we love soy, and we're not afraid to admit it. Tempeh, tofu, soybeans, soy milk... Soy is a fantastic source of nutrients and is super tasty, too. If that makes us soyboys, then so be it. We will wear it as a badge of honour.
So, it seems, will many others! Including some incredible male athletes, like Lewis Hamilton, who made a statement about going vegan in 2017, and has remained top of the Formula 1 game since. He is vegan mostly, it seems, for animal rights, but also says he feels clean and healthy since going vegan.
Another prolific man who has made the switch to a plant-based diet is Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 73-year-old Terminator star and ex-bodybuilder has been eating an almost entirely plant-based diet for over three years, and says that he really doesn't need all the meat and dairy to build muscle. He looks fantastic, so who are we to argue? Let's be real- who is more manly than Arnie?!
But, there's something deeper going on here, which Schwarzenegger discusses in 'The Game Changers', a documentary which asks the worlds toughest athletes about their vegan diets. It's all about marketing of meat products. Advertising firms have been crafting male insecurity and then preying on it for decades. Meat product advertisement is usually based around 'men being manly'- which they assume means carnivorous and Herculean. In adverts, meat equals protein, meat equals muscle, meat equals, well, man. But how ludicrous is the notion that a person's choice of food makes them any more or less manly? We think diversity is what makes the world beautiful, and men being who they truly want to be is a big part of that. So, if you feel like it, join the soyboys on the journey to tasty and planet-friendly food.
Oh, and for when your carnivorous mates ask you 'but where do you get your protein?', we have a meal bundle for that! Check out our plant protein bundle here. It's time to stop feeling insecure and start feeling great about your choices!