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Does ‘lad culture’ make it more difficult for men to be vegan?

We asked for your thoughts on whether pressures of masculinity mean that men struggle more than women to be vegan

The number of vegans in Great Britain has certainly risen in recent years — in fact, the Vegan Society’s most recent findings show that the number quadrupled between 2014 and 2018, from 150,000 to 600,000. However, the survey also found that of this number, 63 per cent who identified as vegan were female, compared to only 37 per cent who were male. Many believe that there is a gender stereotype associated with men, masculinity and meat, and that in order to be a ‘real man’, you must consume meat and dairy products, and not show the compassion that is associated with a plant-based life. “The consumption of meat is so clearly aligned with heterosexual masculinity as to be, at this point, inseparable from it,” says Professor Laura Wright, author of The Vegan Studies Project. In modern society, ‘lad culture’ — described as groups of men acting ‘hyper-masculine’ and avoiding other gendered ways of living and behaving, in order to fit to a pre-conceived view of what a man ‘should’ be — is a prime example of this. We wanted to find out if this is actually happening in society. Do male vegans receive more aggravation and pressure from their non-vegan male peers? Do women find it easier to live a vegan lifestyle? Are more men put off from veganism, because of what their male friends might think? You got back to us with your opinions.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our May issue. It’s undeniable that one of the best ways to advocate veganism to non-vegans is through food. There are so many wonderful and talented chefs creating mind-blowing vegan cuisine — the game has totally changed from a few years ago. The options for eating out have exploded, as we see unlikely meat-based chains even offering vegan options, and gone are the days of nibbling on a side salad, as plant-based food rightfully takes centre-stage in many restaurants. But, maybe you live somewhere with not so much choice, what happens then? Well, thanks to the range of brilliant cookbooks and videos available, anybody, no matter their location, can have a crack at a vegan showstopper. Recognising the need to make vegan food as appealing and appetising as possible, our cover stars, Ian Theasby and Henry Firth, created BOSH!, with the sole mission of bringing meat-free to the masses. We caught up with the innovators. Beauty is an another aspect of veganism that is growing rapidly, as cruelty-free, ethical and vegan products become more and more in demand. We rounded up some of our favourite items, brands and bloggers, as well as the ingredients you need to avoid. Finally, we had a really interesting debate this month, sparked by a feature written by Andrew Miles on the topic — is it easier for women to be vegan than men? Find out his, and our readers’, thoughts.

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