Eating Meat Isn’t Manly and Vegetables Aren’t Girly

This image of a happy woman buying vegetables to embrace clean eating is goofy... and gendered.

You see the “meat is manly” message clearly in most steakhouse and fast food burger ads. Typically, some husky dude voice is all “you don’t want to be hungry in an hour, so eat our large, quadruple patty strangler meal.” So, by that logic, if meat is considered manly, then vegetables and salads are girly, yes?

Crisp greens typically get relegated to a few types of ads: 1) The mom who sneaks greens into her family’s meals, 2) the person who is really sad because they are eating rabbit food and they feel hungry all the time, and currently, the most popular one, 3) the woman who is really healthy and dedicated to eating clean.

“‘You’ve got to look at our societal trend of perfect eating–clean eating is somehow this desirable thing to do,’ says Rebecca Scritchfield, a D.C.-based dietician. ‘But that really supports the idea of good and bad food, and moral judgment around foods, and even moral judgment around the person for eating something,’” reports Grist.

All of the above selling points — good, bad, clean food, and manly and girly food — are totally dangerous, and honestly, quite lazy. In reality, there’s only healthy, sustainable food that has a low impact on the environment (this can be a vegetarian or vegan diet, or a meat diet that includes humanly raised animals), and unhealthy, over-processed food like your fast food burgers, and fat and calorie-packed cookies.

While the above clichés exist, there are an increasing number of people who are ignoring them, and intelligently chowing down on what they want — no matter what’s between their legs.

According to a recent Grist article, Camas Davis, owner and founder of the Portland Meat Collective, “was a vegetarian for about seven years, and then crossed back over to meat eating,” Grist reports. Now, Davis “teaches butchery and advocates for more sustainable ways of eating meat.” Her motto is to “eat better meat, and less of it.”

People like Davis are pressing the point that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to be a feminist, and you don’t have to eat meat to be considered a real man. You do, however, need to be honest with yourself about what foods you like, examine your personal moral code about animal products and where they came from because it’s the origin of the food and how it affects the planet – not its “gender” or “cleanliness” – that really matters.

Related on EcoSalon

Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo…US News Ranks Plant-Based Diets

Paleo, Clean Eating and Beyond: Are We Diet Obsessed? Foodie Underground

6 Tips to Clean Eating While Traveling: Bon Voyage!

Image of a woman buying vegetables via Shutterstock

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.