Academia

Are Vegan Men Just Reinforcing Their White Masculine Power? A Sociologist Thinks So, But I'm Skeptical

"I find their performances of masculinity often defy the conventional feminization of meatless diets."

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Vegan
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Move over, feminized glaciers—there's a new absurd-sounding social science paper making the rounds in conservative media: "Meatless meals and masculinity: How veg* men explain their plant-based diets."

The study purports to show that although being vegan is a feminine trait, men who adopt the diet do so for masculine reasons (like rationality) instead of feminine reasons (like emotion) and are thus upholding rather subverting the patriarchy. That's not conservative spin: The study is in some sense making the claim that rationality is masculine and emotion is feminine—which to my mind seems like a gendered assumption on its own.

The study also has a lot of problems and deserves to be mocked. Here's its summary:

This article analyzes qualitative interviews conducted with twenty vegan and vegetarian men in a semi-urban area of the southeastern United States to better understand how they conceptualize and explain their food consumption identities in relation to their broader identity practices. I find their performances of masculinity often defy the conventional feminization of meatless diets, while also upholding gendered binaries of emotion/rationality and current tropes of white, middle-class masculinity.

This is such a limited sample size that already we should be skeptical of any grand claims. The bulk of the research consists of interviews between these 20 men and the study's author, Mari Kate Mycek, a graduate teaching assistant at North Carolina State University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Mycek characterizes her subjects' justifications for going vegan as inherently masculine because they "situate themselves on the reason side of the reason/emotion binary and subsequently work to maintain a masculine/feminine binary. Veg* men justify their diet-identities as not only reasonable and rational but not emotional. By making this distinction, they align themselves with binary thinking that distances them from devalued femininity. Rather than risk being seen as feminine by showing emotions, they turn an activity traditionally labeled feminine into a manhood act."

Let's turn to examples. Tyler, a 22-year-old grad student, told Mycek that he became vegan because "I started being more interested in environmental issues and I realized that my diet could have a lot of effects on the environment….I realized I had to at least do something to like walk the walk or whatever, so that's what I did."

Several other participants described their reasoning as a matter of ethics—indeed, Mycek summarized 13 of the 20 men as having gone vegan for "ethical reasons." For five others, it was "health," and for the final two, it was "environmental."

What I'm not seeing is a clearly explained difference between "emotion" and "logic," given that the participants apparently went vegan for reasons that could easily be characterized as both emotional and logical. Ethics are just moral principles, and moral principles are informed by a variety of things: moral intuition about right and wrong, personal experience, etc. Don't you have to possess, or develop, a sort of emotional interest in protecting the planet to become vegan for environmental reasons? Why should this decision be characterized as solely rational?

And if the male vegans sound overly logical and rational in their interviews with Mycek, perhaps that's because it was a friendly interview being conducted for academic purposes. Under such circumstances, I can imagine a lot of people, and not just men, wanting to sound like their decision-making process was principally guided by rationality. But reading between the lines, it sort of sounds like Mycek thinks female vegans would say, oh, I'm just viscerally disgusted by cows dying, those are my feelz—while presuming that there's nothing rational about feeling this way. Maybe it's Mycek who's reinforcing a binary.

It probably sounds like I'm beating up a trivial research paper, but "Meatless meals and masculinity" is a good example of a kind of incoherence that's all too common in academia. A recent piece at Quillette strikes at the root of the problem. The author, S.A. Dance, enrolled in graduate school but now teaches at a high school. He writes:

I wondered if my graduate school training just amounted to a parlor trick. Last year, at my high school, the students enjoyed arguing if a hotdog is a sandwich, the millennial equivalent of asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The hotdog question made its way to the whiteboard in our staff lounge. By the time I arrived, my colleagues had written their responses. Some argued that a hot dog is not a sandwich because a sandwich requires two pieces of bread and a hotdog bun isn't supposed to separate. Others averred that it most definitely is a sandwich: Meat between bread is a sandwich, end of story. I saw these responses and thought, "Simpletons!" before putting my graduate education to work: "In order to determine if a 'hotdog is a sandwich,' we must first determine the proper understanding of 'is' for if we do not grasp the ontological necessity of being itself, we fall into an abyss wherein 'being' is and is not itself and thus a hotdog is and is not a sandwich for it is and is not its very self." I was quite amused by the whole situation until a colleague told me that a student had seen the whiteboard and said he wanted to study philosophy so that he could write like me….

I see pretentious prose masking empty thinking in my high school students' writing. I often read sentences like this: "The persistent continuance of racially prejudiced ideologies in the minds of many Americans has only diminished to small degrees or some might think not even at all." Clearly, the student meant to write "racism is still a problem in America," but, realizing the banality of this statement, injected it with prepositional phrases and multisyllabic words. This style of writing is almost encouraged in graduate school. Theorists, by and large, write sloppily.

Perhaps they write sloppily to disguise the fact that they aren't saying anything new or insightful, just reciting ideological arguments against things they already thought were bad. Perhaps they're engaged in what Joseph Heath, a philosopher at the University of Toronto, calls "crypto-normativity," a phenomenon he encountered when serving on a jury for a Canadian book prize. Heath's entire post on the subject is worth reading in full, but here's a snippet:

The most striking thing about the books is that, out of 16 books I received, only four were straightforward instances of what would traditionally be thought of as "social science," according to the positivist conception. In other words, only four of them had as their primary objective the desire to establish and present to the reader facts about the world. The others, by contrast, had as their primary objective the desire to advance a normative agenda—typically, to combat some form of oppression. That is to say, they were driven by the "emancipatory" interest of human reason.

Most of these could broadly be classified as one or another form of "critical" studies. (In academia, the term "critical" is often introduced into the description of a field, in order to flag this orientation toward normative questions, particularly those involving one or another forms of oppression. Thus we have "critical" legal studies, "critical" race studies, "critical" aboriginal studies, and so on.) Most of these books were also profoundly cringe-inducing. They were, to put it mildly, bad. Forced to read a dozen of them, however, I began to notice certain patterns in the badness….

A long time ago, Habermas wrote a critical essay on Foucault, in which he accused him of "cryptonormativism." The accusation was that, although Foucault's work was clearly animated by a set of moral concerns, he refused to state clearly what his moral commitments were, and instead just used normatively loaded vocabulary, like "power," or "regime," as rhetorical devices, to induce the reader to share his normative assessments, while officially denying that he was doing any such thing. The problem, in other words, is that Foucault was smuggling in his values, while pretending he didn't have any. A genuinely critical theory, Habermas argued, has no need for this subterfuge, it should introduce its normative principles explicitly, and provide a rational defence of them….

Reading through these books, I discovered a whole new set of cryptonormative terms that I had perhaps been vaguely aware of, but had not realized how important they were. There is obvious stuff like "neocolonial" and "racializing" (always bad), but there is also the term "stigmatizing." Stigmatization is, apparently, always bad. Anything that stigmatizes anyone else is bad. In some cases, entire bodies of empirical research, which might introduce a bit of moral complexity to the analysis of a particular situation, were swept aside on the grounds that they are "potentially stigmatizing" to oppressed groups. Thus the potential for "stigmatization" served as all-purpose license to ignore inconvenient facts (an egregious display of normative confusion).

In any case, it seems to me fairly obvious why these books are written in the way they are. The authors feel a passionate moral commitment to the improvement of society—this is what animates their entire project, compels them to write a book—but they have no idea how to defend these commitments intellectually, and they have also read a great deal of once-fashionable theory that is essentially skeptical about the foundations of these moral commitments (i.e. Foucault, Bourdieu). As a result, they are basically moral noncognitivists, and perhaps even skeptics. So they turn to using rhetoric and techniques of social control, such as audience limitation, as a way of securing agreement on their normative agenda.

I expect that Mycek's normative agenda is: sexism bad, veganism good. (Her paper makes clear that she is indeed a vegan.) The paper works to obscure this agenda by using sparse qualitative data to advance some related conclusions about gender and veganism. At a time when the ideological coalition that controls the federal government is souring on higher education, this approach does the academy no favors.

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  1. Vegans are by definition sub-beta “males,” and best thought of as “neuter” or “cattle for space aliens”…

    1. Go ahead and say that to Mike Tyson’s face.

      1. You’ve heard his voice?

        Yeah.

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      2. Go ahead and say that to Mike Tyson’s face.

        Can I give his vegan diet a couple of years to work it’s magic first?

        Mike Tyson is a vegan to be feared the same way Kaitlyn Jenner is an Olympian.

        1. Scott Jurek ran the entire Appalachian Trail in 48 days.

          1. The outside hitter on my top ten nationally ranked collegiate volleyball team collapsed with cramps in the 4th set of the first match of the conference tournament.

            1. That sounds like a dehydration issue.

              1. It wasn’t.

            2. Former NCAA basketball powerhouse Bill Walton went veg and had to quit the NBA, because he started breaking the bones in his feet.

          2. Scott Jurek ran the entire Appalachian Trail in 48 days.

            In 1929 Australian Charles Kingsford Smith completed the second circumnavigation of the world by flight, and the first within both hemispheres, including the first trans-Pacific flight to Australia in 1928.

          3. Fine, but how does that help me justify the unexamined dietary choices the government and my parents made for me?

      3. Tyson? That guy who got totally divorced-raped by Robin Givens and her mother?

        Maybe if he was eating meat he would have fought back.

        -jcr

        1. The tiger was his manliness beard.

        2. He wasn’t a vegan back then.

          1. You’re saying he got worse?

      4. Be careful, he might bite off your ear.

    2. Beta-male soy-boys with low testosterone.

    3. Right? The fedora-wearing, basement-dwelling neckbeard beta males could get more sex than these SoyBoys who aren’t even worthy of being called “beta”. They deserve to be called “omega males”.

    4. To the question asked by the article’s title, my answer is:

      Who gives a fuck?

    5. Oooo “How to Serve Man”

  2. The sandwich-definition issue is actually a much-discussed legal question.

    1. By the definition used by the Michigan court, grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not sandwiches.

      By every other standard discussed in the article you linked to, a hot dog is a sandwich.

      1. Unless you put ketchup on it. Then it is an abortion.

  3. “Vegan” and “power” are not words that I associate with one another.

    1. Maybe not in the old days when we had to kill the animals we ate ourselves. But at least a vegan is slaughtering his lettuce with his own bare hands.

      1. “But at least a vegan is slaughtering his lettuce with his own bare hands.”

        No, sorry, the lettuce you buy in the produce section of your grocery store is already just as dead as the steaks in the meat department.

        1. That’s just marketing after customers complained of awakening in the dark to the screaming of the lettuce.

          1. If you were grown drowning in nutrient water in a Mexican hothouse, you would be screaming too!

  4. Smug alert!

    Mega douche

    1. Why no alt-text in the photo accompanying this story? How hard is it to type “douchebag”?

  5. If men eat meat they uphold the patriarchy. If they don’t eat meat – the same.

    I’d say they had an extremely well constructed argument. For a POLITICAL argument

    1. Indeed, the underlying assumption is that men are simply evil and should be erased from existence. The only good man is a man that transitioned from a woman, apparently, and I’d suggest even their days among the ‘right thinkers’ are numbered.

    2. “If men eat meat they uphold the patriarchy. If they don’t eat meat – the same.”

      Fuck YEAH, man!!! OF COURSE that is correct! If’n ye are ass-tounded by that, WHERE have ye BEEN?!?

      Does this not sound familiar?
      You don’t believe in global warmererering?!? Yer a Neanderthal troglodyte!
      You DO believe in global warmererering?!? Yer just sayin’ that ta git down her pants, so yer a Neanderthal troglodyte!

      You vote Rethugglican or Libertarian?!? Yer a repressive patriarch!!! (Democrats are tamed, milquetoast wussies, we’ll just ignore them).
      You vote Communist Party?!? Yer just sayin’ that ta grab her pussy, so yer a repressive patriarch!!!

      You touch people who eat GMO foods, or allow them to touch you? Yer an intolerant bigot!
      You do NOT touch people who eat GMO foods, and do NOT allow them to touch you? Yer just sayin’ that to “score a hookup” with her, so yer an intolerant bigot!

      Makes me wonder is these kind of women ever get laid, or if they’re all lesboes?

      1. “Makes me wonder is these kind of women ever get laid, or if they’re all lesboes?”

        Because there is absolutely no connection between diet choice and sexuality.

        1. Well, a proper vegan eschews all use of animal products, and sperm is an animal product, so…

          1. Real vegans don’t use such loaded terms as ‘animal.’

            1. Actually, yes they do, all the time.

              1. No, they never do, at any time.

  6. Is there a direct correlation of douchebaggery to tools who wear ski caps on the backs of their heads indoors?

    1. Somebody googled “stock hipster douche photo”

      1. I just did that. Very surprising results.

        1. I should not have done that at work. Surprising indeed.

          1. The vegan-in-question must be a fan of “Chicago P.D.”

          2. http://www.complex.com/pop-cul…..ouchebags/

            A Field Guide to D.C. Douchebags

            yeah man!!!!!

            1. There’s nothing wrong with exhibiting pride for your alma mater, but drunkenly rooting for the football team like it’s sophomore year is so, well, sophomoric.

              Fuck you. GO CATS

              1. GO CATS!

          3. Not to mention fun. Loved the “DouCHEbag” sweatshirt

    2. That picture is the frigging epitome of douche bag tool girly boy

      1. Needs some old brown shoes, a worn out V-neck wife beater t-shirt, and a thin leather vest. maybe riding an old bike.

      2. True, but I doubt that’s even a vegan. That smile says “I had bacon and eggs for breakfast”, not “please feed me”.

        1. True: No Oliver Twist there

  7. This is why we can’t do socialism, people: someone will spend their time hand wringing that vegan men don’t have big enough vaginas.

    You can make my coffee while you write that.

    1. Brian, we already know you are a fan of huge vaginas. Also, pull over first if you are gonna post and drive!

      1. Everyone knows that “size doesn’t matter!”

  8. “I realized that my diet could have a lot of effects on the environment”

    Now, *that* is logic.

    1. Everything evil humans do have an effect on the environment.

      That is why we must abolish all industry and cook and eat the rich.

      Thus encapsulates the entire agenda behind the climate alarmists. bka Marxists.

      They’re mentally handicapped.

    2. Logic is only as good as the starting assumptions. Your logic can be flawless but if your assumptions are invalid your result will be invalid. Garbage in, garbage out.

      1. Logic is only as good as the starting assumptions.

        Logic can perform no better than the starting assumptions or logic better than your starting assumptions is pointless.

        Your statement is a bit ambiguous as it leaves open the possibility that you could be handed pristine assumptions, apply garbage instead of logic, and come out with pristine conclusions.

        1. I don’t think what I wrote implies valid assumptions can subvert bad logic.

          1. Depends on what your meaning of the words “is only” is. 🙂

    3. Hmmm, since no matter what he eats, it could have a lot of effects on the environment, isn’t suicide the only rational choice? After all, that brings his environmental impact to an end….

  9. It probably sounds like I’m beating up a trivial research paper

    It probably sounds like CYBERBULLYING!

  10. It probably sounds like I’m beating up a trivial research paper

    It probably sounds like CYBERBULLYING!

    (Also, squirrels.)

    1. Intentional squirreling alert!

      Careful, Rich. I got banned for that once.

  11. Let’s play a game: how many common fallacies can you find in this “research?”

    I see

    1. Ridiculously small sample size
    2. Faulty Authority
    3. Irrelevant Conclusion
    4. Hasty Generalization
    5. Circular Logic [actually, no logic at all]
    6. Fallacy of Emotion [in all of its forms]
    and my personal favorite
    7. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

    Add as you see fit.

    1. She’s a Sociologist, that’s all I needed to know.

      1. Goddamn sociologists. Didn’t Tom Cruise get divorced because he refused to give up sociology?

        1. Is that an Emily Litella joke?

    2. You’re just enforcing the patriarchy by bringing up all those logical fallacies and critiquing the researcher’s rationality.

      1. You gotta believe her. She’s an expert.

        1. “She’s an expert.”

          No, she’s still a drip.

          Expert > ex-spurt > former drip.

          1. Yep!

            An “ex” is a has-been, and a “spert” is a drip under pressure.

    3. There does seem to be something of interest to say of choice of diet and sexual identity. The first comment here: “Vegans are by definition sub-beta “males,” and best thought of as “neuter” or “cattle for space aliens”…” And many similar comments follow. You may not approve of the academic approach to these issues, so maybe literature can help you explore the connections. A narrative is much easier to understand and can be produced without all the trappings of academia, like the large sample sizes you demand. You can learn from literature.

      1. You can learn what the writer(s) think(s) from literature. To determine if that has any relationship with reality, you must go outside literature.

    4. “Qualitative research” = can’t do regular econometric modeling.

      But remember, “research” studies like this are 90% of what academics publish in their peer-reviewed journals.

      1. AH, to put that in laymen’s terms…

        “Qualitative research” means “pulled this right outa my ass”.

        See, speaking clearly is easy so long as you can overcome excess education!

  12. All I can say is that if God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

    1. Seriously. If meat is so bad, then why is steak the most delicious thing on the planet?

      1. When kids ask me what my favorite animal is, I always say pig. When they ask why I say because they taste sooooo good. Then list off a bunch of pork products. They tend to either laugh or react in horror.

        1. Riiiiight. Some sort of maaaagical animal.

        2. I do that, but also add in that pigs are smart and loyal as well. It hurts the kids more.

          1. You should explain that when it comes to pigs it’s them or us. A pig will eat you if you give it a chance.

            1. Me and my entire family if given the chance.

            2. +1 gross fact about the Civil War.

          2. Pigs are smart, loyal…and tasty.

        3. yep,

          I usually tell irritating progressives (why do they always love cats?) that I too love cat …. it tastes just like chicken!

          The usually leave me alone after that … thankfully.

    2. You should consider putting that on a t shirt. Seriously.

    3. So God wants us to eat each other? Sarcasmic supports cannibalism!

      1. Know why cannibals don’t eat clowns?

        They taste funny.

        1. Why was the cannibal expelled from school? Because he kept buttering up the teacher.

          1. Two cannibals are eating Amy Schumer, and one says to the other,
            “Does this taste funny to you?”
            The other dryly replies,
            “Not in the slightest.”
            and continues eating

        2. A cannibal was boiling a missionary in a big cauldron.

          Another cannibal walks by and says “hey, you can’t boil him!”

          “Why not?” asks the first cannibal.

          “Because”, replies the second cannibal, “he’s a friar.”

      2. I’ve heard people tastes like pork. Yet another white meat.

        1. Interesting fact: people are all dark meat except for the calf muscle. That’s the only white meat on humans.

          1. You seem to know an awful lot about this. You also had a whole bunch of cannibal joked all cued up. Just sayin’.

      3. What is the ultimate in trust?

        Gay cannibal.

    4. Oh so you didn’t know that God is a fable? And yes you are a piece of crap for paying someone to stab innocent animals to death.

  13. The only rational reason for an individual to be a vegan is because it pleases him. He’s not going to save the world by himself. And presumably he understands that scolding others for their food choices or talking incessantly about food is boorish behavior.

    1. He’s not going to save the world by himself.

      Exactly. That’s why you don’t go off the grid or otherwise take steps to reduce your carbon footprint. Because it wouldn’t make a difference. Like most leftists, you won’t do your part unless government forces everyone else to do it too.

      1. I don’t have a “part” to do without large-scale efforts (done by government because that’s what governments do). There is literally no point to making life harder for myself other than to virtue signal, and believe it or not I’m not into that.

        1. And yet, you continue to boorishly badger others.

        2. You don’t want to make life harder for yourself, but you’d be perfectly fine with government making your life harder as long as it make everyone’s life harder.

          1. Clearly nobody expects Americans to sacrifice so much as a single horsepower for the good of the species, so we’ll have to work around that and make sure solutions are neutral or improve people’s well-being.

            1. Though I know plenty of people who do such things by choice. This article was about vegans, who seem to be doing something good you think by choice. I know people who willingly compost and do various hippy-dippy shit, all voluntarily.

              I don’t know how effective it is, but they are trying. What you’re saying is that American’s are more hesitant than other countries in the world to shove the long dick of the law into others preferences. And even that, it’s ridiculously stupid to act like America doesn’t heavily regulate many things in that regard.

            2. American’s sacrifice a lot. Note the transfer payments to the 3rd world from both the government (bad) and individuals (good).

              If you don’t have much, generally you also can’t sacrifice much.

            3. Clearly not, so why bring it up?

      2. If I go off the grid at some future date, it will be because utilities are shitty vendors in my experience. If my power goes out in a storm, I want to grab my tools and turn it back on myself instead of waiting a couple of days for the electric company to get around to my neighborhood.

        -jcr

    2. Oh, great. First we have Red Tony, then Yellow Tony, and now Reasonable Tony? You guys should form a band.

      1. “From each according to their ability, to each according to their want, what they really, really want.”

        I’m thinking this could work. Should they go with ‘Spice Tonies’ or ‘Tony Tony Tony’?

      2. Bass, called it! Suck on that one, past and alternate-universe mes.

    3. Woah, somebody with common-sense just hijacked Tony’s account and is posting rational statements.

      1. He forgot to change sockpuppets.

      2. Tony naturally breaks with progs over meat eating… no way he’s giving up his sausage habit.

    4. . . . vegan . . .

      And presumably he understands that scolding others for their food choices or talking incessantly about food is boorish behavior.

      Nope. 3/4 of the reason to be a vegan for most people is because they can *specifically* scold others for their food choices and talk about it.

    5. Very ignorant comment. The only rational reason to be vegan is because SUFFERING. Ever heard of it? Would you like to be confined and tortured for your entire life and then killed so someone like you can have a hot dog?

  14. It is foolish to overanalyze anything a grad student says.

  15. The study is in some sense making the claim that rationality is masculine and emotion is feminine?which to my mind seems like a gendered assumption on its own.

    IT WOULD.

    1. It would seem that way to a *man* like you.

    2. Soave is funny that he was expecting something other than cognitive dissonance.

  16. Her paper makes clear that she is indeed a vegan.

    When I read a whitesheet paper, the number one sign of quality, for me at least, is how much the scientist talks about themselves.

  17. This is what happens when all the good theses are taken.

  18. I see pretentious prose masking empty thinking in my high school students’ writing. I often read sentences like this: “The persistent continuance of racially prejudiced ideologies in the minds of many Americans has only diminished to small degrees or some might think not even at all.” Clearly, the student meant to write “racism is still a problem in America,” but, realizing the banality of this statement, injected it with prepositional phrases and multisyllabic words.

    Watch any local news broadcast where a reporter has some reason to talk to some rando on the street. You’ll be treated to a live version of this. What seems to be the most common is people trying to cop-talk to sound like they actually know something. It’s pretty funny.

    1. Personally, I’ve found this to be a side effect of certain personality types (some insist they’re defects) and the treatments thereof.

      My son refused to write in complete sentences when one-word answers would suffice and when asked to write free-from or long answer would write as little as possible, despising to waste time and effort pushing a pencil around. One diagnosis, education intervention plan, and prescription fill later and he can write pages of crap about nothing and everyone is happy, except maybe him (not that he was an overtly joyous kid before).

      1. This is true. Public school beat the brevity out of me.

      2. If you don’t spend an appropriate amount of your time babbling on paper, you are likely to starting thinking. And where does that lead? Hmmm?

        For one thing, it will make stupid people feel bad about themselves
        AND, it will make you unpopular among all those young women.

        no, No, NO! Babbling is a critical social skill.

        I am SO SORRY for my clearly masculine stereotypical comment about women. sarc

  19. So the underlying assumption of this student’s entire piece is that using reason or intellect is a masculine and using emotion is feminine?

    Wow, that explains a lot! Now I understand why whenever a fight breaks out in a bar or in the street, it’s always women. Their emotions run out of control, whereas all the men are careful to stand back, assess the variables, and coolly calculate the cost-vs-benefits of trading punches with strangers.

    Seems to me this student is very misogynistic with her basic assumptions!

    I recall studying a bit about sociology way back when. I seem to recall that sociologists back in the last half of the previous century tried to refrain from making value judgements about the people they were interviewing.

    So, if you interviewed, say, a Hell’s Angels member, or a member of the Black Panthers, or whatever, you tried not to impose your own values or judgements. You merely reported the information they conveyed and then tried to organize the information and draw conclusions about the distinguishing characteristics of that particular sub-group. Even when you talked about “deviance from societal norms,” it wasn’t meant to disparage the deviants. But I guess those sociologists were just being way too “masculine.”

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but if I were this person’s advisor, I’d flunk her and tell her she maybe needs to re-take Soc 101.

    1. You can’t do that!
      It would potentially maybe offend her in some incomprehensible way, and get you sued off the campus, you sexist!

  20. The study purports to show that although being vegan is a feminine trait, men who adopt the diet do so for masculine reasons (like rationality) instead of feminine reasons (like emotion) and are thus upholding rather subverting the patriarchy.

    “The patriarchy” amounts to men working themselves to death and transferring massive amounts of money to women so that women have a comfortable life. If women want to end that, that’s fine by me. Let’s start by massively cutting taxes and ending women’s health programs.

    1. Or as Christina Hoff Summers put it, “Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering.”

    2. Yup. The whole idea is ridiculous. Women today are screwing men over so hard. We’re basically still saddled with all the responsibilities of the past, but we don’t even get the perks that made the arrangement semi decent for us. I’m not huge into it, but I have read/watched a bit of stuff over the years, and the whole MRA/MGTOW movement has a LOT of valid points.

  21. Of all the things that vegans can be accused of, “reinforcing masculine power” is not among them.

    -jcr

  22. “Department of Sociology and Anthropology”: where federal student loan dollars go to be pissed away.

    -jcr

  23. I often read sentences like this: “The persistent continuance of racially prejudiced ideologies in the minds of many Americans has only diminished to small degrees or some might think not even at all.” Clearly, the student meant to write “racism is still a problem in America,” but, realizing the banality of this statement, injected it with prepositional phrases and multisyllabic words.

    “Persistant continuance” is redundant and bloated.

    A good technical writing course can do wonders for cutting out the fat and conciseness, not to mention how it weeds out unneeded and pretentious language.

    1. “Persistent,” that is.

      (Left that wide open.)

    2. The performance of professors and other academic types is judged by the volume of their publishing, the quality of what they publish is irrelevant, so conciseness is not a virtue.

      1. Many scientific journals have strict and punishing page limits actually. Of course scientists are taught to just look at the figures and maybe the methods section.

    3. You are seriously missing the point.

      In technical writing, you actually have something to say, and desire to say it clearly so it can be easily understood.

      Academic Babble is intended to give the IMPRESSION that you are very knowledgeable about some topic that is SO difficult you should just accept the conclusion at face value because you can’t possibly understand the rest.

  24. “diet-identities”

    No. Get out of here with the Orwellian phrases.

  25. “Stigmatization is, apparently, always bad.”

    I live in New Hampshire. I keep hearing politicians, local media and read editorials in the paper saying we need to stop “stigmatizing” heroin use and heroin addicts. We stopped stigmatizing it and more people than ever are using it here. Maybe some stigmas are actually good.

    1. I assure you heroin use and addiction is stigmatized. Even in New Hampshire.

    2. Morris County, New Jersey, has officially declared itself a “stigma-free County.” Damned if I know what that means.

    3. It’s ridiculous. They’ve taken things that are essentially good and healthy for making society function, and turned them into evil things. Being a “discriminating person” used to be considered a good thing… As it should be. Letting screw ups slide on being screw ups is never a good thing.

  26. And academics wonder why so many people hate them-the grad assistant who did this study probably is getting a grant for it.

    1. And this is considered “science” too.

  27. I have little idea why libertarians freak out at the idea of critical theory, except that it is often applied by their opponents. Much discourse is normative and involves strategies of control. It is probably a trait of our species: we communicate to challenge or defend social positions. We like to obscure the fact that our words do not stem from objective reason but are a reflection of biases and preferences that we would like to impose on others as “fact” or “science” or “morality”.

    Some authors try to use language in different ways to shake loose hidden assumptions. Unfortunately they are often mimicked by others who think convoluted language is the point, rather than a strategy to allow thought to flow in meaningful, but unconventional, ways. This mimicry leads to gibberish. But in the hands of a skilled practitioner critical theory can expose underlying strategies of coercion. Left ideology is particularly susceptible to this analysis, whose ultimate goal is not righteousness, but freedom. Libertarians should embrace this tool, not reject it.

    1. Mind trying that again in English?

      -jcr

      1. Come on. It’s not that hard to understand.

        A simplified translation is: Libertarians should like critical theory because it exposes people trying to sneak their preferences or opinions in as fact.

        But there is joy and adventure in using precise words and interesting vocabulary and rhythms in writing, and hopefully in reading them. However the words should mean something, unlike some critical theory inspired writing in which the words are like a Rorschach blot, so loosely and carelessly assembled that the reader has to invent a meaning behind them.

  28. Vegan men are vegan just so they can sleep with vegan womyn,

    1. But vegans avoid all animal products (not just food). Sperm and semen are animal products.

      Therefore, vegan womyn don’t sleep with men.

      1. You’re not breaking the covenant of veganism if you catch and spit it out.

  29. The study purports to show that although being vegan is a feminine trait,

    The study is in some sense making the claim that rationality is masculine and emotion is feminine?which to my mind seems like a gendered assumption on its own.

    Well, uh, the *very basis for the existence* of the study is rooted in the existence of gender differences – so its not unexpected that they’ll be making assumptions about gender.

    Its not like these people are consistent. There is no difference between men and women except when its convenient (to women) for their to be a difference.

  30. . . . they turn an activity traditionally labeled feminine into a manhood act.

    Fucking millenials man 😉

    This just shows the paper’s author’s lack of knowledge *going in* to the study. I’ve been around vegans and vegetarians most of my life – its never been perceived as ‘traditionally feminine’. Except in sitcoms. Where the fatass male lead bitches about his wife making him eat a salad.

    1. You shouldn’t ignore what the sitcoms tell you. They may be more revealing than your personal experiences. If you don’t like sitcoms however, read the comments here. Nobody here seems to have any problem with notion linking sexuality with diet choice. Start with the first comment and work your way down.

    2. Yeeeah, it kind of is feminine. Maybe at some point it wasn’t, but in the modern west it is they type of men who have gone that way that makes it so.

      Hitler was a vegetarian. So maybe not feminine in the 30s/40s… But NOW. Almost every vegetarian/vegan I have ever known as a total pussy. I’ve known a few exceptions, and they were mostly doing it for health reasons versus moral. IMO being about 70-80% vegetarian, with little of that being carbs, plus plenty of meat and little sugar seems to be what science says is about the perfect diet for humans. But going full on vegetarian is just pointless and counterproductive for health really.

      1. Hitler was not a vegetarian. That’s a common mistake. He ate meat fairly regularly but not everyday. To be considered a vegetarian one must avoid meat entirely for life.

        1. As I understand it he would eat fish sometimes, and a sausage on occasion, maybe some other stuff once in a blue moon. So he wasn’t a strict vegetarian, but ate mostly vegetarian most of the time. So you could kind of go either way depending on how strict you wanna be with it all.

    1. OH NO! Won’t do it! They smell bad, and lack of protein makes you stupid, and lack of proper fats makes you slow.
      I am not fucking anything that is slow, stupid and smells bad!

  31. Are flippibidy floppidy derp derpity derps just flooping de derp derp floop in order to flibbidy derp derp derp? And do I care anymore?

    Svalbard or Saint Helena is looking better all the time.

  32. Vegan and Men do not belong in the same sentence. Eat Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner!

    1. Or pork
      Or chicken
      Or lamb
      Or venison
      Or goat
      Or

      1. or anything that tastes like chicken?

    2. Wow you must be a Rhodes scholar to make such an informed and intelligent comment. :/

  33. So, the takeaway here is that “is a hot dog a sandwich” is a compelling philosophical question?
    Heh, just kidding. I think the more important point is that feminists and the politically correct crowd have decided that it’s not enough to be on the right side, you have to be on the right side for the right reasons, or in this case, the right “emotions”. It’s all about what you think and what your intentions are, never mind the actual results or consequences.

  34. Well of course women are more emotional and men more rational. Anybody who has eyes to see and ears to hear knows this. Science also basically backs this up with a million studies that show differences in our thinking.

    These so called rational thinkers do not seem to be especially rational though. More like emotional while rationalizing their emotions. Not the same thing.

  35. So my, “I became a vegan because that hot blond with the great legs is a vegan” is a bad answer?

    1. Only if it is true.
      The correct answer is “I lied and said I became a vegan because that hot blond with the great legs is a vegan”

  36. A grad student gets her “study” into an open source non reviewed website which is not a real professional journal.

    Somehow someone actually reads it, or more likely did not pay the firewall and just looked at the abstract and jumps on it because it is ridiculous but has keywords. It filters through and even more hear about it than it deserves.

    Hell yes I am a real man and eat meat! That is pure emotion.

    Women are emotional men are rational. Blah blah. Yes we know about sexual differences.

    I could care less about what anyone else eats. That is your business and does no harm to me.

    When it comes to eating do what you want.

    Also I know for a fact that women are not less capable of rational thinking.

    Don’t let the pony tail fool you.

  37. Robby, why are you writing about this? A study involving all of 20 men? And it’s all based on interviews? WHO CARES??

    1. The point is, this research is getting done at a state school – guess who pays?

      If they were hobbyists playing around with their trust funds, maybe it would be just a human-interest story. And not very interesting, I’ll grant you.

    2. Robby cares; you clicked didn’t you?
      Follow the money.

  38. On balance, you’re going to find vegetarianism, and its ugly cousin veganism, to be practiced by educated white folk: You seldom find it in trailer parks, ghettos and third world areas.

    I watched close up the destruction these two practices played upon a family member. She became anorexic and looked like death.

    You single folks out there, don’t ever date or marry a vegetarian or vegan. Your life will become a living Hell in ways you never thought of.

    1. The way most people practice it is VERY unhealthy. I’ve known a lot of people who had to go back to eating meat because their health went to shit.

      The truth is the modern western diet is garbage… But so is being a strict vegetarian. Eating about 7-80% fruits and veg, plus meat and dairy for the rest, is about the best diet from all I’ve looked into. Basically a LOT fewer carbs and more greens, but meat is still awesome for you.

  39. There are no live vegans.

  40. what the fuck does being vegetarian/vegan have anything to do with masculinity? Eat whatever the fuck you want, food doesn’t make you a man. Honor, honesty, ethics, and will power make you a man. That is completely orthogonal to what you had for dinner.

  41. The “researcher” who did this paper also made the egregious error of not also interviewing women. I suspect she would have found virtually no difference in the two sexes reasons for going vegan.

  42. How can Mari Kate Mycek be a teaching assistant or anything else besides being locked up in an insane asylum?

    How do these people go through life without the people around them telling them that they have severe mental problems? Or are there so many people at these college campuses that are mentally deranged like her that it’s just par for the course?

  43. Interesting study.
    So exactly how much student debt does this fantasy piece pay off?

    I remember when the Mac computer first came out. There was a little cartoon moose that would pop up randomly with a quip. One was “I know what you are going to do. DON’T D IT!”. Another was “For this you spent 4 years in college?”.
    I think both apply here.

    To actually make a point, there is no such thing as a vegetarian male. Like Pacifist male, it is an oxymoron.

  44. I’m a normal 6’2″ male. I don’t wear socks on my head, tie-dye or cover myself in animal feces and sit outside a butcher shops to protest animal rights. I’m also a Rothbardian ancap and I’m hetro.

    I changed over to a vegan diet because I want my d**k to still be working when I’m 50 and I don’t want to die of cancer in my 60s. It’s also not very ethical to drive a bolt through the brains of a cow because you like the way it’s dead body tastes.

    The lowest IQ portion of the American population eats the most animal products. There’s a step-wise association between stupidity and animal product consumption, and the same goes for impotence, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other associated autoimmune diseases.

    1. “I changed over to a vegan diet…”
      You may call your diet “vegan” but you’re lying.

    2. “The lowest IQ portion of the American population eats the most animal products. There’s a step-wise association between stupidity and animal product consumption, and the same goes for impotence, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other associated autoimmune diseases.”

      I love it when the left lies to themselves and others in order to justify some feel-goodism that they’re proud to shout out.

    3. So I “get” the ethical argument, but think it’s bunk. It’s just nature man. We’re omnivorous, it’s how we evolved.

      The health side is the only side that makes rational sense to me really. But the thing is being 100% vegan is actually NOT the best for you. There are some fats and cholesterols that you absolutely cannot get from plants that are used in the brain. Not to mention it’s just waaay easier to get protein, fats, and lots of other stuff from animal products.

      In all the research I have done over the years I’ve come to the conclusion by combining all the evidence from all sides that the best diet is probably about 70-80% vegetarian, with almost none of that coming from carbs… Which most vegans go waaay to heavy on because they just plain need the calories.

      Going vegan will give you a temporary boost in how you feel if you’re coming from a typical American diet, but it’s not the best long term. People who fool themselves into thinking it is haven’t really looked at a lot of the data that’s out there IMO. Meat is great for you in reasonable amounts, as is fat, cholesterol etc.

      1. Vek, you are not a very rational person. You do realize that a pig feels pain EXACTLY the same way you do right? Maybe you don’t know this. How do you justify torturing and killing them? Even if meat were healthy, and it most definitely is not, you cannot justify torturing someone else for your selfish benefit. You are also very mistaken about how to eat. You’re reading Atkin’s ketogenic nonsense. Carbs are the most efficient fuel for the body, but it appears you don’t grasp this BASIC knowledge. Please just stop posting on forums when you are so so ignorant of simple concepts like nutrition and ethics.

        1. LOL You’re the one who has drunk the kool aid man.

          1. I know animals feel pain. I get it. But that’s life man. The deer a wolf kills and eats feels pain too. The wolf would feel pain if a bear decided to kill it too. It’s just nature. I DO support more ethical treatment of animals, and try to buy free range/grass fed etc. I think we could do a lot better, and I support that. But it’s just the circle of life. We’re higher up on the food chain. I feel mildly bad when I think about animals being killed for dinner, like the stroganoff I’m cooking right now! But it’s not going to stop me because meat is tasty, it is healthy, and it is the way our species evolved to feed ourselves. If a cow gets bolted in the head properly, it’s less painful than a wolf or lion killing it, which is what happens in nature. Why should I feel so bad I stop eating meat?

          2. Atkins is an idiot, but has made some valid points along the way. I’m talking about combining a wide consensus of research from both pro vegetarian sources and more traditional diet advocates. Science shows Americans eat too much meat and too many carbs, and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Carbs are fine and well in reasonable quantities, BUT they should NOT be the bulk of your diet. That is one of the biggest problems with our current diet, whether vegetarian or not. Pigging on carbs is exactly what many vegetarians do, because leafy greens and fruits alone don’t pack enough calories to be able to fuel you for the day.

        2. Not ALL vegetarians do this, some throw in more nuts etc which is better, but many gorge on bread and pasta… Which is a horrible idea. Carbs are basically ONLY useful for their easily accessible calories, but other than that they’re basically devoid of nutritional value. These are scientific facts dude.

          3. Meat and other animal products on the other hand, have lots of calories and fats, cholesterols, proteins, and other trace things we need. Smoked and cured meats are outright not good for you, but eating a steak, piece of chicken, or pork chops are not. They’re better for you calorie for calorie than carbs by a country mile! Anybody who has said they are bad for you in reasonable amounts is a moron who is contradicting everything we know about health science because of their ideological beliefs.

          Hence, if you want to be healthy you should eat mostly vegetarian, with the remainder being meat/animal products. Of the vegetarian stuff, it should not be too carb heavy, but rather mostly fruits and veg. This is basically what modern science says based on everything we know about nutrition. Anyone saying anything to the contrary is a huckster or an insane ideologue.

          1. “I get it. But that’s life man.” If I see you getting stabbed in an alleyway someday I’ll be sure to just keep on walking since “it’s just the circle of life.”

            No, it’s the circle of death. You’re using the naturalistic fallacy. It’s the same kind of argument as “God says so.” Nature sucks, clearly, it’s not something we should imitate. We have brains and we can use them to figure out right and wrong. Do you think a lion understands that his prey has feelings? Of course not, but we do, therefore there is no excuse.

            Your comments on nutrition further show that you have no idea what you are talking about. Fruits and vegetables are carbs. I’m not talking about refined white flour here. The optimal amount of dietary cholesterol for a human is zero. If you eat animals products then you are hurting yourself. All of the major diseases are caused by a high fat, high cholesterol diet. I get it, it’s hard to accept that everything you were taught by your parents is wrong, but it is nonetheless. I have not eaten an animal in nine years and am much healthier for it. But more importantly I realized that every cow, pig, and chicken is me. Killing them for fun (which is what you are doing) if like killing yourself.

            1. LOL I hadn’t checked back for a few days, I wish I had!

              Yes, we have brains and know things lions don’t… But so what? Nature is very cruel indeed, which is why I am in favor of being nicer to the animals I eat than nature. Bolt them quick and painless when the time comes, and give them space to roam freely before that. There is nothing else any lower animal can want out of life other than to run around a bit, eat on the regular, maybe breed, and die a quick death. That’s better than nature gives them! But we’re still evolved to eat meat, and it tastes awesome. So for the very small “evil” that I am committing, I’m totally fine with it on balance. There are degrees of morality. Eating an animal is not at the top of the list of horrible things.

              Ugh. Of course I know lots of things have carbs, but vegetables and fruits have lots of other vitamins, nutrients, fiber, etc too. I was obviously meaning it in the sense of the nutritionally lame refined carbs and even whole grains which don’t have a lot else going for them other than raw calories.

              Try eating nothing but rice or wheat and you will die. Many vegans eat too much bread/pasta etc to make up for calories lost from eating meat. I know plenty of friends who do just this. This is garbage for you. It’s tough to get enough calories to survive from just fruits and veggies.

              “All of the major diseases are caused by a high fat, high cholesterol diet.”

            2. Exactly what I said isn’t it? But a REASONABLE amount of meat is good for you. Zero cholesterol would be awful for your health. If we’re not supposed to eat cholesterol, how come we have it all throughout our brains genius? Did you know our body can’t even produce some types of cholesterols we need in our brains from plant food? Your brain literally can’t function as it is supposed to without eating them, and they only come from animals. Super high cholesterol is bad, but some is not. And hell, even if it was it would be worth it! Scrambled eggs are awesome!

              You’re obviously a crazy zealot, and I am done with this conversation. You’re free to only eat plants if you want, but vegan-Nazis like you can fuck straight off trying to guilt trip people for eating meat, which is perfectly normal, natural, and healthy for our species. Would you try to force a lion onto a vegan diet? Because we’re omnivorous by nature, for millions of years. It’s how we’re supposed to do it.

    4. Here, let me help you, you super-smart vegan.

      The portion of the American population with the lowest IQ eats the most animal products

      See? An intelligible sentence!

      Now go over your mega-smart post and see if you can’t find the rest of the idiocies you committed to posterity to show how much smarter you are than meat-eaters.

    5. What did all those poor plants ever do to you? Won’t someone think of the cabbage?

    6. michael suede, i’m pretty sure that your claim about intelligence is probably not a causal relationship, even if it’s true (which is questionable).

      veganism is generally a first-world choice, because third worlders generally eat what they have available, whether plant or animal. wealthy (or at least middle class) people have the resources to eat vegan and take fancy supplements – and in America, the wealthy and upper middle class tend to not be in the lower third or lower half of the bell curve. celebrities and oroathletes being the possible exception.

      lots and lots of healthy old people eat meat. Clint Eastward, widely reported to be a vegan, said he wasn’t in a NYT’s article.

      like everything else, “the poison is in the dose”.

      1. I never said it was causal. You can’t change your IQ. However, it takes some brain power to determine that the healthiest diet to consume is a whole food plant based vegan diet. There’s a ton of misinformation and junk science in relation to diet that is floating around out there. Industry funds huge numbers of studies supposedly showing that saturated fat and cholesterol play no role in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.. Only a person enough brain power to understand statistical subterfuge could arrive at the correct conclusion.

        1. LOL

          See above that I agree we should eat faaar more vegetables… But you’re trippin’ if you think strict vegan is better than a 70-80% vegetable based diet + meat and animal products.

          The typical American diet is awful. No doubt there. But why do you compare the strict vegan diet to what is already known to be horrible, instead of a BETTER diet that still includes meats? If you get a reasonable portion of your calories from meat there is no massive downside… And it is tasty as hell!

  45. The last meat meal male vegans eat is their own balls.

    1. So acting unethically is masculine and behaving ethically is emasculating is what you are saying? Just wondering if you have any proof of that?

      1. It’s not unethical to eat food our species evolved to eat! Pussy.

        🙂

  46. the trite title of the article belies a serious problem with the ridiculous lack of scholarship in social “science” and other liberal arts. this particular study should have just been an example in a larger and more exhaustive article.

  47. “Ethics are just moral principles, and moral principles are informed by a variety of things: moral intuition about right and wrong, personal experience, etc.”

    This is not correct. Ethics is a branch of science. Principles come from ethics, not the other way around. Ethics are informed by facts like evolution and physics.

    1. Sorry… There is no such thing as a truly objective ethical argument. It’s all feelz when you get down to it. There just happen to be some things that 99% of people agree on, but even that doesn’t make something truly objectively correct.

      1. Your nihilism cannot stand up to the facts. All humans and animals agree 100% that pain and suffering is objectively bad. Therefore to cause it to another is the same as causing it to yourself. It’s stupid and illogical.

        1. What if you kill them quick? Then is it bad, like if they don’t suffer?

          The fact is killing is part of life. It’s not the prettiest part of life, but it’s a central theme none the less. I’m not opposed to killing other people under the right circumstances either, like if they’re trying to do material harm to me. Should avoiding causing somebody else pain be my highest value, no matter what it costs me? Whether that be my freedom of speech let us say, or my freedom to eat meat? Concessions must be made sometimes! 🙂

  48. You can get some excellent healthy food at a vegan restaurant. They know how to make meatless taste good. I don’t intend on going vegan, but as long as they don’t give me the ‘meat is murder’ crap, I think its a decent idea.

    1. Crap? So it’s okay to breed sentient beings to be tortured and killed? You don’t find any ethical problem with that whatsoever? Then why be opposed to black slavery? After all you’re not enslaved it’s someone else.

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  50. This is what happens when you’re born into a liberal family that has more money than Davy Crockett. You spend 10 years in school and get 3 degrees so that you are qualified to over analyze shit that doesn’t matter.

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