Is eating meat so macho?
AT 53 he is fitter than men half his age, yet according to a study vegetarian David Bloom is perceived as ‘less macho’ than males who like tucking into a juicy steak.
The father-of-five laughed off findings that vegetarian men were seen as less manly.
“Before I stopped eating meat, I felt lethargic all the time,” Mr Bloom said.
“Now I have stopped, I am running ultra-endurance marathons and beating 21-year-olds on the squash court.”
The University of British Columbia study gave young men and women descriptions of fictional students varying only according to diet, and asked them to rate aspects of their personalities.
The vegetarian characters were seen as being more virtuous, however, further questioning revealed that men who did not eat meat were also viewed as less masculine than the others – even by vegetarians.
Mr Bloom has been vegetarian for about two years and said it was his youngest daughter Samantha who had helped him make the decision.
“The kids went through a vegetarian stage and didn’t want to hurt animals,” he said.
“When our youngest decided to become vegetarian, it was just easier with three of us in the house to make vegetarian meals.”
The Aratula resident said working at an abattoir in New South Wales had also helped curb his carnivorous tendencies.
“Years ago I had to kill my own meat, and looking into the eyes of the animals just disturbed me,” Mr Bloom said.
“It is easy to eat meat when you are divorced from the process.”
Busy Beat Ipswich hub manager Adrian Berry loves his meat and couldn’t imagine going without.
“If I just have a vegetarian meal at home, I’m dying to get into the fridge within two hours to find a bit of meat to eat,” Mr Berry said.
But he said he disagreed with findings that men who did not eat meat were viewed as “wimps”.
“I think men these days have more of an open view on things,” Mr Berry said.
“Our culture is so diverse now.”
Research has found vegetarians are seen as pacifist, weight-conscious and liberal.