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Real Men Eat Plants
Historically, the vast majority of vegetarians and vegans were women. Men just weren’t likely to give up meat, in part because eating steaks, burgers, and foot long hotdogs was seen as manly.

That’s changing quickly. A growing group of celebrity men are vegetarian. Tobey Maguire from Spider-Man. Orlando Bloom, the star of Pirates of the Caribbean. Brad Pitt of Angelina Jolie fame. Bob Harper, the trainer on The Biggest Loser.

More and more everyday men, especially men in their 40s and 50s, are becoming vegetarian too. They are giving up meat for a variety of reasons including to lose weight, look better, feel better, and live longer. (It probably doesn’t hurt that vegetarians appear to have fewer issues with ED, too.)

The notion that eating vegetarian is macho and mainstream is being spurred on by books like The Engine 2 Diet. It outlines a vegetarian eating plan created by a Texas firefighter to help his firehouse crew lower their cholesterol and lose weight.

While there aren’t firm statistics about this trend---men tend to be quite private about their eating habits---it is notable enough to have been named. The Boston Globe coined the term “Hegan” to describe men who have recently become vegetarian or vegan.

We should think about...
  • How quickly will this trend expand the market for vegetarian products? How can we participate?
  • Are our healthy eating/vegetarian messages too feminine? How can we make sure they resonate with men too?
Sources: Boston Globe 2010; Lara Jackle Dickinson; Prepared Foods 2010
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