Vegan Sexuality: Challenging Heteronormative Masculinity through Meat-free Sex
This is an actual peer reviewed study:
The terms ‘vegansexuality’ and ‘vegansexuals’ entered popular discourse following substantial media interest in a New Zealand-based academic study on ethical consumption that noted that some vegans engaged in sexual relationships and intimate partnerships only with other vegans. At this time it was suggested that a spectrum existed in relation to cruelty-free consumption and sexual relationships: at one end of this spectrum, a form of sexual preference influenced by veganism entailed an increased likelihood of sexual attraction towards those who shared similar beliefs regarding the exploitation of non-human animals; at the other end of the spectrum such a propensity might manifest as a strong sexual aversion to the bodies of those who consume meat and other animal products. The extensive media hype about (and public response to) vegansexuality was predominantly negative and derogatory towards ‘vegansexuals’ and vegans/vegetarians. A particular aggression was evident in online comments by those positioned as heterosexual meat-eating men. In this article we examine the hostile responses to vegansexuality and veganism posted by such men on internet news and journalism sites, personal blogs and chatrooms. We argue that the rhetoric associated with this backlash constructs vegansexuals — and vegans more generally — as (sexual) losers, cowards, deviants, failures and bigots. Furthermore, we suggest that the vigorous reactions of self-identified omnivorous men demonstrate how the notion of alternative sexual practices predicated on the refusal of meat culture radically challenges the powerful links between meat-eating, masculinity and virility in western societies.