Yes, men eat more meat

Since Saturday August 27, the Green MP Sandrine Rousseau has been subjected to a wave of harassment on social networks because of a sentence pronounced during a round table at the Europe Écologie-Les Verts summer days (EELV) in Grenoble. She said there that it was necessary changing mentality so that eating a steak cooked on a barbecue is no longer a symbol of virility ».

But it’s a fact: men eat more meat than women and multiple scientific studies confirm his point. It is written in the panorama of vegetarian consumption in Europe, produced by the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Credoc) for FranceAgriMer or in a study by the National Health Security Agency food, environment and work (ANSES).

Same thing overseas, where British researchers calculated that the men’s diet emitted 41 % more greenhouse gases than women, mainly due to their high consumption of meat. Another study published in the scientific journal Appetite shows that the more men report conforming to a traditional male identity, the more often they report eating beef. In the United States, a study carried out by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that men eat meat to be more manly.

An observation shared by journalist Nora Bouazzouni, author of Steaksism — Putting an end to the myth of veggies and meat (ed. Nouriturfu, 2021). Red meat is the food most symbolically charged with a virile status. If you eat an animal, you absorb its vitality. Meat is associated with strength, muscle. It makes it possible to reaffirm a domination of man over everything else »she said in an interview with Reporterre.

Despite several scientific studies and sociological analyzes confirming her statements, many politicians have denigrated Sandrine Rousseau’s comments on Twitter, from the far right to the communist Fabien Roussel. The deputy, who had distinguished himself for his love for meat during the presidential campaign, gave a layer of it on Europe 1 with a very elegant: Frankly, you’re not going to talk to me about the sex of cutlets anyway ! » The communist then said we ate meat according to what we have in the wallet, and not according to what we have in our panties or in our briefs ». It should be noted that the working classes eat more meat than the more well-to-do – but of lower quality. In 2016, a worker thus ate an average of 151 grams of meat per day, compared to 113 grams for a manager / liberal profession, according to Credoc.

Meatless diets have the lowest carbon footprint

Finally, Sandrine Rousseau’s detractors avoid the substantive debate: the need to reduce our meat consumption to limit climate change. Producing meat has very harmful consequences on the environment: deforestation, damage to biodiversity, gigantic consumption of water and cereals… Thus, vegan and vegetarian diets are those with the lowest carbon footprint, such as showed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018.

The potential impacts, by 2050, of different types of diets in terms of carbon footprints and pressure on land. IPCC

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