When it comes to toxic masculinity and the perceived image of what it means to be a man, there’s nothing more outdated than the whole “you’re not a man if you don’t eat meat” debate. In fact, most men will try to tell you that meat is the best source of protein for your body and you won’t be able to gain muscle without it. 

As our society matures, we are starting to see more and more people follow a plant-based diet and eating less red meat — in some cases, giving it up entirely. What advertisements and propaganda will try to tell you is that you can’t perform at peak performance without meat. 

If this is true, how come some of the greatest athletes in the world follow a plant-focused diet? Some of the greatest bodybuilders, weightlifters, runners, pro football players, and basketball players have strayed away from meat. Yet, they’ve been able to enjoy a long, successful career that might not have been possible with a different diet.

We Don’t Need Meat, But We Need Protein… Don’t We?

When people hear the term “plant-based diet,” they automatically fear that they’ll be giving up protein and won’t be able to gain muscle. Not only is this completely wrong, especially since the Roman Gladiators were all predominantly vegetarian, but there are plenty of foods out there that contain protein. 

Nuts, lentils, rice, chickpeas, and almond butter are all a significant source of protein. Many people will then argue that red meats have high amounts of iron and B12, but these can also be found in legumes, grains, nuts, and vegetables. 

We do need protein, but no one said it needs to come from meat. Even at that, men take it a bit too far with their meat intake. The daily suggested amount for an adult is around 60g of protein, but the average man is consuming nearly double that every day. Men claim it’s helping their workouts bring results — and it might be — but it’s causing way more damage than they think.

Meat’s Not Hurting Anyone, Is It?

Believe it or not, eating too much meat can cause a variety of health problems. It’s not so much that meat is bad for you, but men have taken it too far. The amount of meat — especially red meat — that men consume on a daily basis will eventually lead to weight gain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and kidney problems. 

Sure, you might get big muscles, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do so. And it definitely doesn’t mean you should put the rest of your body at risk. You can make smarter decisions, while receiving the results you desire. In fact, you might find that your results are even better than before. 

For what it’s worth, cutting down on or even cutting out meat from your diet won’t have any negative side effects if done properly. If you’re interested in learning more about the many benefits to a plant-based diet and how you can start on one today, don’t hesitate to reach out to us immediately.