ABSTRACT

This chapter explores why crisis of masculinity has unfolded and what it means for the reduction of meat-based diets. It delineates what is meant by hegemonic masculinity and how this gender identity forms a symbolic alliance with meat. The chapter examines how a crisis of masculinity has transpired through four major social movements that have sought to undermine hegemonic masculinity, and why this crisis has buttressed meat consumption for those who continue to identify with this gender. It explores the innovative notion of a plurality of masculinities, demonstrating potential ways the crisis of masculinity could be resolved. It shows one can still identify as masculine, while simultaneously reducing carnivorous food habits and improving environmental sustainability. Many fast-food companies rely on, and amplify, the beliefs and perceptions that drive the meat binge. With animal protein no longer vital to muscle growth, practices of self-control contributes to more healthy food preferences with respect to meat.