Men eat more meat than women across all cultures: Study

Study by Mercy for Animals surveyed over 28,000 people across 23 countries, found men eat more meat than women

By Web Desk
June 14, 2024
Representational image of a meat dish. — Unsplash File

Do you ever wonder why men seem to eat more meat than women?

Vacationing in Chicago, Jelle den Burger and Nirusa Naguleswaran experienced this first-hand. Jelle opted for a classic Italian beef sandwich, while Nirusa chose grilled cheese. Nirusa believes this difference is no coincidence as she attributes it to women’s inclination to care about the environment and others.


“I don’t want to put it in the wrong way, that male people feel attacked,” said Nirusa, 29, laughing. She mentioned that she used to enjoy meat but prioritised climate concerns, stating, “We just have it in our nature to care about others.”

A new study in Nature Scientific Reports has now confirmed that gender and meat-eating preferences are linked. Researchers found that this trend is nearly universal across cultures and is more pronounced in developed countries.

Christopher Hopwood, a psychology professor at the University of Zurich, highlighted that reducing meat consumption in men could have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, with animal-based food products contributing about 20% of these emissions. The study, funded by Mercy for Animals, surveyed over 28,000 people across 23 countries. It found that men consistently eat more meat than women, especially in wealthier nations.

Daniel Rosenfeld, a social psychologist at UCLA, pointed out that societal norms play a significant role in shaping these preferences. He mentioned that cultural pressures can make it difficult for men to break away from meat-eating habits. “If they’re all eating meats and I decide not to, it can disrupt the natural flow of social situations,” he noted.

Carolyn Semmler, a psychology professor at the University of Adelaide, added that men often resist reducing meat consumption even when presented with ethical reasons. She recalled a participant saying, “I think you guys are trying to get me to eat less meat, so I’m going to eat more.”

Jose Lopez, another diner, also observed, “We’re carnivores. Men eat like savages.” The study's findings underscore the challenges in altering dietary habits, especially among men, but also highlight the potential environmental benefits of such changes.