Meat As a Waning Symbol of Superiority of Modern Masculinity?!
However, the consumption of meat stagnates on a high level in Western industrial countries like Germany (or even slightly decreases). With that said, one can observe an increasing vegetable and vegan mode of nutrition – mostly women but also men. Interest organizations like the “Vegetarier Bund Deutschland” (German vegetarian association) as well as vegetarian and vegan food marketing address men by means of bodily fitness and capability.
This raises the question, if masculinity still needs to be symbolized in nutrition by meat. Are there rather other means for this purpose today? The paper bases on the assumption that meat has become too problematic in regard to the environment and health. It is also no longer a means for differentiation as a rather cheap mass product in Western countries. Capability as the core of male gender role attribution (represented as male habit) can be represented by nutritional means beyond meat. Nevertheless, one can observe counter-trends in the media as well, emphasizing a carnivore nutritional life-style. To answer the main question, the paper will discuss the actual symbolic means of meat as food for the reproduction of masculinity based on historic development and current nutrition trends. It becomes apparent, that meat is not primary about superiority, but rather about symbolizing capability as the core of male gender role attribution.