Vegan in the Region: Female power
Tony V. Martin, The Times

While writing an upcoming story on vegan life in the Region, it occurred to me that all of the people who responded to my request for comments were women.

This did not jump out at me right away, I am guessing, because women have dominated the vegan scene since I have been involved.

They also have outnumbered men among vegetarians, show up in greater numbers to animal rights events and are far more active in the dog rescue work in which I am involved.

While this may serve as good lure for men (and women) to become vegan and take part in events, it caused me to reflect on the deeper question of why women tend to care more deeply about the welfare of animals than men.

This led me to realize that women also outnumbered men when I did hospice volunteer work as well in just about any of the spiritual/religious groups I have taken part in.

While men may have been the official "leaders" in many of these areas, it has always pretty much been women doing most the work and selflessly giving of themselves.

Maybe guys, like myself, are brought up to be more emboldened, and that's why we end up in more visible posts and leadership roles while remaining the minority. And I am sure it does to not hurt that our society is still very much skewed in favor of men.

But that same society is also likely to blame for the small number of men in caring roles. It has little tolerance for such things, and men are often brought up to deny their feelings. Many of the defenses I hear for meat eating involves men equating masculinity with not caring or with consuming as much bacon or steak as possible.

This issue is taken up in the book "The Sexual Politics of Meat," which I just added to my reading list. Perhaps it will shed light on my question.

I am not sure why woman care more for animals. I am just glad they do, and I hope they continue to inspire me and the few other men who recognize a little social backlash falls far short of the suffering of animals in our culture and around the world.

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Bob is a 22-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.