PETA demands men who eat meat be banned from sex to help reduce global meat consumption

Woman feeding her male companion a burger with a look of delight
Men who eat meat should be banned from having sex, the animal rights group PETA has declared. Photo credit: Getty Images

Men who eat meat should be banned from having sex, the animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has declared.

According to the nonprofit, a taste for sausages is symptomatic of toxic masculinity, a set of harmful attitudes and behaviours stereotypically associated with men that are seen to have a negative impact on society - including the steady demise of the planet.

The German faction of the organisation has cited research from the scientific journal PLOS One, which found men are responsible for 41 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than women predominantly due to their higher consumption of meat. 

The activists at PETA Germany are now calling for all meat-eating men to be subject to a "sex ban", urging women to embark on a "sex strike to save the world". 

"We all know them, the suburban fathers with beer bottles and barbecue tongs, sizzling 70c sausages on their €700 grill. The courgette added by the visitor is eyed with suspicion and only reluctantly tolerated," Daniel Cox, the campaigns team leader for PETA Germany, said in a statement shared to the organisation's website on Tuesday (local time), titled, 'PETA calls for ban on sex for all meat-eating men - men's diet produces 41 percent more greenhouse gases than women's'.

"The fact that Germany's 'grill masters' believe they have to prove their masculinity to themselves and their fellow species through their consumption of meat is not only to the detriment of the animals, however," Cox said. 

"Now there is scientific proof that toxic masculinity also harms the climate. Therefore, a hefty meat tax of 41 percent for men would be appropriate.

"A ban on sex or reproduction for all meat-eating men would also be expedient [practical] in this context.

"For all fathers who still grill meat and still want children with a future worth living on a livable planet, we recommend changing their lifestyle by participating in our free Veganstart program," he concluded.

As per The Times, Cox had referred to comments made recently by Sandrine Rousseau, a French economist and politician who serves as a member of Europe Ecology - The Greens, a green political party in France. The 50-year-old sparked controversy last month after branding the outdoor grill as a ritual that reeks of patriarchal attitudes, virility and the male compulsion to consume meat. 

"If you want to resolve the climate crisis, you have to reduce meat consumption, and that's not going to happen so long as masculinity is constructed around meat," the self-declared 'eco-feminist' said at the time, adding that the image of meat on the grill is considered "a symbol of masculinity".

The negative impacts associated with meat consumption have been well documented and researched. According to the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization, meat and dairy specifically accounts for around 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the UN calling on governments to propose new incentives to encourage people to reduce their meat intake.

However, these incentives should not include a "sex ban" to discourage men from eating men, critics of PETA's call have argued, with the organisation's declaration even making the front page of Germany's best-selling newspaper Bild on Wednesday. 

The idea has already come under widespread condemnation, with Stefan Müller, an MP for the Christian Social Union (CSU) party, telling Bild: "PETA doesn't even stop at the bedroom anymore in the fight for attention."

Stefan Alois Rainer, a fellow CSU MP and butcher, has also branded PETA's proposal "total nonsense".

Commentary on social media has largely rubbished and derided the idea, with Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek tweeting: "So if it's up to PETA the only men who'll be 'allowed to have sex' will be the ones who are destroying their own testosterone levels" - referencing reports that a vegan diet, if not adopted correctly, can negatively impact and disrupt the body's hormone production.

"Eat meat, PETA. Get laid. It's that simple," another Twitter user said succinctly.

"PETA can demand all they f**king want to, but they aren't actually going to stop people having sex," a third commented.

In 2021, a new study found the global production of food is responsible for a third of all planet-heating gases emitted by human activity, with the use of animals for meat causing twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods.

The system of food production, such as the use of farming machinery, spraying of fertiliser and transportation of products, is responsible for 17.3 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, according to the research.

This significant release of gases - gases that fuel the climate crisis - is more than double the entire emissions of the US and represents 35 percent of all global emissions, the researchers said.

According to research published in the peer-reviewed journal Science, the impact of plant-based foods on the climate is typically 10 to 50 times smaller than that of animal products, supporting arguments that switching from a largely meat-based diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet could help to reduce emissions.