Veganism is having a moment. Previously it was a misunderstood diet associated with tired old tree-hugger stereotypes. But recently the diet has shaken off those dated connotations and now has a band of celebrities vouching for its virtues.
Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Jared Leto, Woody Harrelson, Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman are just some of the many plant-diet enthusiasts who are definitely not addicted to cheese.
What is veganism and what are its benefits? Veganism seeks to prevent the exploitation of animals. The lifestyle choice also lowers the carbon footprint of its adoptees and vegans report feeling much healthier on excluding all animal products from their diet.
Healthier, and potentially, more virile (if a new advertisement by PETA is to be believed).
Earlier this year, PETA (the organisation that campaigns for the ethical treatment of animals) submitted its ‘Last Longer’ advertisement to the bigwigs at Superbowl in the hope that it would win one of the coveted commercial slots during the world’s biggest sporting event.
No such luck. The ad was deemed far too steamy to broadcast during the big game. It features a split screen frame of two couples having sex and the male ‘meat eater’ performs much less impressively than his ‘vegan’ counterpart. In a nutshell: he comes too soon and his girlfriend isn’t sympathetic.
There’s no ambiguity, PETA intend to make this message crystal clear: vegans are better lovers. The ad intends to tap in to male insecurity about bedroom performance and erectile dysfunction, and it succeeds. The meat loving man is having a really sad time compared to the virile stud of a vegan he is pitted against.
Warning: this video contains sex scenes. Don’t press play if you don’t want to see sex.
Alongside the video PETA posted this statement: ‘Sleeping with someone who eats meat? There may be more than one disappointment in store. Eating the saturated fat and cholesterol in meat can increase the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and these can be dangerous to your love life. Why? Because they’re all common causes of erectile dysfunction. Plant-based foods keep blood flowing to all the body’s organs. The key to a hot love life and to lasting longer in the bedroom is to start with delicious vegan meals in the kitchen.’
And erectile dysfunction is not the only reason meat and diary are not the ideal compliment to raunchy bed wrestling. Lived experience makes a pretty strong case for the fact that eating a rich meal is not the sort of thing you want to do before exerting yourself in the bedroom. A cheese smothered steak or a creamy carbonara set you up for nap time, not play time.
So does the science support PETA’s bold claims that vegans are better in bed? Is it time to bully your lover into banning animal products from their diet?
A new study conducted by the UK’s University of East Anglia alongside academics from Harvard concluded that: ‘Eating more foods rich in flavonoids – such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and citrus fruits – could reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction for middle-aged men by more than a fifth.’
Persuasive. And we’re sure eating berries would make us more inclined to get our rocks off in the bedroom than attempting to shag post fondue.
Another study by the European Society of Cariology extolled the virtues of a Mediterranean diet and its links to improved function in people with erectile dysfunction. Meat is not excluded from this diet.
Essentially, not enough research has been done in order to make a definitive claim about the superior sexual prowess of male vegans.
We’re tempted to venture that the patter about doing everything in moderation is apt, as ever.
When quizzed on the subject by the Telegraph Registered Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed commented: ‘Ultimately we need to put this into context, it’s unlikely that one single food or nutrient is going to have an impact on our sex lives… But for those who eat a lot of meat, cutting down and/or switching some meat for plant-based proteins may have a beneficial impact on their health and who knows, maybe even on their sex lives.”