We’ve come out as #vegcurious. 
And about time too.

2016 was the year Hubbub decided that 'We need to talk about bacon'; the environmental hoof print of livestock was just too big for us to ignore. But, dare we say it, this elephant in the room is a tough one to penetrate. The idea of drastically reducing our meat consumption is not palatable for most, especially men. According to recent YouGov research, only 30% of men would contemplate reducing their meat consumption while a poll from Pepperami found that men would rather give up sex than meat.

“no one wants to be the man in the pub eating the vege-burger”

The cultural associations between meat and manliness are strong and run deep, “no one wants to be the man in the pub eating the vege-burger” our research group told us. Meat has become associated with strength and assertive masculinity. At the same time, we discovered that many men still hold false beliefs about veg. They are 'hard to cook', they don’t provide protein, that they’re, well… ‘less manly'.

Except, that’s not true, most of us know that pulses can pack a punch, and that, well, vegetarians, survive. What plant based proteins lack is sex appeal; kudos; respect. While there's a way to go in terms of nutritional education, the symbolic potency of meat cannot be ignored.

How do we make plant based protein appealing?

How do we create a Britain where the opposite of meat is not weak, where plant based is the option for the intrepid, the bold and the heroic, where men can find power in plants and a language to express a want for something other than meat that will not mean less? We want a new lexicon, cue #vegcurious, our 'Do It Day' campaign in collaboration with the Eating Better Alliance and a brilliant team of creative volunteers.

“Vegcurious” /vedʒ kjʊərɪəs/

Adjective: vegcurious

Exhibiting an above average curiosity and inquisitiveness about vegetables.

Proclivity to experimentation and trying new eating choices (particularly where it comes to eating vegetables in new ways), but not necessarily ready to commit.

As in: ‘all his mates gave him stick for ordering a veggie burger, but he scoffed at their conservatism by retorting: “Leave it out, lads, I’m just a bit… vegcurious”.’

Vegcurious does not mean becoming vegetarian. We don’t expect you to commit to a stable relationship with a radish! Our 'Do It Day' activities have encouraged trysting with turnips, getting cheeky with chard or chickpeas, quickies with quinoa, intrigue with endives and some louche liaisons with leeks and legumes...

 We’ve talked vegan cage fighters with acclaimed chef Bruno Loubet and had Reg the Veg pumping broccoli iron on the big screen at Piccadilly Circus. We’ll be running ads on space donated by Scottish TV and in The Guardian (all bases covered). Keep an eye out. There are also a feast of #vegcurious recipes for people to explore.

In short we are delighted to partner with the Eating Better Alliance to use the 'Do it Day' platform to bring a new generation of #vegcurious men out and proud. To celebrate their curiosity and willingness to try vegetables: www.vegcurious.org.

Following on from 'Do it Day', we will be dishing out a platter of highly targeted campaigns in early 2017. Got something to bring to the table? Keen to help flesh this out? Get in touch. What ever you do, come out and join us and declare your vegcuriosity!

Thanks to all who contributed on the Do It Day brief: the Eating Better Alliance team, Daniel Vennard at the World Resources Institute, Chris Arning Director at Creative Semiotics, Ben Hawley and Paige Shaw of Theobald Fox, Inge Driksne at Duel, Georgia Johnson and Alex Acosta at Krow, Miles Zilensnick at Kittcatt Nohr, Anna Crichton at Ogilvy One and the entire Drum Magazine & Do It Day team.