This NPR report has little to do with food (although a men’s dessert tasting club is mentioned) but much to do with sexuality. It’s interesting how “herbivore” has become a synonym for girly man in Japanese culture just as “carnivore” now signifies the kind of woman who is competitive in the workplace. Without a hungry appetite for female flesh, these men are self-proclaimed herbivores, despite their actual food diets.
Somehow, I would have less of a problem with this effeminate stereotyping if the men were actually vegetarian. I guess “emo” doesn’t translate well into Japanese.
Real life herbivore, Yasushi Sano, tells it like it is, here in the Japan Times. Apparently, these guys are intimidated by the carnivorous women. It’s scary being young, cute, male and Japanese. At least in Japan. Life is easier being known as a herbivore than as a chikan.