The Press | Tuesday, 31 July 2007
No sex, please, you're a carnivore. A new phenomenon in New Zealand is taking the idea of you are what you eat to the extreme.
Vegansexuals are people who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of dead animals.
The co-director of the New Zealand Centre for Human and Animal Studies at Canterbury University, Annie Potts, said she coined the term after doing research on the lives of "cruelty-free consumers".
Cruelty-Free Consumption in New Zealand: A National Report on the Perspectives and Experiences of Vegetarians and other Ethical Consumers asked 157 people nationwide about everything from battery chickens to sexual preferences.
Many female respondents described being attracted to people who ate meat, but said they did not want to have sex with meat-eaters because their bodies were made up of animal carcasses.
"It's a whole new thing – I have not come across it before," said Potts.
One vegan respondent from Christchurch said: "I believe we are what we consume, so I really struggle with bodily fluids, especially sexually."
Another Christchurch vegan said she found non-vegans attractive, but would not want to be physically close to them.
"I would not want to be intimate with someone whose body is literally made up from the bodies of others who have died for their sustenance," she said.
Christchurch vegan Nichola Kriek has been married to her vegan husband, Hans, for nine years.
She would not describe herself as vegansexual, but said it would definitely be a preference.
She could understand people not wanting to get too close to non-vegan or non-vegetarians.
"When you are vegan or vegetarian, you are very aware that when people eat a meaty diet, they are kind of a graveyard for animals," she said.