August 2, 2007 — -- Vegans, a new study has found, are grossed out by sex with meat eaters, and some so-called "vegansexuals" only want to roll in the alfalfa with other super strict vegetarians.
A recent study conducted in New Zealand found that vegans — notoriously finicky eaters who don't eat meat or animal byproducts, like eggs and dairy — don't like the idea of swapping spit (or anything else) with those who have been dining on flesh.
Annie Potts, a researcher at the University of Canterbury's Centre for Human-Animal Studies, noted that vegans, particularly women, found sex with meat eaters disgusting.
Vegans, she told ABC News.com from New Zealand, don't like sex with carnivores, for personal reasons: "They're attracted to people with similar interests;" ideological reasons: "they see meat eaters' bodies as being composed of the lives of others;" and sexual reasons: "they didn't want to engage in intimate sex ... because of the smells and tastes of their body fluids."
Potts sampled 157 vegans, 120 of whom were female.
All of the women, according to Potts, fell along a continuum. Some expressed discontent with being with meat-eating men, while others would sleep only with other vegans.
"It is totally, totally true," said Janna Cunnigham, a 46-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native, about the smells and tastes of carnivores.
"Their body odor is pungent. Their sweat is extremely smelly. Their spit, and all their body fluids, are strong and stinky. Vegetarian people are not so smelly," Cunningham, who has been a vegetarian for 32 years, and a vegan for 10, told ABC News.com.
Cunningham added that she has dated both meat eaters and vegetarians, but would stick to seeing only vegetarians in the future.
While PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has long advocated people give up meat and go vegetarian, the animal rights group has its misgivings about vegans only sleeping with other vegans.
"Sex is a very effective form of outreach and activism," said Dan Shannon, a PETA spokesman, and 10-year veteran vegan, who thought meat eaters could be converted by their partners.
Shannon said he knew vegans who dated vegans exclusively, but suggested that acting repulsed by the scent of your date probably wasn't the best way to change his or her mind about veganism.
Potts said PETA's attitude differed from what was a very personal sentiment on the part of vegans who participated in the survey.
"PETA is taking a political position by using the bedroom to recruit vegans — this is about intimate relationships."
Potts added that more women responded to her survey than men, but those men who did respond were less likely to be disgusted about having sex with meat eaters.
"As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter too much to me," said Mike Hartikka, a 20-year-old vegan from San Diego, who has been in relationships with meat eaters and vegetarians.
But, he says, when it comes to long-term relationships, he would rather be with vegetarians or vegans.
That sentiment is borne out by Potts' research.
"It is really not that unusual that people want to be in relationships with those who they have things in common," she said.