Almost three-quarters of men claim they’d rather die prematurely than give up eating meat – yes that’s right, they’d literally rather die.

A survey of 1,000 Australians found that 73% of lads would rather cut 10 years off their life rather than ditch meat from their diet.

The research also found that 47% of the participants considered meat-eating to be “masculine”.

The survey was commissioned by No Meat May, a charity that encourages people to stop eating meat for 31 days for health, environmental, animal and food security reasons.

Ryan Alexander, the group’s co-founder, said: “What was perhaps most shocking, was that 73 per cent of male respondents said they’d rather reduce their life expectancy by up to 10 years than give up eating meat, with three-quarters of men not convinced of the health benefits of a meat-free diet, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary.

“Significant research over many years has shown that eating meat and other animal products increases the risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease, obesity and having a reduced life expectancy, not to mention being one of the biggest contributors to global warming and the destruction of our environment.

“Yet our survey alarmingly shows that Australian men are either not aware of any of these facts, don’t believe them, or simply don’t care.”

Meat has long been associated with heart disease and diabetes and is known to significantly increase the risk of bowel cancer.

Earlier this year, researchers from Oxford University conducted the first study into whether consuming meat is directly linked to the 25 non-cancerous illnesses that most frequently cause people in the UK to be admitted to hospital.

The research, published in the journal BMC Medicine, looked at the medical records of 474,985 middle-aged Brits.

It concluded: “On average, participants who reported consuming meat regularly (three or more times per week) had more adverse health behaviours and characteristics than participants who consumed meat less regularly.

“Higher consumption of unprocessed red and processed meat combined was associated with higher risks of ischaemic heart disease, pneumonia, diverticular disease, colon polyps and diabetes, and higher consumption of poultry meat was associated with higher risks of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, gastritis and duodenitis, diverticular disease, gallbladder disease and diabetes.”

Lead researcher Dr Keren Papier, from the university’s Nuffield department of population health, said that for every 70 grams of processed and unprocessed meat that an individual consumes in a day, their chances of being diagnosed with diabetes increases by 30% and their chances of suffering from heart disease increases by 15%.

These results were based on the researchers taking into account an array of lifestyle factors and BMI.

Have you reduced your meat intake? Or do you agree with the men in the survey?