Neutralising the meat paradox: Cognitive dissonance, gender, and eating animals

Neutralising the meat paradox: Cognitive dissonance, gender, and eating animals Meat eating is a common behaviour, despite many people claiming to like, love, and care about animals. The apparent disconnection between not wanting animals to suffer, yet killing them for food, has been termed the ‘meat paradox.’ In this experimental study (N = 460), participants completed pre-affect, post-affect, meat attachment, and attitude towards animals questionnaires, under two conditions: exposure to the life of an Australian meat lamb, and information about the nutritional benefits of meat. A factorial MANOVA revealed that negative affect was significantly greater when participants were exposed to the meat-animal connection; however, more entrenched attitudes towards animals and attachment to meat remained unaffected. Significant gender effects were found across all variables: most notably, meat attachment differed according to gender, decreasing in women and increasing in men when exposed to the meat-animal condition. Open-ended responses were subjected to content analysis to understand participants' future meat-consumption preferences and accompanying reasoning strategies. Findings from the present study contribute to understanding how cognitive dissonance and inconsistencies are rationalised by meat consumers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Appetite Elsevier

Neutralising the meat paradox: Cognitive dissonance, gender, and eating animals

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0195-6663
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.appet.2018.01.005
Publisher site
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Abstract

Meat eating is a common behaviour, despite many people claiming to like, love, and care about animals. The apparent disconnection between not wanting animals to suffer, yet killing them for food, has been termed the ‘meat paradox.’ In this experimental study (N = 460), participants completed pre-affect, post-affect, meat attachment, and attitude towards animals questionnaires, under two conditions: exposure to the life of an Australian meat lamb, and information about the nutritional benefits of meat. A factorial MANOVA revealed that negative affect was significantly greater when participants were exposed to the meat-animal connection; however, more entrenched attitudes towards animals and attachment to meat remained unaffected. Significant gender effects were found across all variables: most notably, meat attachment differed according to gender, decreasing in women and increasing in men when exposed to the meat-animal condition. Open-ended responses were subjected to content analysis to understand participants' future meat-consumption preferences and accompanying reasoning strategies. Findings from the present study contribute to understanding how cognitive dissonance and inconsistencies are rationalised by meat consumers.

Journal

AppetiteElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 2018

References

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