The vast amount of meat consumed in the Western world is critically discussed with regard to negative health consequences, environmental impact, and ethical concerns for animals, emphasizing the need to extend knowledge regarding the correlates of meat consumption in the general population. In the present article, we conducted two studies examining the associations between meat consumption and personality traits, political attitudes, and environmental attitudes in two large German representative samples (Ntotal = 8,879, aged 18–96 years). Cross-sectional data on frequency of meat consumption, socio-demographics, personality traits, and political and environmental attitudes were collected via self-reports. In both studies, male sex, younger age, and lower educational attainment were significantly positively related to meat consumption. In Study 1, results of the partial correlations and the hierarchical regression analysis controlling for socio-demographics showed that the personality traits of openness and agreeableness, as well as conservative political and social views, explained unique variance in meat consumption. In Study 2, partial correlations and hierarchical regression analyses showed that openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were all uniquely negatively related to meat consumption. Moreover, these analyses documented that people scoring high in right-wing attitudes and low in pro-environmental attitudes reported more overall meat consumption. Taken together, these two studies provided evidence that socio-demographics, personality traits, and attitudes are indeed related to how much meat is consumed. Implications and future prospects for the study of individual differences in meat consumption are discussed.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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