Social Psychological and Structural Influences on Vegetarian Beliefs

Social Psychological and Structural Influences on Vegetarian Beliefs Abstract This study examines the link between social structural variables (gender, race, education, age, rural childhood), individual social psychology (altruism, self‐interest, traditionality, and openness to change), and beliefs about the benefits of vegetarianism (for health, the environment, animals, and world hunger) and self‐reported vegetarianism. Data from a random sample of 420 adult U.S. residents showed that 5.2 percent considered themselves vegetarian. The strongest predictor of vegetarianism as a dietary choice was the belief that vegetarianism is beneficial to the environment. None of the social structural variables had a direct influence on vegetarianism as a dietary choice. Of the four values studied, only altruism and traditional values influenced beliefs about the benefits of vegetarianism. Altruistic values increased, and traditional values decreased, beliefs that vegetarianism is beneficial to health, the environment, farm animals, and world hunger. Blacks were more likely than Whites to adhere to the beliefs that vegetarianism helps prevent cruelty to farm animals, is beneficial to personal health, and is beneficial to the environment. The race differences in beliefs persisted even with controls for values. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Rural Sociology Wiley

Social Psychological and Structural Influences on Vegetarian Beliefs

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1999 Rural Sociological Society
ISSN
0036-0112
eISSN
1549-0831
DOI
10.1111/j.1549-0831.1999.tb00364.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This study examines the link between social structural variables (gender, race, education, age, rural childhood), individual social psychology (altruism, self‐interest, traditionality, and openness to change), and beliefs about the benefits of vegetarianism (for health, the environment, animals, and world hunger) and self‐reported vegetarianism. Data from a random sample of 420 adult U.S. residents showed that 5.2 percent considered themselves vegetarian. The strongest predictor of vegetarianism as a dietary choice was the belief that vegetarianism is beneficial to the environment. None of the social structural variables had a direct influence on vegetarianism as a dietary choice. Of the four values studied, only altruism and traditional values influenced beliefs about the benefits of vegetarianism. Altruistic values increased, and traditional values decreased, beliefs that vegetarianism is beneficial to health, the environment, farm animals, and world hunger. Blacks were more likely than Whites to adhere to the beliefs that vegetarianism helps prevent cruelty to farm animals, is beneficial to personal health, and is beneficial to the environment. The race differences in beliefs persisted even with controls for values.

Journal

Rural SociologyWiley

Published: Sep 1, 1999

References

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