The role of meat consumption in the denial of moral status and mind to meat animals

Steve Loughnan*, Nick Haslam, Brock Bastian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

People enjoy eating meat but disapprove of harming animals. One resolution to this conflict is to withdraw moral concern from animals and deny their capacity to suffer. To test this possibility, we asked participants to eat dried beef or dried nuts and then indicate their moral concern for animals and judge the moral status and mental states of a cow. Eating meat reduced the perceived obligation to show moral concern for animals in general and the perceived moral status of the cow. It also indirectly reduced the ascription of mental states necessary to experience suffering. People may escape the conflict between enjoying meat and concern for animal welfare by perceiving animals as unworthy and unfeeling. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Meat
  • Animals
  • Mind attribution
  • Morality
  • FOOD


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