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Unpalatable truths: Commitment to eating meat is associated with strategic ignorance of food-animal minds

Leach, Stefan, Piazza, Jared, Loughnan, Steve, Sutton, Robbie M., Kapantai, Ioanna, Dhont, Kristof, Douglas, Karen (2022) Unpalatable truths: Commitment to eating meat is associated with strategic ignorance of food-animal minds. Appetite, 171 . Article Number 105935. ISSN 0195-6663. (doi:10.1016/j.appet.2022.105935) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:92842)

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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2022.105935

Abstract

Animal minds are of central importance to debates about their rights and welfare. Remaining ignorant of evidence that animals have minds is therefore likely to facilitate their mistreatment. Studying samples of adults and students from the UK and US we found that, consistent with motivational perspectives on meat consumption, those who were more (vs. less) committed to eating meat were more motivated to avoid exposure to information about food-animals’ sentience (Studies 1), showed less interest in exposure to articles about intelligent food animals (Studies 2a and 2b), and were quicker to terminate exposure to internet pop-ups containing information about food-animals’ minds (Studies 3a and 3b). At the same time, those who were more (vs. less) committed to eating meat approached information about companion-animals’ minds (Studies 2a-3b) and unintelligent food animals (Studies 2a and 2b) in largely the same ways. The findings demonstrate that, within the UK and US, the desire to eat meat is associated with strategies to avoid information that is likely to challenge meat consumption.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.105935
Uncontrolled keywords: Meat, Animals, Mind attribution, Dissonance, Information avoidance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Kristof Dhont
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 12:25 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 11:26 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/92842 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Leach, Stefan: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4065-3519
Piazza, Jared: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7261-3939
Loughnan, Steve: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4737-5120
Sutton, Robbie M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1542-1716
Kapantai, Ioanna: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5684-0322
Dhont, Kristof: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6060-8083
Douglas, Karen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0381-6924
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