Dilemma for dinner: An exploratory study into the meat paradox

Abstract

Many people like meat, but they dislike animal suffering at the same time; this is called the ‘meat paradox’ (Loughnan et al., 2010). The meat paradox can influence a motivated denial of mind, potentially dissociating the pleasantness of meat-eating from animal suffering (Loughnan et al., 2010). Additionally, some people consider meat-eating to be a moral choice (Rozin et al., 1997). Our study explores the meat paradox and moralization in a large online sample. Results showed that omnivores may be motivated to underestimate levels of animal suffering when primed with the idea of eating meat. Furthermore, we have designed a physiology study to explore how the body responds to the meat paradox.