Meat Consumption In Denial Of Moral Status To Animals
This University of Kent (England) study found that people who simultaneously dislike hurting animals and enjoy eating meat (the “meat paradox”) can overcome this contradiction by denying that the animal they ate had the capacity to suffer.
According to research results, “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.”
Research participants also reported a smaller range of animals for which they felt a moral concern. In summary, where there is a conflict between a person’s thinking and their preferred behavior, people generally abandon their thoughts and moral standards first instead of changing their behavior.