June 30, 2024 at 8:34 am

Study Finds Most Excuses For Eating Meat Are Not Backed By Science

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

No one likes being told what to do, especially when it comes to our diets.

Honestly, we aren’t even fans of listening to doctors, so vegans and vegetarians trying to convert meat eaters?

They aren’t even listening.

But experts are saying that whatever reasons you think you have for eating meat, they aren’t that compelling.

We know that eating too much meat is not only bad for our bodies, but bad for the environment and obviously unfortunate for the animals involved in the process as well.

These facts have been proven by study after study and are accepted by everyone involved in the field.

This new study shows that, no matter how you might love to argue with a vegan on a crusade, meat eaters actually know that their attitudes are incorrect.

Source: Shutterstock

Thomas Skelly, the first author on the study, issued a statement.

“All of the participants – predominantly meat eaters – agree that one of the best things a person can do to be a more climate-minded eater is to eat less meat. But when addressing their own meat consumption, other mechanisms kick in.”

Because, there must be some real reason we don’t want to slice our carbon footprint while improving our health in the process, right?

“When all of the focus groups point to reduced meat consumption as one of the most climate effective things people can do, it demonstrates the existence of a collective knowledge.”

They say it’s socially acceptable to make this knowledge a problem, though, and meat eaters do this by returning arguments about the cost of avocados or the environmental weight of producing meat substitutes.

“With this notion, the participants confirm to each other that their food practices are not more problematic than food practices among people who have cut out meat entirely. The truth is that red meat has a far greater climate footprint than both avocados and vegan products, and vegans do not necessarily eat more avocados or processed products than meat eaters.”

That said, it has enough basis in fact for most meat eaters to cling to as a reason that what they’re doing i still fine.

“We are unable to conclude whether this is because people actually don’t know the truth, or because not knowing is convenient. But there is certainly enough ambiguity in public discourse and the media for people to make these justifications without sounding completely ignorant in social settings.”

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When these arguments are point out to people who eat meat, the researchers found they typically diverted the conversation to a different topic.

“They would come up with various excuses and justifications or try to shift the focus onto something else. People quickly derail the topic, and begin talking about other things, such as how they seek to avoid food waste and plastic packaging.”

And other meat eaters are quick to come to their aid.

“Our interpretation is that this is because these things are more culturally neutral and harmless to relate to. No one really has much of an identity attached to plastic disposal.”

On the other hand, vegans are seen as absurd extremists, the requirements of their lifestyle too hard and unattainable.

“For example, when a participant states that he or she doesn’t intend on going vegan, the other participants laugh. In doing so, they confirm to one another that veganism would be a ridiculous solution.”

So, how do the authors think we can convince people to do the easiest thing possible to reduce our staggering environmental impact?

The answer could lie in the messaging, and in how people in charge want to act as if an aggressive approach to climate change is unnecessary.

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So, the messages people are receiving from activists and politicians do not line up. This makes it easier for folks to carry on with their excuses.

The study authors think that bringing these closer together would at least be a start.

“If there is to be more clarity and less confusion among consumers, it becomes more difficult to come up with socially acceptable excuses and justifications. This alone probably won’t do, but it could help get people moving in the right direction.”

There has to be something that moves the needle.

And it’s not the availability of good vegan options anymore.

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