In recent years, overall consumption of meat products has been decreasing, and at the same time vegetarianism is on the rise. A variety of factors are likely driving changes in consumers' attitudes towards, and consumption of, meat products. Although concern regarding animal welfare may contribute to these trends, growing consumer interest in the roles that production and processing of meat play in terms of environmental degradation could also impact individuals' decisions about the inclusion of meat in their diets. Because these factors could be related to moral attitudes as well, the purpose of this study was to explore the relations among meat consumption, general environmental attitudes, and moral `foundations' of decision-making, including concern about minimizing `harm' and maximizing `care,' as well as issues of `purity' and `sanctity.' A survey was conducted among current college students using the New Ecological Paradigm scale and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire to assess environmental and moral attitudes. A food frequency questionnaire was used to assess meat consumption. Multiple linear regression analyses explored the relations of environmental and moral attitudes with meat consumption, controlling for potential confounding variables. The results showed no significant correlations among meat consumption, environmental attitudes or moral foundations of harm/care and purity/sanctity.
- Meat consumption, moral foundations and ecological behaviors among college students