Investigating the elasticity of meat consumption for climate mitigation: 4Rs for responsible meat use

S. Efstathiou, A. Moller Gabrielsen, T. Finstad, F. Giaever, C.P.G. Driessen, A. Hansen, U. Wethal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

What Tony Weis (2007) describes as the process of ‘meatification’ of global diets implies that meat has moved from the ‘periphery to the centre of human food consumption patterns’. ‘Demeatification’, putting meat consumption back to the periphery, is desirable both for reducing agricultural emissions implicated in the energy-grain-livestock system, and for responding to ethical commitments to human and animal welfare and to global justice. But what does it take to ‘demeatify’ food consumption? This paper investigates the cognitive, psychological and moral dimensions of meat consumption. We design a suite of interventions aimed to test the social and moral ‘elasticity’ of Norwegian meat consumption, scaled from less to more intrusive, as follows: (1) diffusion of information on: (a) climate and ethical impacts of large-scale meat production; (b) physical and mental health effects of meat consumption and production for consumers and for farm and abattoir workers; (2) experience-based interventions: (a) commercial propaganda spots for meat consumption reduction or climate-friendly meat alternatives; (b) creating ‘live’ situations facilitating facing animals, farm workers and production systems as moral agents, e.g. via experiencing low-scale organic farming vs large-scale industrial farming, and; (3) instituting a personal meat allowance for selected groups of consumers. Response variations will be analysed using control experimentation and qualitative methods, attending to demographic characteristics including gender. Demeatification policies responding to the ‘elasticity’ of meat consumption in Norway have a higher chance of being socially robust.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable governance and management of food systems
Subtitle of host publicationEthical perspectives
EditorsEija Vinnari, Markus Vinnari
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Pages19-25
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868926
ISBN (Print)9789086863419
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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