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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, 171, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.105935

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Unpalatable truths: Commitment to eating meat is associated with strategic ignorance of food-animal minds

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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  • S. Leach
  • J. Piazza
  • S. Loughnan
  • R.M. Sutton
  • I. Kapantai
  • K. Dhont
  • K.M. Douglas
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Article number105935
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/04/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Appetite
Volume171
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/01/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Animal minds are of central importance to debates about their rights and welfare. Remaining ignorant of evidence that animals have minds is therefore likely to facilitate their mistreatment. Studying samples of adults and students from the UK and US we found that, consistent with motivational perspectives on meat consumption, those who were more (vs. less) committed to eating meat were more motivated to avoid exposure to information about food-animals’ sentience (Studies 1), showed less interest in exposure to articles about intelligent food animals (Studies 2a and 2b), and were quicker to terminate exposure to internet pop-ups containing information about food-animals’ minds (Studies 3a and 3b). At the same time, those who were more (vs. less) committed to eating meat approached information about companion-animals’ minds (Studies 2a-3b) and unintelligent food animals (Studies 2a and 2b) in largely the same ways. The findings demonstrate that, within the UK and US, the desire to eat meat is associated with strategies to avoid information that is likely to challenge meat consumption.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, 171, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.105935