New Study: Why People Eat Meat

Researchers discover four main reasons why people consume animals.


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A new study published in the international journal, Appetite, reveals how people justify eating meat. While ethically motivated vegetarians “serve as a source of implicit moral reproach for many omnivores,” researchers found that omnivores have four main defenses for rationalizing their meat-eating ways: meat is “natural,” “necessary,” “normal,” and “nice”—also called the “4Ns.” Meat-eaters use these defenses to diffuse the guilt gap between caring for companion animals while eating other animals as food, and were found to be more tolerant of other social injustices than those who don’t eat meat. According to head researcher, Jared Piazza, PhD, “The 4Ns are a powerful pervasive tool employed by individuals to diffuse the guilt one might otherwise experience when consuming animal products.”