Explaining reductions in meat consumption

Nadja Zeiske, Lukas Paul Fesenfeld, Ellen van der Werff, Linda Steg

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Food consumption choices may have detrimental consequences for the environment. Particularly the consumption of animal products comes with high environmental costs, as production is relatively land, water and energy intensive. One way to mitigate these problems is for people to reduce their meat consumption, for example by replacing meat consumption by consuming vegetarian and vegan meat-alternatives. Hence, a key question is what motivates people to reduce their meat consumption and/or consume meat-alternatives? The current research aimed to examine what factors might play a role in people’s motivation and willingness to reduce their meat consumption or consume meat alternatives. We conducted two experimental studies. In Study 1, we examined whether people’s preconceived attitudes towards vegetarian meat-alternatives influence their evaluations and willingness to consume such products, and what role people’s meat-lover self-identity plays in this relationship. Participants were randomly assigned to either knowingly or unknowingly taste a vegetarian meat-alternative and were subsequently asked to evaluate the product and indicate their motivation and willingness to buy such products in the future. In Study 2, we examined whether making the environmental consequences of one’s food choices salient by introducing a climate frame would affect participants’ evaluations and motivation to reduce their meat consumption and consume meat-alternatives. We will discuss to what extent people’s meat-lover self-identity and prior attitudes play a role in their evaluations of vegetarian meat-alternatives, and whether making the environmental consequences of meat consumption salient might be an effective tool in motivating behaviour change.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Congress of Applied Psychology - Palais des congrès, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 26-Jun-201830-Sep-2018
Conference number: 29


ConferenceInternational Congress of Applied Psychology
Abbreviated titleICAP
Internet address


  • meat consumption
  • vegetarian meat-alternatives
  • motivation

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