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Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia: An Exploration of the Characteristics of Meat Eaters, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment

Department of Sociology, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
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Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143936
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human-Animal Relationships)
This article highlights the importance of the dietary pattern of significant others in one’s social network to explain both individual meat consumption and vegaphobia, the negative and stigmatizing attitude toward vegetarianism and non-meat-eaters. Using survey data (N = 996), this study first contrasted convinced meat-eaters with non-meat eaters, or people who actively reduce or limit their meat consumption, in terms of different socio-demographic characteristics. Results showed that convinced meat eaters are more often male. A negligible effect on meat consumption was found for education, and age differences were not significant. Next, attention was paid to the social context of meat consumption. Specifically, results of a logistic regression analysis showed that a person’s meat consumption is considerably lower when one of their household members is vegetarian. This was also the case, but to a lesser extent, if people’s social circle included a vegetarian friend or family member. Similar results were found when looking at the linear correlates of vegaphobia using ordinary least squares regression (OLS). Vegaphobes were more often male and lower-educated. In addition, vegaphobia was more common among older persons and convinced meat eaters. Moreover, vegaphobia was less common among people who had a vegetarian in their household or groups of friends. The article ends with a discussion on the importance of studying the social environment in meat consumption and attitudes toward vegetarianism. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: meat consumption; vegaphobia; vegetarianism; social environment meat consumption; vegaphobia; vegetarianism; social environment
MDPI and ACS Style

Vandermoere, F.; Geerts, R.; De Backer, C.; Erreygers, S.; Van Doorslaer, E. Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia: An Exploration of the Characteristics of Meat Eaters, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3936. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143936

AMA Style

Vandermoere F, Geerts R, De Backer C, Erreygers S, Van Doorslaer E. Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia: An Exploration of the Characteristics of Meat Eaters, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment. Sustainability. 2019; 11(14):3936. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143936

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vandermoere, Frédéric; Geerts, Robbe; De Backer, Charlotte; Erreygers, Sara; Van Doorslaer, Els. 2019. "Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia: An Exploration of the Characteristics of Meat Eaters, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment" Sustainability 11, no. 14: 3936. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143936

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