Meat-based diets are the norm in Western societies. This is a problem because meat production is a major contributor to global warming and environmental degradation. Despite the urgency to reduce meat consumption, quantitative studies have shown that there is only a small minority of consumers aware of the meat environmental impact, willing to halt or reduce meat intake for ecological reasons, or who have already stopped or reduced meat consumption because of environmental concerns. We conducted a qualitative synthesis reviewing studies that looked at attitudes towards changing meat consumption. Our focus was on the behavioral change process: Awareness, willingness, and change, aiming to enhance the current understanding of people’s attitudes towards reducing meat consumption due to environmental concerns. The studies reviewed show that consumer awareness is hindered by beliefs about food, meat, and personal behavior. Nutrition, health, and taste were found to be both enablers and barriers with regard to willingness. Vegetarians and vegans perceive the environment as simply another reason, among others, to maintain a meatless diet. Based on these results, we offer recommendations for future dietary public health interventions, and for future research endeavors on this topic. This review employed a meta-aggregative approach and partially followed the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for systematic reviews of qualitative evidence.
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