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Disgust reactions to meat among ethically and health motivated vegetarians

, : Disgust reactions to meat among ethically and health motivated vegetarians. Ecology of food and nutrition 45(2): 125-158

Expressions of disgust at the idea of eating, handling, or even seeing meat have often been reported in studies of vegetarianism. Reasons for such reactions have rarely, however, been examined. Neither an ethical stance nor health concerns regarding meat consumption obviously indicate such a reaction. This article presents findings from research utilizing in-depth interviews with vegetarians variously motivated by ethical, health, and other concerns and with meat eaters. A clear difference was found in the sample regarding disgust reactions to meat between those who avoided meat consumption for ethical reasons and those who avoided it for reasons of health. Rather than concluding that avoidance of meat stems from revulsion or that revulsion is the consequence of avoidance of meat, the article concludes that meat is a substance that evokes, independently, both ethical concerns and feelings of revulsion and that the latter is heightened by the former.


DOI: 10.1080/03670240500530691

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