Authors
Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Victor Kumar
Boston University
Abstract
How can we make moral progress on factory farming? Part of the answer lies in human moral psychology. Meat consumption remains high, despite increased awareness of its negative impact on animal welfare. Weakness of will is part of the explanation: acceptance of the ethical arguments doesn’t always motivate changes in dietary habits. However, we draw on scientific evidence to argue that many consumers aren’t fully convinced that they morally ought to reduce their meat consumption. We then identify two key psychological mechanisms—motivated reasoning and social proof—that lead people to resist the ethical reasons. Finally, we show how to harness these psychological mechanisms to encourage reductions in meat consumption. A central lesson for moral progress generally is that durable social change requires socially-embedded reasoning.
Keywords veganism  meat paradox  moral progress  motivated reasoning
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References found in this work BETA

The Enigma of Reason.Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):701-704.

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