The effect of categorization as food on the perceived moral standing of animals

Bratanova, Boyka, Loughnan, Steve and Bastian, Brock (2011) The effect of categorization as food on the perceived moral standing of animals. Appetite, 57 1: 193-196. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.04.020


Author Bratanova, Boyka
Loughnan, Steve
Bastian, Brock
Title The effect of categorization as food on the perceived moral standing of animals
Journal name Appetite   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0195-6663
1095-8304
Publication date 2011-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2011.04.020
Volume 57
Issue 1
Start page 193
End page 196
Total pages 4
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Most people love animals and love eating meat. One way of reducing this conflict is to deny that animals suffer and have moral rights. We suggest that the act of categorizing an animal as ‘food’ may diminish their perceived capacity to suffer, which in turn dampens our moral concern. Participants were asked to read about an animal in a distant nation and we manipulated whether the animal was categorized as food, whether it was killed, and human responsibility for its death. The results demonstrate that categorization as food – but not killing or human responsibility – was sufficient to reduce the animal's perceived capacity to suffer, which in turn restricted moral concern. People may be able to love animals and love meat because animals categorized as food are seen as insensitive to pain and unworthy of moral consideration.
Keyword Meat
Animals
Moral concern
Categorization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Sun, 28 Aug 2011, 01:28:34 EST by System User on behalf of Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies