Some meat eaters really feel disgusted by meat, in accordance with a brand new examine.
College of Exeter scientists confirmed meals photos to greater than 700 folks, together with omnivores (who eat meat and different meals), flexitarians (who attempt to eat much less meat) and vegetarians.
About 7% of meat eaters (15% of flexitarians and three% of omnivores) had a “pretty robust disgust response” to photographs of meat dishes generally eaten within the UK, like roast hen or bacon.
As a bunch, omnivores rated meat photos about twice as disgusting on common as photos of carbohydrate-rich meals like bread, chips and rice.
Based mostly on the findings, the researchers say harnessing the “yuk issue” could also be simpler than counting on willpower for anybody who desires to eat much less meat.
“We have been shocked to seek out that so many individuals are grossed out by meat — even individuals who eat meat on a regular basis,” mentioned Elisa Becker, of the College of Exeter.
“Our outcomes do not clarify why these folks eat meat, however it’s potential that habits, household and cultural traditions all play an element.
“Meat consumption is more and more seen as unsustainable, unhealthy and unethical, and many individuals need to eat much less meat.
“When you’re making an attempt to chop down your meat consumption, sheer willpower will not be sufficient — however harnessing the ‘yuk issue’ may very well be the way in which to go.”
The examine’s 711 members — 402 omnivores, 203 flexitarians and 106 vegetarians — every accomplished a survey and took a rapid-response process (measuring instinctive reactions) to check their ranges of “meat disgust.”
“Meat liking” was additionally measured. About 75% of omnivores — and greater than 20% of vegetarians — confirmed a reasonably robust liking for meat.
To be labeled as having “pretty robust” meat disgust, members needed to price six meat photos nearer to “very a lot” than “by no means” on a sliding scale of disgust, and likewise needed to present proof of meat disgust on the rapid-response process.
Amongst flexitarians — the one group making an attempt to cut back their meat consumption — meat disgust was a greater predictor than self-control (measured in a separate questionnaire) of diminished meat-eating.
Meat disgust was additionally related to diminished consumption over the next six months.
“We hope that this data will help us develop new interventions to assist folks scale back their meat consumption,” mentioned Professor Natalia Lawrence, of the College of Exeter.
“Not everybody desires to cut back their meat consumption — however for individuals who do, we’re engaged on laptop duties that may assist them harness the facility of disgust in a enjoyable method.
“It is necessary to notice that our examine doesn’t set up causation — so additional analysis is required to seek out out whether or not meat disgust causes folks to eat much less meat, or whether or not avoiding meat permits these unfavourable emotional responses to develop or be expressed.”
Becker added: “It is fascinating to notice that the majority of us expertise meat disgust infrequently — for instance after we see unfamiliar meats or dishes produced from elements of animals we do not often eat, like squirrel meat or beef coronary heart.
“People could have developed a level of meat disgust as a result of consuming spoilt meat could be way more harmful than consuming a carrot that is a bit off.”
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