The Meat Paradox: How Carnivores Think About Dinner

The Huffington Post:

Temple Grandin is widely known as an advocate for animal welfare. She is also a slaughterhouse designer and meat eater. She has spent much of her professional life promoting humane practices for livestock farms and slaughtering plants, and has been recognized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for her tireless efforts. She has also written in defense of meat as a food, and is embraced as an ally by the meat industry. A couple of years ago, she even defended the beef industry’s controversial marketing of pink slime.

Grandin has no trouble reconciling these views and activities. But she does have to reconcile them, as we all do. The average American consumes more than 250 pounds of meat a year, an appetite fed by the slaughter of 10 billion animals. Yet we spend a fortune on our pets, too. The fact is that we both care for animals and eat them. How do we manage the psychological tension created by these seemingly conflicting values?

Psychological scientist Steve Loughnan of the University of Melbourne calls this the “meat paradox.” He and his colleagues have been working for years to understand the psychological gymnastics we use to resolve and live with this moral dilemma. They summarize this research, and that of others, in an article to appear in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology. Follow Wray on Twitter @wrayherbert.

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