New York Magazine:
If you ask a meat eater, “Which meat is okay to eat, and why?” most people will at least attempt to form a coherent answer couched in moral language. They’ll attempt to defend their own decisions, in other words, on some rational basis.
But as we know from piles and piles of research into moral psychology, people hold many moral beliefs not for rational, easy-to-explain reasons, but rather for gut-level, intuitive, hard-to-explain ones. When it comes to our morality, we are frequently post-facto rationalizers.
A new study in Social Psychological and Personality Science by Jared Piazza of Lancaster University and Steve Loughnan of the University of Edinburgh (both in the United Kingdom) attempts to better understand what’s going on when people defend their dietary habits by pointing to the intelligence of the animals they do and don’t eat, and how they wriggle out of certain hard truths about pigs and other not-dumb sources of meat.
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