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Abstract

Evidence from several studies suggests that the growing demand for meat consumption has negative effects on the sustainability of the environment and the health and psychological welfare of individuals. This study investigates whether media coverage of certain negative attributes of meat consumption can potentially affect demand for meat in a western European country. Using Germany as a case study, 690 survey participants were each given one of four different fictitious “newspaper articles” describing negative effects of meat consumption – either in terms of adverse effects on human health, on climate change, on animal welfare or on personal image. The analyses show that animal welfare and health arguments have the strongest effects at reducing meat consumption in both men and women. Based on the results, we discuss implications of our findings for the meat industry in Germany.

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