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http://www.sciguru.com/newsitem/1143...order-eat-them

Quote:
New research by Dr Brock Bastian from UQ's School of Psychology highlights the psychological processes that people engage in to reduce their discomfort over eating meat.

This paper will be published in an upcoming edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, where Dr Bastian and his co-authors show that people deny mental qualities to animals they eat.

"Many people like eating meat, but most are reluctant to harm things that have minds. Our studies show that this motivates people to deny minds to animals," Dr Bastian said.

The research demonstrates when people are confronted with the harm that their meat-eating brings to food animals they view those animals as possessing fewer mental capacities compared to when they are not reminded.

The findings also reveal that this denial of mind to food animals is especially evident when people expect to eat meat in the near future.

Dr Bastian said it shows that denying mind to animals that are used for food makes it less troublesome for people to eat them.

"Meat is central to most people's diets and a focus of culinary enjoyment, yet most people also like animals and are disturbed by harm done to them; therefore creating a 'meat paradox' - people's concern for animal welfare conflicts with their culinary behavior.

"For this reason, people rarely enjoy thinking about where meat comes from, the processes it goes through to get to their tables, or the living qualities of the animals from which it is extracted," he said.

Dr Bastian's research argues that meat eaters go to great lengths to overcome these inconsistencies between their beliefs and behaviours.

"In our current research we focus on the processes by which people facilitate their practice of eating meat. People often mentally separate meat from animals so they can eat pork or beef without thinking about pigs or cows.

"Denying minds to animals reduces concern for their welfare, justifying the harm caused to them in the process of meat production," he added.

Meat is pleasing to the palate for many, and although the vegetarian lifestyle is increasingly popular, most people continue to make meat a central component of their diet.

"In short, our work highlights the fact that although most people do not mind eating meat, they do not like thinking of animals they eat as having possessed minds," Dr Bastian said.
So this is the opposite of shocking. I really look forward to the paper being published though, this is one of those things that seems like basic common sense but people in denial will always reject ideas that make them uncomfortable. That's why having real scientific studies to point to is so useful, it's awesome debate ammo.
 

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I admit, sadly, I used to think like those omnis, because that was how I was brought up. But now I think the opposite.

I was just with my cats this afternoon, and I had the thought that apart from the obvious ability to use verbal language, I dont really think my cats are a hell of a lot less intelligent than me. And the dog too.

They always seem to know what I am thinking, it is like they can read my mind sometimes. And when I am signalling them they usually know what I want them to do, it is just that they dont want to.

They just know a lot more about us and what we are doing than they can tell us. I noticed the very same thing with farm animals too. If you spend enough time with animals, a kind of non verbal communication starts to arise. It is a weird thing.

I often knew what the animals were thinking, but other people seemed not to know for some reason, it was like they wouldnt give them a chance.

It was like they were stuck on the idea of animals not being intelligent, so if they saw any type of intelligence from them they would write it off as a fluke behaviour. And many people think that the only world is the verbal world, so anyone who cannot speak cannot think.
 

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The main reason I became a vegetarian is because I cannot deny an animal that he/she has feelings too; I've seen so much evidence of the complex characters that animals have that I know they have their own intelligence. It might not be the same kind of thinking we do, but it's certainly no less valuable.

When I ate meat, I'd always feel guilty because I was aware that an animal who had feelings and wishes too was killed for me; or even worse treated badly and then killed. I always ask myself when I treat animals: Would I want to be treated like this if I was in his/her shoes? With eating meat; the answer was clearly NO I don't want to live in a factory farm. So if I don't want it for myself, how could I want it for another who doesn't have the power to speak up?

I don't, that's why I'm a vegetarian.
 

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Dig deep at what people really want and. once all th BS is parsed away, it will always be along the lines of 'wisdom' and 'peace of mind'.

That article points out how meat gives people pretty much the exact of what they want; A conflicted mind that strives to be as dumb as **** to ease itself.

It also points to how the concept of not offending meat eaters is as dumb as ****; They are offensive to themselves.
 

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Unfortunately, I think most omnis won't listen to the article as substantial evidence because it's just one article, and as the study has shown, most people won't believe or think much about things that they don't want to. I think another part of the whole mindset is a sort of elitism as well, because most people seem to like to think of themselves as being at the top of some sort of hierarchy. Downgrading the intelligence of animals is just one way of doing that, and also gives them some sort of excuse for selfishly doing what they want with them.
 

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I'm not really sure I understand how Dr. Bastian's study was conducted, though. How does he establish the direction of causation? It makes sense that people who eat meat would deny mental qualities to animals, but it makes just as much sense that people who ascribe mental qualities to animals would avoid eating meat. Is it based on separation of "food" animals vs. "wild" or "pet" animals? Do people who eat cows but not pigs (say, Muslims and Jews who obey religious dietary codes) ascribe mental qualities to pigs but not cows, for instance? I wish the article had done a better job of actually describing Bastian's research, controls, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idhan View Post

I'm not really sure I understand how Dr. Bastian's study was conducted, though. How does he establish the direction of causation? It makes sense that people who eat meat would deny mental qualities to animals, but it makes just as much sense that people who ascribe mental qualities to animals would avoid eating meat. Is it based on separation of "food" animals vs. "wild" or "pet" animals? Do people who eat cows but not pigs (say, Muslims and Jews who obey religious dietary codes) ascribe mental qualities to pigs but not cows, for instance? I wish the article had done a better job of actually describing Bastian's research, controls, etc.
Yeah, this is just a teaser that doesn't explain a lot. I'm looking forward to tracking the study down in the upcoming edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
 
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