Some meat eaters really feel disgusted by meat, in line with a brand new examine.
College of Exeter scientists confirmed meals photos to greater than 700 individuals, 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 pictures of meat dishes generally eaten within the UK, like roast hen or bacon.
As a bunch, omnivores rated meat pictures 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 needs to eat much less meat.
“We had been stunned 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 individuals eat meat, but it surely’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 wish to eat much less meat.
“In the event you’re attempting to chop down your meat consumption, sheer willpower is probably not sufficient — however harnessing the ‘yuk issue’ may very well be the best way to go.”
The examine’s 711 contributors — 402 omnivores, 203 flexitarians and 106 vegetarians — every accomplished a survey and took a rapid-response job (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, contributors needed to price six meat pictures nearer to “very a lot” than “in no way” on a sliding scale of disgust, and in addition needed to present proof of meat disgust on the rapid-response job.
Amongst flexitarians — the one group trying 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 info will help us develop new interventions to assist individuals cut back their meat consumption,” mentioned Professor Natalia Lawrence, of the College of Exeter.
“Not everybody needs to cut back their meat consumption — however for individuals who do, we’re engaged on pc duties which may assist them harness the ability of disgust in a enjoyable means.
“It is essential 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 individuals to eat much less meat, or whether or not avoiding meat permits these damaging emotional responses to develop or be expressed.”
Becker added: “It is fascinating to notice that the majority of us expertise meat disgust on occasion — for instance after we see unfamiliar meats or dishes constituted of components of animals we do not normally eat, like squirrel meat or beef coronary heart.
“People could have developed a level of meat disgust as a result of consuming spoilt meat will be rather more harmful than consuming a carrot that is a bit off.”