Philosophy > General AR Philosophy
Conflicted meat-eaters deny that meat-animals have the capacity to suffer

[University of Kent]

A new study from the University of Kent has provided direct evidence that people who wish to escape the �meat paradox� i.e. simultaneously disliking hurting animals and enjoying eating meat, may do so by denying that the animal they ate had the capacity to suffer.

By engaging in denial, those participating in the study also reported a reduced range of animals to which they felt obligated to show moral concern. These ranged from dogs and chimps to snails and fish.

The study, the results of which are published in the August issue of Appetite, was conducted by Dr Steve Loughnan, Research Associate at the University�s School of Psychology, and colleagues in Australia.
Dr Loughnan also explained that, broadly speaking, their study has shown that when there is a conflict between their preferred way of thinking and their preferred way of acting, it is their thoughts and moral standards that people abandon first � rather than changing their behaviour. �Rather than change their beliefs about the animals� moral rights, people could change their behaviour,� he said. �However, we suspect that most people are unwilling to deny themselves the enjoyment of eating meat, and denying animals moral rights lets them keep eating with a clear conscience�.

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