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Are Baby Animals Less Appetizing? Tenderness toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat


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Three studies investigated whether thoughts and feelings generated by baby animals might oppose appetite for meat. A prestudy established babyness as an important factor predicting moral concern for farmed animals. Study 1 showed that presenting images of baby animals, versus adult animals, as the source of meat reduced appetite for meat, but this effect was weak and found exclusively among women. Study 2 replicated and extended study 1 using a larger sample and two new animal sources. Study 3 included a no animal comparison condition, and found greatest levels of reduced appetite for meat when the meat source was presented as a baby animal, as opposed to an adult animal or with no visual indication of the animal source. A meta-analysis of the results using Bayes factors revealed considerable cumulative evidence in favor of the hypothesis that images of baby animals temporarily reduce women’s appetite for meat. In contrast, the evidence for men was less strong. Our results highlight a tension within some omnivores between caring for baby animals and appetite for meat.
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Are Baby Animals Less Appetizing? Tenderness
toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat
Jared Piazza, Neil McLatchie & Cecilie Olesen
To cite this article: Jared Piazza, Neil McLatchie & Cecilie Olesen (2018) Are Baby Animals Less
Appetizing? Tenderness toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat, Anthrozoös, 31:3, 319-335,
DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2018.1455456
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Published online: 03 May 2018.
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Address for correspondence:
Jared Piazza,
Lancaster University,
Department of Psychology,
Fylde College, Lancaster,
LA1 4YF, UK.
A supplemental file for this
paper is available online at
319 Anthrozoös DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2018.1455456
Are Baby Animals Less
Appetizing? Tenderness
toward Baby Animals and
Appetite for Meat
Jared Piazza*, Neil McLatchie*, and Cecilie Olesen
*Lancaster University, Department of Psychology, Lancaster, UK
University College London, Division of Psychology and Language
Sciences, London, UK
ABSTRACT Three studies investigated whether thoughts and feelings
generated by baby animals might oppose appetite for meat. A prestudy
established babyness as an important factor predicting moral concern for
farmed animals. Study 1 showed that presenting images of baby animals, ver-
sus adult animals, as the source of meat reduced appetite for meat, but this
effect was weak and found exclusively among women. Study 2 replicated and
extended study 1 using a larger sample and two new animal sources. Study
3 included a no animal comparison condition, and found greatest levels of
reduced appetite for meat when the meat source was presented as a baby
animal, as opposed to an adult animal or with no visual indication of the animal
source. A meta-analysis of the results using Bayes factors revealed consider-
able cumulative evidence in favor of the hypothesis that images of baby
animals temporarily reduce women’s appetite for meat. In contrast, the
evidence for men was less strong. Our results highlight a tension within some
omnivores between caring for baby animals and appetite for meat.
Keywords: appetite, baby animals, cuteness, human –animal interaction,
meat, moral concern, tenderness
As of September 28, 2016, the BuzzFeed video “Bacon Lovers
Meet Baby Pigs” (
MuNPJ-Y) had 9,489,563 views on YouTube. The video depicts
five 20-year-olds sitting at a dinner table excitedly awaiting an empty plate
to be filled with mouth-watering bacon. However, as the video unfolds
you watch their expressions morph from anticipation to astonishment,
their voices rise to high-pitched squeals of affection, as they are handed
a cute baby pig. While cuddling the piglet in her arms, one female
respondent announces, “I’m never going to have bacon ever again,” while
another male respondent quips, “I mean, he does look delicious, let’s be
AZ 31(3)_Layout 1 4/30/18 1:29 PM Page 319
honest.” While meant to entertain, the video raises an interesting question about our
relationship with animals slaughtered for food.
Many animal advocacy groups seem to operate under the assumption that there is an
opposition between our feelings of tenderness toward vulnerable animals and our appetite for
meat. Many groups, including Viva!, The Humane League, PETA, Animal Equality, and The
Humane Society, use images of baby animals on their websites and in their promotional
material, chosen strategically to melt the heart of the most committed meat eater. Explicit
appeals to sympathy for baby animals is a common persuasion tactic used to encourage
people to reduce their meat consumption. For example, a promotional booklet for the inter-
national NGO, Beyond Carnism includes a photo of baby chicks in distress with the caption:
“Because male chicks in the egg industry are considered useless, they are ground up alive,
gassed, electrocuted, or suffocated shortly after birth.”
The efficacy of images of baby animals as a meat-reduction tactic seems intuitive, yet
empirical evidence for this strategy is lacking. Are there actual benefits to using images of baby
animals within such campaigns? Might thoughts of baby farmed animals temporarily disarm
appetites for meat, and are there gender differences in this respect?
Baby Schemas and Their Motivational Consequences
Many studies have shown that men and women tend to converge in their judgments of which
human babies are cute (Alley, 1981; Glocker, Langleben, Ruparel et al., 2009a; Hildebrandt
& Fitzgerald, 1979). Judgments of cuteness appear to involve the identification of what ethol-
ogist Konrad Lorenz called Kindchenschema, or baby schema, a set of infantile features that
includes a large head, round face, high protruding forehead, large eyes, chubby cheeks, and
a small nose and mouth (Lorenz, 1943/1977). Men and women both find highly schematic
baby faces visually appealing and report greater motivations to care for infants with high
Kindchenschema faces (Alley, 1983; Glocker et al., 2009a; Hildebrandt & Fitzgerald, 1979;
Langlois, Ritter, Casey, & Sawin, 1995). Nonetheless, a few studies have found that women,
particularly young women, are better than men at discriminating neotenous features
(Lobmaier, Sprengelmeyer, Wiffen, & Perrett, 2010; Sprengelmeyer, Perrett, Fagan et al.,
2009). Women with high maternal tendencies find cute infant faces especially rewarding
(Hahn, DeBruine, & Jones, 2015), which suggests that motivational factors related to
caregiving may contribute to this difference.
The emotional and motivating effects of baby features are not limited to human infants.
Several studies have found that adults and children alike prefer animal targets with neotenous
characteristics, perhaps because they associate these characteristics with being vulnerable
and dependent on others for protection. Just as infants with enhanced neotenous features
are preferred and found more attractive than infants lacking these features, similar prefer-
ences and ratings have been observed with non-human targets (e.g., cats and dogs; Archer
& Monton, 2011; Borgi & Cirulli, 2013; Borgi, Cogliati-Dezza, Brelsford, Meintis, & Cirulli,
2014; Sanefuji, Ohgami, & Hashiya, 2007). Other studies have found that viewing baby ani-
mals can promote caretaking behaviors, particularly among women. For example, Sherman,
Haidt, and Coan (2009) exposed female undergraduates to images of kittens and puppies,
or adult cats and dogs, and then had participants perform a task of fine-motor dexterity.
Women who were exposed to baby animals received higher scores on the fine-motor task
than those exposed to the adult animals, suggesting that they were influenced by the baby
schema to behave more carefully. While men also display preferences for neotenous features
Are Baby Animals Less Appetizing? Tenderness toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat
320 Anthrozoös
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in animals, baby animals may be particularly emotionally salient for women, mirroring findings
with human infants.
Baby Animals, Gender, and Appetite for Meat
If baby schemas evoke feelings of tenderness and motivations to care for the vulnerable target,
might these feelings be antithetical toward motivations to consume meat? To the best of our
knowledge, at the time of submitting to this journal, only one published paper had examined
this question. Ruby and Heine (2012) found that the appearance of an animal—how “ugly” vs.
“cute” the animal is, on a sliding scale, with “neutral” as the midpoint—predicted levels of
disgust toward eating animals. Meat from uglier and cuter animals were rated more disgust-
ing. However, because this study was correlational, it remains to be seen if the baby status of
an animal has a causal influence on appetite for meat. Recent related research has shown that
people’s beliefs about the mistreatment of animals raised for meat (e.g., animals raised in poor
living conditions) can negatively impact upon people’s appetite for meat, including considera-
tions of the look, smell, and taste of meat (Anderson & Barrett, 2016). Yet, as far as we are
aware, no experiments have tested whether positive perceptions and feelings associated with
baby animals might reduce people’s appetite for meat.
Research into meat avoidance motives suggests that when people think about animals as
living creatures they tend to exhibit more moral concern for the animal than when they conceive
of animals as food (Bastian, Loughnan, Haslam, & Radke, 2012; Bilewicz, Imhoff, & Drogosz,
2011; Bratanova, Loughnan, & Bastian, 2011; Loughnan, Bastian, & Haslam, 2010), and
directly linking an animal source with meat can reduce motivations for consumption (Kunst &
Hohle, 2016; Tian, Hilton, & Becker, 2016). However, there are large gender differences in this
respect. Women appear to have more chronically accessible thoughts about the animal ori-
gins of meat (Rothgerber, 2012), and tend to report more disgust and ambivalence toward
meat than men (e.g., Beardsworth, Bryman, Keil et al., 2002; Kubberød, Ueland, Rødbotten,
Westad, & Risvik, 2002; Kubberød, Ueland, Risvik, & Henjesand, 2006; Nordin, Broman,
Garvill, & Nyroos, 2004; Ruby, 2012; Schösler, de Boer, Boersema, & Aiking, 2015). When
combined with studies that show women on average respond with greater emotion to baby
faces than men, we might speculate that women’s appetite for meat from baby animals may
be more labile and susceptible to influence compared to men’s appetite.
The Present Studies and Hypotheses
In three studies, we tested the hypotheses that (a) directly associating baby animals to meat
would temporarily reduce appetite for meat, more so than directly linking adult animals, and
(b) women would be more likely than men to exhibit such reductions. We theorized that images
of baby animals may serve to reduce appetite for meat largely due to appraisals of cuteness
and associated feelings of tenderness generated by baby animals, which appear incompati-
ble with thoughts about the slaughter of animals for meat. In this way, we expected women
to report greater feelings of tenderness toward baby animals used for meat, as well as reduced
appetite toward meat associated with these baby animals, relative to adult animals. Indeed,
in our prestudy (see below), women reported significantly greater feelings of tenderness toward
baby farmed animals, including chicks, piglets, calves, and lambs (M= 7.22, SD = 1.73), than
men (M= 5.96, SD = 2.04) (t(43) = 2.22, p= 0.03, d= 0.67, BU[0–2] = 7.51). Because of men’s
overall higher levels of positivity toward meat, and their relatively lower feelings of tenderness
toward baby animals, we did not expect men’s appetite for meat to be reduced to much
degree in response to baby animals.
Piazza et al.
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322 Anthrozoös
The studies reported here were approved by the Lancaster University Research Ethics
While our main studies were aimed at testing the demotivating influence of baby animals on
appetite for meat, we first ran a prestudy that established an image set of 40 farmed animals
(20 baby, 20 adult; chickens, cows, sheep, and pigs) to use in the subsequent studies. In this
prestudy, the images of baby farmed animals were rated significantly higher on appraisals of
cuteness and vulnerability, and evoked significantly greater feelings of tenderness and warmth,
than the images of adult farmed animals. These four items formed a tightly associated index,
which we labelled “babyness,” to denote the appraisals and emotions associated with the
animal’s status as a baby (Cronbach’s = 0.98)—see online supplementary materials at for each image and its corresponding babyness rating. Because these four com-
ponents formed a single construct, for expediency, we used only one of the four items to
confirm the success of our subsequent manipulations (appraisals of cuteness in studies 1–2,
and feelings of tenderness in study 3). Of note, the prestudy also demonstrated that the
appraisal and emotional aspects of perceiving baby animals predicted people’s moral atti-
tudes toward animals independent of perceptions of animals’ intelligence and harmfulness, two
factors previously shown to predict the moral status of animals (see e.g., Piazza, Landy, &
Goodwin, 2014; Sytsma & Machery, 2012).
Bayes Factors and Open Science
In line with guidelines offered by Dienes and McLatchie (2018), we report Bayes factors (B)
alongside p-values for all one-degree-of-freedom effects.1Our analyses are interpreted prin-
cipally with regards to Bayes factors, which provide a continuous measure of evidence for one
hypothesis (e.g., H0) relative to another hypothesis (e.g., H1). Values greater than 1 (toward
infinity) indicate support for the alternative hypothesis. Values less than 1 (toward zero) indicate
support for the null hypothesis. Here we use Dienes’ (2008) calculator that compares a spec-
ified alternative hypothesis (H1) to a point null hypothesis (H0) (R script created by Baguely &
Kaye, 2010). Throughout the current paper we specify the uniform prior on the assumption that
raw effects of greater than 2 on scales of 1–9 are uncommon (i.e., BU[0–2]). Indeed, gender
differences in evaluations of meat often fall within this range (see, e.g., Hayley, Zinkiewicz, &
Hardiman, 2015; Rothgerber, 2012; Tian et al., 2016). Note, however, that the conclusions we
draw based on the uniform distribution are consistent with other ways of modelling H1 (see
the Analysis Script in the online supplementary materials for Bayes factors that model H1 also
using half-normal and normal distributions). Conventionally, Bs < 0.33 have been considered
noteworthy evidence for the null hypothesis, while Bs > 3 have been considered noteworthy
evidence for the alternative hypothesis; values between 0.33 and 3 have been considered as
only weak or inconclusive evidence (Jeffreys, 1939/1961). The R script for all Bs, SPSS data
files and Qualtrics files for all studies are available via the Open Science Framework: All conditions and measures are reported.
Study 1—Babyness, Gender, and Appetite for Meat
In study 1, we sought an initial test of whether an image of a baby animal, when paired with
an image of meat, might effectively reduce appetite toward the meat, relative to when the meat
is paired with an image of the adult version of the same animal. We also examined, in an
exploratory manner, whether this might be the case independent of whether the animal is from
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a familiar animal (cow) or exotic source (kangaroo). Since unfamiliar meat is often met with
reduced sensory appeal (e.g., Tucker, 2014), we expected meat from exotic animal sources
to be rated less appetizing than the same meat from a familiar source, but we refrained from
speculating about whether familiarity would interact with baby status or gender in any man-
ner. We hypothesized that gender would moderate the influence of baby animals on appetite
for meat, such that women would find meat from baby animals less appetizing than meat from
adult animals, while there would be little or no impact of babyness on men’s appetite. We also
expected women to find meat from baby animals much less appetizing than men did, while
we expected women and men to converge more closely in their appetite for meat produced
from adult animals.
Participants: We recruited 172 participants via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk online labor market
(; for information about Mechanical Turk, see Paolacci, Chandler, & Ipeirotis,
2010). All participants were located in the United States and were paid $0.50 for their partic-
ipation. Four participants reported eating no meat at all or only fish, and thus were excluded
from the analysis. The final sample was comprised of 168 omnivores (i.e., individuals who “eat
meat and other animal products,” or who “eat meat, but only on rare occasions or only cer-
tain types of meat”). There were 100 males, 68 females (Mage = 31.92 years, SD = 9.54).
Design: We used a 2 (adult vs. baby animal source) 2 (familiar vs. exotic animal source) 2
(male vs. female participants) between-subjects factorial design, with random assignment.
Procedure and Materials: Participants were invited to take part in a study on “food prefer-
ences,” and were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions. They were presented an
image of a cooked meat dish (same for all participants) paired with an image of one of the four
animals (calf, bull, baby kangaroo [“joey”], or adult kangaroo; see online supplementary
materials at for images). The animal was presented above the meat dish on the
page and participants were told the meat “comes from the animal depicted above.” The task
was to rate how “appetizing” they found the meat on a sliding scale from 0 (Not at all appe-
tizing) to 100 (Extremely appetizing). Afterwards, on a separate page, participants were
presented the image of the animal a second time and rated how “cute” the animal is on a 0
(Not at all cute) to 100 (Extremely cute) scale.
Lastly, participants answered a dietary questionnaire used to assess their stance toward
meat (omnivore, semi-vegetarian, pescatarian, lacto- or ovo-vegetarian, strict vegetarian,
dietary/lifestyle vegan) and the frequency with which they ate various meat products on a scale
from 1 (Never) to 7 (Every day). Definitions were provided for each dietary classification. The
meat items included pork, bacon, ham, beef, steak, veal, kangaroo meat, lamb, chicken,
turkey, fish, and seafood. Afterwards, participants answered some basic demographic
questions, were debriefed, and paid.
Cuteness: Baby animals were rated cuter (M= 85.36, SD = 19.47) than adult animals
(M= 48.71, SD = 28.60) (F(1,160) = 100.27, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.385, BU[0–20] = 7.48 x 1015), con-
firming the success of our manipulation of babyness. The exotic animal was also overall rated
cuter (Mkangaroo = 74.73, SD = 26.05) compared with the familiar animal (Mcow = 60.31,
SD = 32.95) (F(1,160) = 15.59, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.089, BU[0–20] = 1039.59). There was also an
interaction of babyness and familiarity on cuteness ratings, (F(1,160) = 6.29, p= 0.013,
Piazza et al.
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324 Anthrozoös
Figure 1. Appetite for meat means and standard errors (±1 SE) by gender and babyness
(study 1). 0 = “Not at all appetizing”; 100 = “Extremely appetizing.”
p= 0.038, BU[0–20] = 10.14). This interaction may be explained by a smaller difference in the
perceived cuteness of the joey (Mjoey = 87.41, SD = 19.22) and calf (Mcalf = 83.28, SD = 19.74)
(t(85) = 0.99, p= .326, BU[0–20] = 0.72), compared with the difference between the adult kanga-
roo (Mkangaroo = 61.45, SD = 25.83) and bull (Mbull = 35.00, SD = 25.11) (t(79) = 4.67, p< 0.001,
BU[0–20] = 4880.74). Finally, women rated the animals cuter overall (M= 74.58, SD = 27.63)
compared with men (M= 63.01, SD = 31.44) (F(1,160) = 7.23, p= 0.008, 2
p= 0.043, BU[0–20]
= 19.49). There were no other two-way interactions (ps > 0.170) and the three-way interac-
tion was marginally significant (p= 0.086).
Appetite: We conducted a 2 (male, female) 2 (baby, adult) 2 (familiar, exotic) ANOVA on
appetite ratings. Unsurprisingly, there was strong evidence for an effect of familiarity
(F(1,160) = 45.66, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.22, BU[0–20] = 1.85107). Meat from an exotic animal was
rated less appetizing (M= 39.55, SD = 35.16) than when it was from a familiar animal
(M= 72.75, SD = 27.47). The main effect of babyness was inconclusive (F(1,160) = 2.81,
p= 0.10, 2
p= 0.02, BU[0–20] = 1.44), with baby animals being rated somewhat less appe-
tizing overall (M= 53.36, SD = 37.48) compared with adult animals (M= 58.33, SD = 33.66).
There was considerable evidence for the effect of gender (F(1,160) = 10.59, p= 0.001,
p= 0.06, BU[0–20] = 66.43). Overall, women rated the meat less appetizing (M= 42.84,
SD = 36.99) than men (M= 64.55, SD = 34.49). Critically, the Bayes factor suggested there
was substantial evidence for the interaction between baby and gender (F(1,160) = 3.62,
p= 0.06, 2
p= 0.02, BU[0–20] = 4.30) (see Figure 1 for appetite means and standard errors
as a function of gender and babyness). All other interactions were inconclusive (ps > 0.10,
Bs < 2.78).
We conducted simple-effects tests to further decompose the interaction effect. As can
be seen in Figure 1, there was strong evidence that men and women differed in their
appetite for the meat when the meat was paired with a baby animal (t(85) = 3.73, p< 0.001,
BU[0–20] = 133.53), with women desiring the meat less than men. Interestingly, when the
AZ 31(3)_Layout 1 4/30/18 1:29 PM Page 324
meat was paired with an adult animal, the evidence suggested that the difference between
men and women was still substantial (t(79) = 1.93, p= 0.06, BU[0–20] = 4.50), although the
evidence for gender differences in appetite following adult images was considerably weaker
than the evidence for gender differences in appetite following baby images (Bbaby/Badult = 21.71).
The influence of babyness on appetite when focusing only on women provided weak or
inconclusive evidence in favor of the experimental hypothesis (t(66) = 1.51, p= 0.14,
BU[0–20] = 2.46); for men, the evidence offered weak or inconclusive evidence in favor of the
null hypothesis (t(98) = –0.10, p= 0.92, BU[0–20] = 0.40).
Finally, there was noteworthy support for the negative correlation between animal cute-
ness ratings and appetite for the meat dish (r(167) = –0.14, p= 0.07, BU[0–.20] = 3.76). However,
because the total effect of babyness on appetite was inconclusive, we were not justified to test
whether cuteness appraisals played any mediating role between babyness and appetite in
this study.
In study 1, as predicted, reductions in appetite due to babyness interacted with partici-
pant gender, with Bayes factors revealing substantial evidence for an interaction effect. We
found that men and women differed in their appetite toward meat when the meat was
paired with a baby animal image, with women’s appetite for meat much lower than men’s
appetite, regardless of whether the meat was from a familiar or exotic source. Although
Bayes factors suggested that the data for women do support a decline in appetite when
meat is paired with a baby animal, the evidence was weak and not conclusive. The evi-
dence also provided inconclusive support for the hypothesis that men were uninfluenced
by the animal source.
There were several limitations with study 1 that restrict the conclusions we can draw from
its results. First, the size of the sample, which was determined by resources available to the
authors at the time, was not ideal. Several of the analyses offered only weak, inconclusive
evidence for our experimental hypotheses. As sample size increases toward infinity, Bayes
factors will provide stronger evidence for the hypothesis that best predicts the data. Increas-
ing the sample size also has the beneficial outcome of improving statistical power for mak-
ing frequentist inferences. Although we interpret our results in terms of Bayes factors
throughout, it is nonetheless the case that to make accurate frequentist inferences, studies
must be sufficiently powered to reliably detect small effects (e.g., f= 0.20). For the current
study, setting to 0.05, we would want at least n= 277 to maintain power at 0.80 (n= 359
at 0.90) to identify small between-participants effects and two-way interactions, as calcu-
lated in G*Power 3.1 (Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, & Buchner, 2007). Therefore, in study 2 we sought
to more than double our n.
Secondly, study 1 used a single, familiar animal source (cattle). In study 2, we sought
to determine if babyness exerts an influence on appetite for meat using two other animals:
sheep and pigs, to test the generalizability of our findings. We also included a new meat
dish, both for generalizability and for pragmatic reasons (i.e., we needed a meat dish
believably derived from both animal sources). Finally, in study 1, the animal images used for
the adult and baby counterparts had some incidental differences (e.g., the baby kangaroo
was being held by a person but the adult kangaroo was not; the bodily orientation of the
calf and bull differed) that we sought to minimize in study 2, to isolate babyness as the
principal variable.
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Study 2—Replication and Generalizing to Other Animal Types
Participants: We recruited a sample of 361 participants via MTurk. All participants were located
in the United States and were paid $0.50 for their participation. Twenty-two participants re-
ported being vegetarian or vegan; however, three of these participants also reported eating var-
ious non-fish, non-seafood meat products to some extent, and thus were retained in the
sample. In the end, 19 participants were removed from the sample who reported not eating
meat products, including pork, bacon, ham, beef, steak, lamb, chicken, and turkey (M= 1.09,
SD = 0.29, on a scale 1 = Never to 7 = Every day). Of the remaining 342 omnivores (meat con-
sumption frequency M= 3.49, SD = 0.88), 159 were female and the mean age was 34.88
years (SD = 10.94).2
Design: We used a 2 (babyness: adult vs. baby) 2 (animal type: sheep vs. pigs) 2 (male
vs. female participants) between-subjects factorial design, with random assignment.
Procedure and Materials: The procedures were identical to study 1, except in three respects.
First, we replaced the animal images to an adult sheep and adult pig, and, for the baby con-
dition, a lamb and piglet. These images were derived from our prestudy. The orientation and
setting (standing on grass) of the adult and baby counterpart were matched for each animal
type. Second, the image of the meat dish was replaced with an image of meat suggestive of
meat sourced from sheep and pigs. The meat, which was the same in all conditions, was
actually lamb chops, but resembled pork chops as well—see online supplementary materials
at for images. All images were set to a standardized width of 500 mm. Finally, in
addition to making appetite ratings on the same 0–100 scale as in study 1, we added a sec-
ond measure of appetite: how willing participants would you be to eat the meat depicted in
the photograph (0 = Not at all willing, 100 = Very willing). These two ratings were highly inter-
related (= 0.93), and thus were averaged into a single index of appetite. As in study 1,
participants rated how cute they found the target animal on the same 0–100 scale from study
1. All participants provided their meat consumption frequencies (same items as study 1 minus
“veal” and “kangaroo meat”), dietary classification (same categories as study 1 plus “meat
lover”) and were fully debriefed and paid.
Cuteness: Confirming the success of our choice of baby and adult images, there was a very
large effect of perceived cuteness, as baby animals were rated overall cuter (M= 82.37,
SD = 19.89) than adult animals (M= 58.46, SD = 26.81) (F(1,334) = 92.66, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.91,
BU[0–20] = 2.411018). Sheep were also rated cuter (M= 77.02, SD = 21.88) compared with
pigs (M= 63.42, SD = 28.95) (F(1,334) = 30.45,p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.08, BU[0–20] = 1.26106).
Overall, women rated the animals slightly cuter (M= 72.65, SD = 26.74) than did men
(M= 68.34, SD = 26.11), but the results were inconclusive, (F(1,334) = 1.91, p= 0.17,
p= 0.006, BU[0–20] = 0.93). All interaction effects were inconclusive (Fs < 0.80, ps > 0.36,
p s < 0.003, 0.67 < Bs < 0.89).
Meat Appetite: We conducted a 2 (babyness) 2 (animal type) 2 (gender) ANOVA on mean
appetite scores. There was a main effect of babyness (F(1,334) = 9.24, p= 0.003, 2
p= 0.03,
BU[0–20] = 42.24). Meat sourced from a baby animal was rated overall less appetizing
(M= 49.28, SD = 32.91) than the same meat sourced from an adult animal (M= 59.42,
SD = 31.83). There was inconclusive evidence for the effect of animal type (F(1,334) = 2.96,
AZ 31(3)_Layout 1 4/30/18 1:29 PM Page 326
p= 0.09, 2
p= 0.009, BU[0–20] = 2.15), with the meat rated less appetizing when a sheep was
presented as the source (M= 50.93, SD = 33.73), compared with a pig as the source
(M= 57.95, SD = 31.35). Overall, women rated the meat dish less appetizing (M= 44.82,
SD = 32.88) than did men (M= 62.69, SD = 31.25) (F(1,334) = 26.26, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.07,
BU[0–20] = 1.61105). However, this time the evidence for the two-way interactions (Fs < 0.30,
ps > 0.58, 2
p s < 0.001, 0.78 < Bs < 1.36) and the three-way interaction was also inconclu-
sive (F(1, 334) = 0.14, p= 0.71, 2
p< 0.001, BU[0–20] = 1.06). See Figure 2 for means and stan-
dard errors by babyness, animal type, and gender. Separating by gender, we obtained strong
evidence for a moderate effect of babyness on appetite for meat, for women (Mbaby = 38.57,
SD = 31.87 vs. Madult = 50.98, SD = 32.90) (t(157) = 2.41, p= 0.02, d= 0.38, BU[0–20] = 10.95).
We also observed weaker, inconclusive evidence for an effect of babyness on appetite for
meat for men (Mbaby = 58.57, SD = 31.09 vs. Madult = 66.76, SD = 29.11) (t(181) = 1.84, p= 0.07,
d= 0.27, BU[0–20] = 2.92).
Mediation Analysis: Animal cuteness ratings were weakly negatively correlated with appetite
ratings (r(341) = –0.13, p= 0.02, BU[0–.20] = 8.96). Since we observed an effect of babyness on
both cuteness and appetite ratings, we conducted a mediation analysis with bootstrapping
(5,000 resamples) using Hayes’ (2013) PROCESS macro for SPSS (model 4). Babyness was
entered as the independent variable (0 = adult, 1 = baby) predicting appetite scores with ap-
praisals of cuteness as the mediator. The indirect effect of babyness on appetite scores via
cuteness ratings was not significant (coefficient = –2.05, SE = 1.77, 95% CI = [–5.69, 1.29]
(a path BU[0–20] = 2.101017; b path BU[0–20] = 0.20). The evidence for the null hypothesis
for the b path offers substantial support for the conclusion of no indirect effect.
Furthermore, there was substantial evidence for a direct effect of babyness on appetite when
cuteness was entered as a mediator (coefficient = –8.09, SE = 3.92, 95% CI = [–15.81,
–0.37], BU[0–10.14] = 5.52).
Piazza et al.
327 Anthrozoös
Figure 2. Appetite for meat means and standard errors (±1 SE) by gender, babyness, and
animal type (study 2). 0 = “Not at all appetizing”; 100 = “Extremely appetizing.”
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In study 2, we found yet more support for our main hypothesis that meat sourced from baby
animals is considered less appetizing than meat from adult animals. Babyness had a reduc-
ing influence on appetites across two animal types, sheep and pigs. This time the gender did
not quite moderate the influence that babyness had on appetite scores. Nonetheless, while
the effect was observed for both groups, the effect was larger for women, and the strength of
evidence for men would conventionally be considered weak and inconclusive. Finally, although
appraisals of animal cuteness and appetite were negatively correlated, appraisals of cuteness
did not mediate the effect that babyness had on appetite in this study.
One limitation with studies 1 to 2 is the absence of a comparison condition with no men-
tion or depiction of the animal source. How does presenting meat with a baby animal source
compare with presenting no animal image at all? Might baby animal images reduce appetites
more strongly in this respect compared with adult animal images? In study 3, we contrasted
the influence of presenting an image of a familiar animal (cow), either baby or adult, with the
absence of any visual reminders of the animal source. We also switched from appraisals of
cuteness to feelings of tenderness as our check on the manipulation of babyness.
Study 3—Baby vs. Adult vs. No Animal
Participants: We recruited two waves of participants via MTurk on April 16, 2016 and May 2,
2017. All participants were located in the United States and were paid $0.50 for their partici-
pation. In the first wave, “women who eat at least some meat” were invited to participate, while
the second wave invited “men who eat at least some meat.” We recruited 134 females in the
first wave, and 144 males in the second. In the combined datasets, seven participants reported
eating no meat at all or only fish, and thus were excluded from the analysis. The final sample
was comprised of 271 omnivores (126 female, 145 male; Mage = 35.04 years, SD = 10.40).
Please note that study 3 was originally conducted exclusively with women, on the basis of
the results of study 1, which revealed no discernible influence of baby animal images on men’s
appetites (historically, we ran study 3 prior to study 2). However, in response to reviewer com-
ments, we later deemed the lack of men in our recruitment strategy premature, and therefore
ran a separate replication of study 3 in 2017 with male omnivores.
Design: We used a 3 (image condition) 2 (gender) between-subjects design. Participants
were randomly assigned to the baby animal (n= 91), adult animal (n= 87), or no image
(n= 93) condition.
Procedure and Materials: The procedures and materials were identical to study 1, except we
used a different image of a calf from our prestudy than the one used in study 1 (the same bull
image from study 1 was used as our adult animal), we used a different meat dish from the pre-
vious studies, and this time we defined the animal as a “baby cow” or “adult cow” rather than
using the generic designation “animal” (see online supplementary materials at for
images of the animals and meat dish used). The same 0–100 ratings of appetite were used
as in study 1. This time, as our check on babyness, we had participants rate the level of
tenderness, 0–100, they felt toward the animal (calf or bull; “I feel tenderness toward this
animal”), after making their appetite rating. Participants in the no-animal condition did not make
a tenderness rating, since there was no accompanying animal image presented alongside the
meat dish. Self-reported dietary classifications (omnivore to lifestyle vegan), frequency of meat
Are Baby Animals Less Appetizing? Tenderness toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat
328 Anthrozoös
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consumption (same items from study 1 minus “kangaroo meat”), and demographics were
collected. All participants were then debriefed.
Tenderness: Our participants had more tender feelings toward the baby animal (Mcalf = 69.55,
SD = 28.08) than the adult animal (Mbull = 52.77, SD = 31.55) (F(1,174) = 14.64, p< 0.001,
p= 0.08, BU[0–20] = 638.83), confirming the success of the image selection. Also, women felt
more tenderness overall toward the animals (M= 72.24, SD = 26.78) compared with men
(M= 51.62, SD = 31.22) (F(1,174) = 22.91, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.12, BU[0–20] = 2.27104). The in-
teraction of image condition and gender offered only weak evidence in favor of the null
hypothesis (F< 1, p= 0.70, 2
p= 0.001, BU[0–20] = 0.40).
Appetite for Meat: A 3 (image condition) 2 (gender) ANOVA on appetite scores provided
strong evidence for the main effect of gender (F(1,265) = 26.45, p< 0.001, 2
p= 0.09,
B[0–20] = 1.71105), and a significant effect of image condition (F(2,265) = 8.88, p< 0.001,
p= 0.06). As in previous studies, men overall rated the meat dish more appetizing
(M= 77.76, SD = 26.36) than did women (M= 59.57, SD = 32.15). The interaction of image
condition and gender was not significant (F(2, 265) = 1.08, p= 0.34, 2
p= 0.008) (see Figure 3
for means and standard errors as a function of gender and image condition). Collapsing across
gender, the meat was least appetizing when it was presented along with an image of a baby
animal (M= 59.38, SD = 35.14) as the source, and most appetizing when it was presented
without any image of the animal source (M= 76.89, SD = 25.99), with the adult animal source
falling in between (M= 71.56, SD = 27.17). Bayes factors indicated strong evidence for the
contrast of baby vs. adult animal images (MD = 12.18, SE = 4.46, p= 0.02, BU[0–20] = 22.28),
and the contrast of baby animal vs. no image (MD = 17.51, SE = 4.38, p< 0.001,
BU[0–20] = 1161.47). However, the contrast of adult animal vs. no image was inconclusive (MD
= 5.33, SE = 4.43, p= 0.45, BU[0–20] = 1.01).
Piazza et al.
329 Anthrozoös
Figure 3. Appetite for meat means and standard errors (±1 SE) by gender and animal condi-
tion (study 3). 0 = “Not at all appetizing”; 100 = “Extremely appetizing.”
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Follow-up contrasts (Tukey’s HSD tests) were conducted for each level of image condition,
first for women and then for men. For women, there was a main effect of image condition on
appetite scores (F(2,123) = 6.47, p= 0.002, 2
p= 0.10). The contrast between the baby and
no-animal condition provided substantial evidence in favor of the experimental hypothesis
(MD = 23.42, SE = 6.65, p= 0.002, BU[0–20] = 125.08); the contrast between the baby and adult
condition also offered substantial evidence in favor of the experimental hypothesis
(MD = 15.80, SE = 6.73, p= 0.05, BU[0–20] = 9.62); the contrast between the adult and
no- animal condition was inconclusive (MD = 7.62, SE = 6.81, p= 0.505, BU[0–20] = 1.33).
For men, the overall effect of animal condition on appetite scores was not significant, (F(2,142)
= 2.37, p= 0.10, 2
p= 0.03). The comparison of appetite for the baby animal and no-image
condition was not significant, but indicated substantial evidence for the alternative hypothesis
(MD = 11.22, SE = 5.28, p= 0.09, BU[0–20] = 5.92). The comparison of appetite for baby and
adult animal, however, revealed only weak evidence in favor of the alternative hypothesis
(MD = 8.02, SE = 5.39, p= 0.30, BU[0–20] = 1.88). Finally, the comparison of appetite for the
adult animal vs. no-image meat constituted only weak, inconclusive evidence in favor of the
null hypothesis (MD = 3.19, SE = 5.28, p= 0.817, BU[0–20] = 0.58).
Mediation Analysis: There was strong evidence for a negative correlation between feelings of
tenderness and appetite for the meat (r(177) = –0.42, p< 0.001, BU[0–.20] = 1.34109). To test
whether feelings of tenderness mediated the effect of babyness on appetite for the meat, we
conducted a mediation analysis as in study 2. This analysis revealed that there was a signifi-
cant indirect effect of babyness (adult = 0 vs. baby = 1) via tenderness on appetite scores
(coefficient = –6.81, SE = 2.24, 95% CI = [–11.98, –3.05]). Bayes factors of the indirect path-
way provided evidence for mediation as well (a path BU[0–20] = 488.93; bpath BU[0–20] =
3.49104). The direct effect of babyness on appetite was not significant (coefficient = –5.37,
SE = 4.54, 95% CI = [–14.34, 3.59]), suggesting full mediation. The Bayes factor for the direct
effect (BU[0–20] = 1.53) suggests the evidence for full mediation is inconclusive (i.e., more
evidence is needed to determine whether the mediating role of tenderness is partial or full).
Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Main Experimental Hypotheses
A fixed-effects Bayesian meta-analysis was conducted using Dienes’ (2008)3calculator to test
the main experimental hypotheses that across three studies participants would rate meat as
less appetizing when the meat came from a baby source relative to an adult source, and that
this would be largely the case for women more so than men. For discussion regarding the ad-
vantages of such internal meta-analyses within multi-study psychology reports, see Goh, Hall
and Rosenthal (2016) and Maner (2014). Bayes factors were calculated on the meta-analytic
data for each gender separately and combined. These cumulated Bayes factors were calcu-
lated using a half-normal distribution, which is generally more conservative than other models
used to represent H1, requiring greater evidence to distinguish evidence for H1 from evidence
for H0. The raw effects and Bayes factors are shown in Table 1, along with the meta-analytic
posterior means, standard deviations and 95% credible intervals. The posterior data represents
the best representation of the true population parameter given the data collected across all
three studies. The meta-analytic 95% credible intervals suggest that the true effect size for
both genders combined and individually is likely to be greater than zero. Furthermore, if we cal-
culate the ratio of the Bayes factors for appetite reduction (baby vs. adult animals), we observe
that the evidence is considerably larger for females than males (Bfemale/Bmale = 62.82).
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General Discussion
Three studies revealed that women’s appetite toward meat declines when meat products are
paired with images of a baby animal source. We observed this effect on appetite across four
different animal species (cattle, kangaroos, pigs, sheep) and three different meat dishes (each
study used a different image of meat). Study 3 showed that this decline in appetite was largest
when comparing a baby animal condition with a condition where there is no reminder of the
animal source. Reductions in appetite were weaker when contrasting adult animal images
with no image. When we focus on the critical animal comparison, babies vs. adults, as we did
in our meta-analysis, the data presented here offer strong support for a small effect of baby-
ness on appetite for meat among women (cumulative B= 257.58). The best estimate of the
reduction in appetite for women is 13.62, along our 0–100 scale, when comparing baby and
adult animals. In contrast, the reduction in men’s appetite for meat from baby animals, com-
pared with meat from adult animals, was approximately half that of women (a posterior mean
of 6.31 along the 0–100 scale). The pooled data presented here provide weaker evidence (a
cumulative B= 4.10) that men experience a reduction in their appetite for meat when it is from
baby animals versus adult animals.
Connections with Prior Work, Limitations, and Future Directions
That the appetite of women was more affected by images of baby farmed animals than the
appetite of men is consistent with past research that has found that women tend to be more
emotionally responsive to cute babies (Glocker et al., 2009b) and to display caretaking moti-
vations in response to human and animal infants (Glocker et al., 2009a; Sherman et al., 2009).
Our findings are also in line with a large literature that has consistently uncovered greater
ambivalence, and negative attitudes, toward meat among women, compared with men. Our
findings extend this literature by revealing that the impact baby animals have on people’s
appetite for meat is more strongly observed among women.
Piazza et al.
331 Anthrozoös
Table 1. Bayesian meta-analysis of data across studies 1–3 investigating the experimental
hypothesis that participants reduce their appetite for meat when associating meat with baby ani-
mals, compared with adult animals. Statistics given for both genders combined, and individually.
Study Mean Diff SE t Study Cumulative Posterior Posterior Meta 95%
[Adult–Baby] BU[0-20] BH[0, 10] Mean SD Credible
Both Genders
1 4.97 2.96 1.68 1.44
2 10.14 3.34 3.04** 42.24 70.90 7.24 2.21 2.90, 11.59
3 12.18 4.46 2.73* 22.28 1,509.31 8.22 1.98 4.33, 12.11
1 13.44 8.90 1.51 2.46
2 12.41 5.14 2.41* 10.95 23.75 12.66 4.45 3.94, 21.39
3 15.80 6.73 2.35* 9.62 257.58 13.62 3.71 6.34, 20.89
1 –0.62 6.86 –0.10 0.40
2 8.19 4.45 1.84+ 2.92 1.71 5.58 3.73 –1.74, 12.90
3 8.02 5.73 1.49 1.88 4.10 6.37 3.07 0.35, 12.39
+p< 0.10, *p< 0.05, **p< 0.01.
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Past work on baby animals has focused mainly on pet animals, such as dogs and cats
(e.g., Archer & Monton, 2011; Borgi et al., 2014; Borgi & Cirulli, 2013; Levin, Arluke, & Irvine,
2017; Sanefuji et al., 2007; Sherman et al., 2009), while very little work has examined the role
of baby status among farmed animals or animals traditionally used for meat. Our studies are
the first, as far as we are aware at the time of our submission to this journal, to experimentally
manipulate the animal’s status as a baby or adult and examine the consequences for appetite
toward meat. Our findings suggest perceptions of babyness and accompanied feelings of
tenderness can reduce appetite toward meat in the short term, when directly linking thoughts
of the meat product to the animal source.
Our findings also extend research on how people judge the moral status of animals (e.g.,
Piazza et al., 2014) by highlighting babyness as a potential source of moral standing beyond
intelligence and harmfulness. Studies show that people loosen their moral concern for
animals, and disregard otherwise morally relevant features (e.g., intelligence), when an animal
is categorized as food (Bratanova et al., 2011; Loughnan, Bastian, & Haslam, 2014; Piazza
& Loughnan, 2016). Yet ethical concerns for animals can impact on meat enjoyment
(Anderson & Barrett, 2016), as can associating meat with the animal source (e.g., Kunst &
Hohle, 2016). In our prestudy, we found that people, of both genders, think that baby farmed
animals deserve to be protected from harm more so than adult animals. However, images of
baby animals as the source of meat only reliably impacted on women’s appetite for meat. The
overall evidence of the impact that babyness had on men’s appetites would conventionally
be considered weak, thus, pointing to a potential disconnect between moral concern for
farmed animals and appetites.
In study 1, we found no discernible evidence that men’s appetite for meat from
cows and kangaroos was affected by the baby status of the animal source, and indeed
the data showed inconclusive but weak evidence for the null hypothesis. Study 2, using
sheep and pigs as the target animals, obtained more positive but still weak evidence
that men’s appetite was affected by baby relative to adult images. Study 3, which
utilized cows as the target, again revealed only inconclusive and weak evidence that
reductions in appetite for men existed when comparing babies and adults. When pool-
ing the data within a meta-analysis (see Table 1) we found that the data across all three
studies offered weaker evidence for men. In contrast, the data overwhelmingly
supported the experimental hypothesis for women. Future research should continue
to investigate individual differences in the way people utilize information about animals
used for meat and how this information impacts on people’s appetites, as our results
highlight one attributional dimension, babyness, for which gender seems to be an
important moderator.
While our findings suggest that there may be some value in using baby animals as images
within meat-reduction campaigns, it is important to note several limitations of our studies. First,
we only examined short-term influences on appetite within cross-sectional designs. It is ques-
tionable whether exposure to baby animals would have long-term effects on appetite for meat.
Second, study 3 labelled the animal image (“baby animal,” “adult animal”), which raises the
question of whether it was the image or the label that carried the effect. Though studies 1 and
2 did not use labels, further research should continue to isolate these variables. Finally, we
measured appetite for meat primarily with rating tasks and not actual food choices. Future
studies should examine the influence of baby schemas within actual food selection or point-
of-purchase paradigms.
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332 Anthrozoös
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We found that both men and women find baby farmed animals to be cute and vulnerable, and
experience feelings of tenderness and warmth toward them. Further, results indicate that
female omnivores exhibit a temporary reduction in their appetite toward meat sourced from
baby animals, while the results are less conclusive for male omnivores. Feeling tenderness
toward a baby animal appears to be an oppositional force on appetite for meat for many peo-
ple, especially women. How some individuals are able to keep their affections and appetites
separate remains an interesting and important topic for future research.
Thanks to Michalina Tomaszczuk for her valuable assistance with these studies. Thanks to
Zoltan Dienes for his assistance with calculating Bayes factors.
Conflict of Interest
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial,
or not-for-profit sectors. No potential conflicts of interest exist.
1. Bayes factors for omnibus ANOVAs with k degrees of freedom depend on assumptions of independent k
contrasts which is difficult to theoretically determine. Our hypotheses are sufficiently tested using Bayes
factors conducted on analyses where df = 1. We know of past research that has reported omnibus (df >
1) Bs but only for completeness and after acknowledging that none of the conclusions were drawn from
the omnibus Bs (see Lush, Naish, & Dienes, 2016).
2. The conclusions drawn from the data in study 1 do not change when all 361 participants are included in
the analysis.
3. See Dienes (2008, box 4.5, p. 94) for an overview of Bayesian updating used by the calculator. The corre-
sponding R script has been provided in the supplemental materials.
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... Consumers' awareness, willingness and dietary change regarding animals and animal agriculture have been studied with participants from several countries in North and South America (Canada [86][87][88], U.S. [86,87,[89][90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105], Mexico [106,107], Argentina [108], Bolivia [108], Brazil [71,72,[109][110][111][112][113][114][115], Chile [108,116], Colombia [108], Ecuador [108], Peru [108]), Western and Eastern Europe (Belgium [109,[117][118][119][120], Denmark [117], Finland [121][122][123], France [115,119,124], Germany [117,119,123,[125][126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133][134][135][136], Italy [119], Ireland [137,138], Netherlands [75,119,133,[139][140][141][142][143], Norway [119,138,144,145], Portugal [119], Spain [106,123], Sweden [119], Switzerland [119], U.K. [98,[146][147][148][149][150], Scotland [137], Bosnia [79,151], Bulgaria [79,119], Croatia [79,119,151], Czech Republic [79,119,138,151], Hungary [151], Macedonia [79,138,151], Poland [79,117,119,123,151], Slovakia [79,151], Slovenia [119,151] and Ukraine [79,119,151]), and Australia [72,[152][153][154][155][156][157][158][159][160][161][162]. ...
... [124]. Overall, U.S. consumers expressed more disgust towards meat sourced from a baby animal than the same meat sourced from an adult animal [99]. In another study, although Australian women meat eaters experienced greater concern for animals, when exposed to audio-visual footage demonstrating the intelligence of a lamb, most participants expressed defensive justifications for eating meat [156]. ...
... In an experiment where Norwegian participants were divided into five different studies with animals presented at different processing stages, the results suggested that processed meat made participants less empathetic towards the slaughtered animal than unprocessed meat; conversely, presenting the living animal, and changing the vocabulary (e.g., replacing "beef/pork" with "cow/pig") increased empathy and disgust, and reduced willingness to eat meat and increased willingness to choose vegetarian options [96]. When U.S. participants were provided with photographs of meat and animals (see experiment in Table S2), meat was least appetizing when it was presented along with an image of a baby animal, and most appetizing when it was presented without any image of the animal source [99]. In another similar experiment, participants that access meat dishes paired with live animals (animalmeat association) presented greater disgust for meat, and reduced antiveg*n attitudes via increased empathy for animals, compared to other participants that accessed images of meat (meat-alone condition) [90]. ...
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Planetary and human health depend on Westerners' ability to reduce meat consumption. Meat production degrades the environment while excessive meat intake is associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease, among others. Effective reasons and motivations are needed for consumers to change their diet. The fact that modern animal agriculture inflicts a great deal of pain on animals from their birth to their slaughter, animal welfare/suffering may drive consumers to curtail their meat consumption. This systematic review examined a total of 90 papers to ascertain consum-ers' awareness of the pain animals experience in animal agriculture, as well as consumer attitudes towards meat reduction due to animal welfare. Results show that consumers have low awareness of animal agriculture. Awareness of animal agricultural practices and animal sentience is associated with increased negative attitudes towards animal suffering. Animal suffering due to farming practices , transportation, slaughter, and animal sentience are factors that may encourage a reduction in meat consumption, and even dietary change in the short term. There is also evidence that animal suffering may be a more compelling motivation for consumers' willingness to change their diet than for health or environmental reasons. Therefore, increasing consumers' awareness of animal suffering in meat production is paramount to contributing to reduced pressure on the environment and improved human health.
... Steinnes et al. (2019) stated that Uralic languages such as Hungarian, Estonian, and Finnish have a word for an emotion evoked by seeing something cute, whereas Germanic languages such as English, German, or Norwegian do not. In the English language, feelings toward baby animals could best be expressed by the word ''tenderness'' (Piazza et al., 2018). Kalawski (2010) proposed that tenderness is an emotion that is associated with both joyful (cute) and sad (pitiful) situations. ...
... Therefore, it may be confusing to use the English word ''tender'' in the context of research on the concept of cuteness. For instance, Piazza et al. (2018) conducted online experiments in the United States and reported that viewing baby animals' images reduced the appetite for meat and that the negative correlation between babyness (i.e., baby vs. adult animals) and appetite for meat was mediated by feelings of tenderness rather than by the appraisal of cuteness. Feelings of tenderness are assumed to be evoked by the perception of vulnerability (Lishner et al., 2011). ...
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The word ''kawaii'' is ubiquitous in contemporary Japan and has spread to the rest of the world with the dissemination of Japanese pop culture. Although the word is conventionally translated in English as ''cute,'' its meaning is more nuanced than ''cute,'' and it is used for a wider variety of objects. The primary aim of this study was to determine if Spanish has an equivalent to the word ''kawaii''; additionally, similarities and differences across Japanese, English, and Spanish were explored. An internet survey was conducted in which respondents from Japan (n = 486), the United States (n = 365), and Argentina (n = 303) were presented with various photographic images that were often described as ''kawaii'' in Japanese and asked to write three adjectives to describe the images. They were also instructed to rate their affective states when looking at each image in the valence and arousal dimensions. The results showed that babyish objects (e.g.human, animal, and toy) were most frequently defined as ‘‘kawaii’’ in Japanese, ‘‘cute’’ in English, and ‘‘tierno’’ in Spanish. The average frequency at which these words were used as primary adjectives was higher for ‘‘kawaii’’ (57.5%) than for ‘‘cute’’ (26.8%) or ‘‘tierno’’ (22.4%). All of these images were associated with positive and moderately-aroused affective states similarly across all three countries. The present study demonstrates that the adjectives ‘‘kawaii,’’ ‘‘cute,’’ and ‘‘tierno’’ can be used almost equivalently for describing babies and pets, but that the Japanese adjective ‘‘kawaii’’ encompasses wider categories than the other two words.
... Participants completed a pre-existing scale of dietary classification (Piazza et al., 2018). Participants were asked to select the category that best described their dietary identity: (1) meat lover (I prefer to have meat in all or most of my meals), (2) omnivore (I eat meat and other animal products, like dairy and/or eggs), (3) semi-vegetarian or reducetarian (I eat meat, but only on rare occasions or only certain types of meat), (4) pescatarian (I eat fish and/or seafood, as well as dairy products and eggs, but no other meat), (5) lacto-or ovo-vegetarian (I eat dairy products and/or eggs, but no meat or fish), (6) strict vegetarian (I eat no animal products, including dairy and eggs, but would not consider myself full vegan), (7) dietary vegan (I eat no animal products, including dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, etc.) and (8) lifestyle vegan (I never consume any animal products, and avoid all non-food animal products, including leather, silk, wool, cosmetics containing animal ingredients, etc). ...
... round head, big eyes), negatively predicted evaluations of acceptability to kill for human consumption and positively predicted feelings of caring and protection toward a variety of animals [49]. For farm animals, Piazza et al. [50] found that baby animals were seen as tender and less appetizing. ...
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The animal stereotype approach dissolves 'animals' into diverse images depending on their species. First, we reviewed recent research showing the attributes socially ascribed to different animal species. Next, we discussed how the animal stereotype approach may complement dehumanization by broadening the distinct forms of animalized dehumanization based on 1) intentions (warm, friendly, and harmful), 2) abilities (perceptual and cognitive), 3) physical appearance (size, aesthetic appeal), 4) affective capacities, 5) physiological needs, and 6) domestic-wild nature.
... Previous research has also identified gender differences in moral emotions. Compared to men, women tend to feel more guilt (Ward & King, 2018), experience stronger meat-related disgust (Al-Shawaf et al., 2018;Hoefling et al., 2009;Prokop & Fancovicova, 2010;Schaller, 2016), show greater compassion towards animals and are more concerned with animal welfare and protection (Graça et al., 2018;Herzog et al., 2015;Martens et al., 2019;Phillips et al., 2011;Piazza et al., 2018). Women are also more favourable towards vegetarianism and are more likely to be vegetarian (Forestell & Nezlek, 2018;Graça et al., 2015;Pfeiler & Egloff, 2018;Rosenfeld, 2018). ...
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Meat eaters and meat abstainers differ in their beliefs and moral emotions related to meat consumption alongside gender differences. Few studies have investigated beliefs and moral emotions in pescatarians and vegans. Little is known about differences in moral emotions and beliefs regarding dairy, eggs, and fish or about speciesist beliefs within and between specific dietary groups. To address this gap, we investigated moral emotions (consumption-related disgust and guilt), attitudes towards animals (Animal Attitudes Scale) and justifying beliefs related to meat (Carnism Inventory), dairy, egg, and fish consumption in omnivores (n = 167), pescatarians (n = 110), vegetarians (n = 116), and vegans (n = 149). Results showed that people who consumed animal-derived products reported lower disgust and guilt and held stronger justifying beliefs about consumption of these products than those who did not consume animal products. All dietary groups significantly differed from each other in their attitudes about using animals for human benefit, with omnivores showing the least positive attitudes towards animals, followed by pescatarians and vegetarians, and with vegans showing the most positive attitudes towards animals. Women experienced greater moral emotions and held fewer justifying beliefs than men within groups where animal products were consumed and related to the animal-based products they consume (i.e., fish for pescatarians and eggs/dairy for vegetarians). These findings emphasise the importance of considering a wider range of animal products, such as eggs, dairy and fish, and dietary groups in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the psychological underpinnings of animal product consumption. The results highlight differences between dietary groups in attitudes and moral concern towards animals, which may be important to consider when designing interventions to reduce animal product consumption.
... It may seem paradoxical to say that someone is not a true vegetarian, because they exclude meat solely for health reasons-even though they meet the dietary criteria of vegetarianism. This disagreement about definitions may stem from underlying epistemic disagreements about whether vegetarianism is a diet or a lifestyle [69,70]. As Another terminology for this type of diet is "strict vegetarian diet". ...
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Purpose This paper aims to present an overview of the definitions of “plant-based and “vegetarian diets” adopted by different organizations worldwide, proposing new standard definitions and discussing the notion of vegetarianism as a restrictive dietary pattern. Methods An extensive literature review on the different definitions of vegetarian and plant-based diets was conducted. Definitions of different international vegetarian and vegan organizations were also taken into account. Objective definitions for vegetarian and plant-based diets, as well as for their subcategories, were proposed. Other aspects related to how vegetarian diets are viewed and defined were also discussed. Results We proposed that a vegetarian diet should be defined as “a dietary pattern that excludes meat, meat-derived foods, and, to different extents, other animal products”. This definition would include, among others, ovolactovegetarian and vegan diets. The proposed definition for a plant-based diet was “a dietary pattern in which foods of animal origin are totally or mostly excluded”. Other types of diets, such as flexitarian and pescetarian diets, could be considered plant-based. A vegetarian diet should not be considered restrictive. Instead, terms such as alternative or non-conventional could be used to define it and to distinguish it from the conventional diet adopted by most of the Western population. Conclusion This paper was able to elaborate objective definitions of vegetarian and plant-based diets. Standardizing nomenclatures may reduce misinterpretation and confusion in this field of study.
... These barriers may help to explain why interventions tend to reduce meat consumption less effectively among men than women (Jalil et al., 2020;Sorensen et al., 2005) and why emotional appeals-such as humanizing non-human animals (Dowsett et al., 2018) or depicting meat as having come from a baby (vs. adult) animal (Piazza et al., 2018)-tend to promote more negative feelings toward meat less strongly for men than they do for women. ...
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This article conceptualizes meat reduction as a masculinity threat for men and presents strategies for making men more receptive to meat reduction. Meat consumption is stereotypically associated with traditional masculinity. Compared to women, men tend to eat more meat and to be more resistant to vegetarianism. Eschewing meat has potential to undermine feelings of and portrayals of manhood, whereas eating meat may provide men with a sense and image of traditional masculinity. Efforts to frame meat reduction as a masculine act may be useful for promoting behavior change among men. Three strategies are proposed for aligning meat reduction with masculinity, ripe for testing in future research. These strategies include emphasizing new forms of masculinity, masculine branding of meat reduction, and touting athletic/sexual performance benefits of meat reduction. Efforts that target beliefs about masculinity have promise for reducing meat consumption among men.
The aim of this study was to explore whether different durations of canine-assisted intervention (CAI) influenced the beneficial effects of CAI on anxiety, stress, depression, and the well-being of higher education (HE) students. Eighty-eight participants took part in an exploratory randomised control trial (RCT) and were assigned to the 2, 5, and 10-min CAI groups who interacted with a canine, or a control group who watched an unrelated slideshow. Pre- and post-intervention anxiety, stress, depression, and well-being levels were measured. Additionally, the type of interaction between humans and canines was recorded as well as participants’ views of the canines’ neoteny (juvenile features) to explore whether interaction activity and canine features have an impact on the beneficial positive effects of CAI. The results showed no differences in the duration of CAI in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression, meaning a 2-min CAI session was as effective as a 10-min session. The results also found individual intervention activities between humans and canines did not predict a reduction in anxiety, stress, depression, or an increase in general well-being. Additionally, a negative correlation was found between the cuteness of the canine and anxiety, and between the cuddliness of the canine and stress, although these results should be interpreted with caution due to high canine trait scores. Overall, this study used a CAI and control group to explore the differences between a single 2, 5, and 10-min CAI sessions in HE students and demonstrated a 2-min CAI session was as effective as a longer 10-min CAI session in supporting the mental health of HE students, by reducing anxiety, stress, and depression levels in the treatment group.
Objective: Meat consumption has a host of serious negative consequences for nonhuman animals, underprivileged humans, and the natural environment. Several interventions have been developed to encourage meat reduction but to relatively limited effect. There is also a range of established predictors of meat consumption, but much less is known about the factors that predict intentions to reduce meat consumption. The goal of this study was to determine the roles of personality and self-knowledge in meat reduction intentions. Method: In this set of three preregistered studies, we tested brief interventions to encourage meat reduction intentions and examined personality predictors of intentions to reduce meat consumption. Results: We found no evidence that brief interventions with or without a self-knowledge component had a meaningful effect on changing meat reduction intentions. However, we found robust evidence for relatively small associations between intending to eat less meat and high Openness to Experience, high Emotionality, and perceiving meat reduction as moral behaviors. Conclusion: Individual differences may be a more influential predictor of meat reduction intentions than brief interventions. Implications for promoting meat reduction are discussed.
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Sustainability education is crucial in helping students deal with current health and environmental challenges through dietary choices. This study aims to provide an understanding of how the teachers surveyed (n = 416, 85% women; 58% teaching natural sciences) view the importance of the following interrelated issues for sustainability: (1) the viability of diets for tackling environmental challenges and natural resource management; (2) the health benefits of traditional versus plant-based diets; and (3) the impacts of factory farming on animals and animal sentience. Most participants recognised the importance of a sustainable education model that encourages reducing meat consumption while adopting healthy plant-based diets. Furthermore, the majority recognise animal sentience and agree that schools should address the negative impacts of factory farming on animals and the environment. The results are striking, as they indicate that most teachers’ views contrast with the traditionalist and instrumental portrayal of animals in national core curricula.
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This research examines whether people are more emotionally disturbed by reports of non-human animal than human suffering or abuse. Two hundred and fifty-six undergraduates at a major northeastern university were asked to indicate their degree of empathy for a brutally beaten human adult or child versus an adult dog or puppy, as described in a fictitious news report. We hypothesized that the vulnerability of victims—determined by their age and not species—would determine participants' levels of distress and concern for them. The main effect for age but not for species was significant. We also found more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies , and fully-grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans. Age makes a difference for empathy toward human victims, but not for dog victims. In addition, female participants were significantly more empathic toward all victims than were their male counterparts.
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Inference using significance testing and Bayes factors is compared and contrasted in five case studies based on real research. The first study illustrates that the methods will often agree, both in motivating researchers to conclude that H1 is supported better than H0, and the other way round, that H0 is better supported than H1. The next four, however, show that the methods will also often disagree. In these cases, the aim of the paper will be to motivate the sensible evidential conclusion, and then see which approach matches those intuitions. Specifically, it is shown that a high-powered non-significant result is consistent with no evidence for H0 over H1 worth mentioning, which a Bayes factor can show, and, conversely, that a low-powered non-significant result is consistent with substantial evidence for H0 over H1, again indicated by Bayesian analyses. The fourth study illustrates that a high-powered significant result may not amount to any evidence for H1 over H0, matching the Bayesian conclusion. Finally, the fifth study illustrates that different theories can be evidentially supported to different degrees by the same data; a fact that P-values cannot reflect but Bayes factors can. It is argued that appropriate conclusions match the Bayesian inferences, but not those based on significance testing, where they disagree.
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People believe they experience the world objectively, but research continually demonstrates that beliefs influence perception. Emerging research indicates that beliefs influence the experience of eating. In three studies, we test whether beliefs about how animals are raised can influence the experience of eating meat. Samples of meat were paired with descriptions of animals raised on factory farms or raised on humane farms. Importantly, the meat samples in both conditions were identical. However, participants experienced the samples differently: meat paired with factory farm descriptions looked, smelled, and tasted less pleasant. Even basic properties of flavor were influenced: factory farmed samples tasted more salty and greasy. Finally, actual behavior was influenced: participants consumed less when samples were paired with factory farm descriptions. These findings demonstrate that the experience of eating is not determined solely by physical properties of stimuli—beliefs also shape experience.
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In a famous series of experiments, Libet investigated the subjective timing of awareness of an intention to move, a task that can be considered a metacognitive judgement. The ability to strategically produce inaccurate metacognitions about intentions has been postulated to be central to the changes in judgements of agency common to all hypnotic responding. Therefore, differences in hypnotisability may be reflected in Libet’s measure. Specifically, the ability to sustain inaccurate judgements of agency displayed by highly hypnotisable people may result from their having coarser higher order representations of intentions. They, therefore, should report a delayed time of intention relative to less hypnotisable individuals. Conversely, mindfulness practice aims at accurate metacognition, including of intentions, and may lead to the development of finer grained higher order representations of intending. Thus, the long-term practice of mindfulness may produce an earlier judgement of the time of an intention. We tested these groups using Libet’s task, and found that, consistent with predictions, highly hypnotisable people reported a later time of intention than less hypnotisable people and meditators an earlier time than non-meditators. In a further two studies, we replicated the finding that hypnotisable people report later awareness of a motor intention and additionally found a negative relationship between trait mindfulness and this measure. Based on these findings, we argue that hypnotic response and meditation involve opposite processes.
The achievement of sustainability and health objectives in Western countries requires a transition to a less meat-based diet. This article investigates whether the alleged link between meat consumption and particular framings of masculinity, which emphasize that ‘real men’ eat meat, may stand in the way of achieving these objectives. From a theoretical perspective, it was assumed that the meat-masculinity link is not invariant but dependent on the cultural context, including ethnicity. In order to examine the link in different contexts, we analyzed whether meat-related gender differences varied across ethnic groups, using samples of young second generation Chinese Dutch, Turkish Dutch and native Dutch adults (aged 18-35) in the Netherlands. The Turkish group was the most traditional; it showed the largest gender differences and the strongest meat-masculinity link. In contrast, the native group showed the smallest gender differences and the weakest meat-masculinity link. The findings suggest that the combination of traditional framings of masculinity and the Western type of food environment where meat is abundant and cheap is bound to seriously hamper a transition to a less meat-based diet. In contrast, less traditional framings of masculinity seem to contribute to more healthy food preferences with respect to meat. It was concluded that cultural factors related to gender and ethnic diversity can play harmful and beneficial roles for achieving sustainability and health objectives.
We outline the need to, and provide a guide on how to, conduct a meta-analysis on one's own studies within a manuscript. Although conducting a “mini meta” within one's manuscript has been argued for in the past, this practice is still relatively rare and adoption is slow. We believe two deterrents are responsible. First, researchers may not think that it is legitimate to do a meta-analysis on a small number of studies. Second, researchers may think a meta-analysis is too complicated to do without expert knowledge or guidance. We dispel these two misconceptions by (1) offering arguments on why researchers should be encouraged to do mini metas, (2) citing previous articles that have conducted such analyses to good effect, and (3) providing a user-friendly guide on calculating some meta-analytic procedures that are appropriate when there are only a few studies. We provide formulas for calculating effect sizes and converting effect sizes from one metric to another (e.g., from Cohen's d to r), as well as annotated Excel spreadsheets and a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a simple meta-analysis. A series of related studies can be strengthened and better understood if accompanied by a mini meta-analysis.
Why are many Westerners outraged by dog meat, but comfortable with pork? This is particularly puzzling, given strong evidence that both species are highly intelligent. We suggest that although people consider intelligence a key factor in determining animals’ moral status, they disregard this information when it is self-relevant. In Study 1, we show that intelligence plays a major role in the moral concern afforded to animals in the abstract. In Study 2, we manipulated the intelligence of three animals—pigs, tapirs, and a fictional animal—and find that only for pigs does this information not influence moral standing. Finally, in Study 3, we show that people believe that learning about pig intelligence will lead to high levels of moral concern, yet when they themselves learn about pig intelligence, moral concern remains low. These findings demonstrate an important, predictable inconsistency in how people think about minds and moral concern.
Many people enjoy eating meat but dislike causing pain to animals. Dissociating meat from its animal origins may be a powerful way to avoid cognitive dissonance resulting from this 'meat paradox'. Here, we provide the first comprehensive test of this hypothesis, highlighting underlying psychological mechanisms. Processed meat made participants less empathetic towards the slaughtered animal than unprocessed meat (Study 1). When beheaded, a whole roasted pork evoked less empathy (Study 2a) and disgust (Study 2b) than when the head was present. These affective responses, in turn, made participants more willing to eat the roast and less willing to consider an alternative vegetarian dish. Conversely, presenting a living animal in a meat advertisement increased empathy and reduced willingness to eat meat (Study 3). Next, describing industrial meat production as "harvesting" versus "killing" or "slaughtering" indirectly reduced empathy (Study 4). Last, replacing "meat/pork" with "cow/pig" in a restaurant menu increased empathy and disgust, which both equally reduced willingness to eat meat and increased willingness to choose an alternative vegetarian dish (Study 5). In all experiments, effects were strongly mediated by dissociation and interacted with participants' general dissociation tendencies in Study 3 and 5, so that effects were particularly pronounced among participants who generally spend efforts disassociating meat from animals in their daily lives. Together, this line of research demonstrates the large role various culturally-entrenched processes of dissociation play for meat consumption.