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The Cow in the Room: Addressing Meat and Animal-Derived Food Consumption in the Age of Climate Change

Bereza, Madelaine LU (2019) HEKM51 20191
Human Ecology
Abstract
This thesis problematizes the consumption of meat and animal-derived foods in the age of climate change. Despite vast empirical data showing the detrimental effects related to animal agriculture, there is a general reluctance to stop consuming animal-based foods. In order to investigate the reasons for this reluctance, qualitative interviews were chosen as a research method. Using Norway as a case study, 10 qualitative interviews were conducted exploring individuals’ rationale for eating meat and animal-derived foods. The findings illustrate how through material institutions and optical socialization, both structural and internalized aspects of carnist ideology are able to normalize the consumption of animal-based foods and facilitate... (More)
This thesis problematizes the consumption of meat and animal-derived foods in the age of climate change. Despite vast empirical data showing the detrimental effects related to animal agriculture, there is a general reluctance to stop consuming animal-based foods. In order to investigate the reasons for this reluctance, qualitative interviews were chosen as a research method. Using Norway as a case study, 10 qualitative interviews were conducted exploring individuals’ rationale for eating meat and animal-derived foods. The findings illustrate how through material institutions and optical socialization, both structural and internalized aspects of carnist ideology are able to normalize the consumption of animal-based foods and facilitate socially organized denial. The findings suggest that carnism is naturalized in society enabling nonhuman animals to be perceived as a logical food source for humans. Simultaneously, denying the moral and environmental considerations of consuming nonhuman animals hinders dietary change to be perceived as a viable option for climate change mitigation. Based on the findings it is clear that if dietary change is to be taken seriously as a mitigation option, policies and recommendations cannot target individual consumer behaviour. The study emphasizes that dietary change must be systematically supported throughout all sectors of society to make plant-based foods the default, and meat and animal-derived foods the undesired alternative. (Less)
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author
Bereza, Madelaine LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKM51 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Climate change, dietary change, socially organized denial, carnism, optical socialization, nonhuman animals, meat, animal-derived foods, plant-based foods, Human Ecology.
language
English
id
8980374
date added to LUP
2019-12-18 14:26:15
date last changed
2019-12-18 14:26:15
@misc{8980374,
  abstract     = {This thesis problematizes the consumption of meat and animal-derived foods in the age of climate change. Despite vast empirical data showing the detrimental effects related to animal agriculture, there is a general reluctance to stop consuming animal-based foods. In order to investigate the reasons for this reluctance, qualitative interviews were chosen as a research method. Using Norway as a case study, 10 qualitative interviews were conducted exploring individuals’ rationale for eating meat and animal-derived foods. The findings illustrate how through material institutions and optical socialization, both structural and internalized aspects of carnist ideology are able to normalize the consumption of animal-based foods and facilitate socially organized denial. The findings suggest that carnism is naturalized in society enabling nonhuman animals to be perceived as a logical food source for humans. Simultaneously, denying the moral and environmental considerations of consuming nonhuman animals hinders dietary change to be perceived as a viable option for climate change mitigation. Based on the findings it is clear that if dietary change is to be taken seriously as a mitigation option, policies and recommendations cannot target individual consumer behaviour. The study emphasizes that dietary change must be systematically supported throughout all sectors of society to make plant-based foods the default, and meat and animal-derived foods the undesired alternative.},
  author       = {Bereza, Madelaine},
  keyword      = {Climate change,dietary change,socially organized denial,carnism,optical socialization,nonhuman animals,meat,animal-derived foods,plant-based foods,Human Ecology.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Cow in the Room: Addressing Meat and Animal-Derived Food Consumption in the Age of Climate Change},
  year         = {2019},
}