Society for the Study of Ethics and Animals 2020 Virtual Talk Series
Josh May. “From Arguments to Action: A Bridge for Ethical Vegetarianism”
September 16th, 2020.
11:00 AM Central (USA)
Increasingly people believe that eating less meat is morally (and prudentially) better than the status quo. Yet few comply with this moral assessment. Vegetarianism in the vast majority of countries remains quite low (generally under 10%). The persistence of meat consumption is often construed as a matter of being weak-willed: even with the right attitudes, action doesn’t follow. Experimental evidence suggests that meat consumption is driven largely by rationalizations and motivated reasoning. I argue that, if we seek to bridge the gap between attitudes and action, we must address these mechanisms head on at the individual, social, and structural levels of society.