Beliefs surrounding the practice of eating animals are widely held, and have been argued to constitute an ideology named carnism (Joy, 2009). We developed and validated the novel Carnism Inventory to measure two positively related components of carnistic beliefs: carnistic defense and carnistic domination. We anticipated that carnistic defense would legitimate the practice of eating animals, while carnistic domination would support the killing of animals for their meat. The Carnism Inventory showed the hypothesized two-dimensional structure as well as good internal consistencies and stability (N = 302, Study 1). We also demonstrated the convergent and discriminant validity of the Carnism Inventory (N = 781, Study 2a). As expected, carnistic defense predicted meat consumption, while carnistic domination was a significant predictor of having slaughtered an animal (N = 478, Study 2b). Both scales were significantly related to sociopolitical beliefs, including right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation, but only carnistic domination was related to symbolic racism and sexism (N = 373, Study 3). Taken together, our findings highlight the utility of the two-dimensional conceptualization and measurement of carnistic beliefs and offer new insights into one of the most common human behaviors: Eating animals is not only a gustatory behavior, as widely believed, but also an ideological one.
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The consumption of meat is not merely a question of taste as is generally assumed. It also necessarily involves beliefs that the killing and eating of certain animals is justified. German and American researchers looked at the attitudes expressed by meat consumers in three sur...
Carnism is a concept used in discussions of humanity's relation to other animals, defined as a prevailing ideology in which people support the use and consumption of animal products, especially meat Carnism is presented as a dominant belief system supported by a variety of def...