The Carnism Inventory: Measuring the ideology of eating animals.

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Appetite, ISSN: 1095-8304, Vol: 113, Page: 51-62

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Monteiro, Christopher A; Pfeiler, Tamara M; Patterson, Marcus D; Milburn, Michael A
Elsevier BV
Psychology; Nursing
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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.