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Community bio industry  cognitive dissonance makes us eat corrupt meat | Upload Society

Bio-industry: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Us Eat Corrupt Meat

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by: Mark Deken
bio industry  cognitive dissonance makes us eat corrupt meat | Upload

‘Meat the Victims’ activists invaded the stables of a pig farm. The idea behind it: if consumers know under what circumstances their steak is produced, they will naturally start eating less or no meat. Does this strategy work? The Netherlands.

Protests in the bio-industry: do they really lead to less meat consumption?

Many people know very well that chickens are kept in small cages, that pigs cannot dig in the mud and that the living conditions in the bio-industry are bad. For many consumers, however, that is no reason to leave their steak or opt for organic chicken. That has to do with conflicting interests. They just love to eat a meatball. And once in the supermarket they let themselves be tempted by the low price.

Chicken factory

Opinion versus behavior

Cognitive dissonance then occurs: their behavior does not match their opinion. An unpleasant feeling that people then try to straighten, for example by fooling themselves.

A report from the Rathenau Institute from 2001 gives a few examples of such corrective thoughts.

  • Meat is healthy, people think
  • Maybe the animals like to be in a cage with so much
  • It is not pleasant on the truck, but it is only for a while.

In recent years, cognitive dissonance can also be resolved by pointing to the opposition between  ‘elite’ and ‘people’. Pleas to eat less meat are then seen as an attempt to deprive the ‘common man of his meatball.

Strategic ignorance

Cor van der Weele, professor of humanistic philosophy at Wageningen University (Netherlands), points to another mechanism: strategic ignorance. "That is the mechanism by which people know just enough to know that it is not welcome to find out more," she says. "Then they would be faced with difficult choices or unwelcome decisions."
The term comes from studies of human behavior in the Second World War, according to Van der Weele. "People who lived near concentration camps knew it was dangerous to know a lot about it. And so they closed themselves off."
Initially the idea existed that ‘strategic ignorance’ only applied to extreme situations, but the mechanism appears to be ubiquitous and we all do it. "For example, many people prefer not to delve into the origin of their clothing. That would not only be a lot of work, it could also mean that you can no longer buy certain clothes, because there is, for example, child labor."

Activists try to break through that strategic ignorance. By breaking open the stables, such as in Boxtel, or by taking pictures from stables or slaughterhouses with hidden cameras. That strategy could work, says Van der Weele. "There is something that gnaws in many people. Public opinion can change over time, so that people start to adjust their behavior. "

In Belgium, meat consumption fell after a stream of unappetizing videos from stables and abattoirs. However, that is an exception. The visibility of abuses does not normally lead to behavioral change, says Hans Dagevos, consumer sociologist at Wageningen University (Netherlands).

Bio-industry and the Holocaust

After the swine fever crisis in the 1990s, a comparison was made between the bio-industry and the Holocaust. But meat consumption fell only slightly. She has been stable in recent years, despite the fact that more and more people call themselves vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. The behavioral change of meat avoiders may be offset by an increase in meat consumption by large carnivores or flexitarians eat more meat than they themselves realize.

The action of ‘Meat the Victims’ will certainly miss its goal, thinks Dagevos. "The promotion reveals information, but the sender is not trusted: an action group, many of whom come from abroad, who robs a farmer," says Dagevos. After the action, the sympathy of public opinion immediately went to the farmer.

"Such a farmer cannot go anywhere. He is also just a cog in a system of scaling up and low prices," says Dagevos. "Many farmers feel miserable about public opinion. They work hard, but do not feel appreciated by society. "Farmers are on the alert. This is also an explanation for the support that the raided pig farmer from Boxtel received directly from his colleagues.

Yet the farmers themselves are also dissatisfied with a system of large-scale and cheap agriculture of which more than half of the production is destined for export, according to a Trouw (Dutch newspaper) survey last year.

"65 percent of farmers feel that they mainly work for the directors of banks, supermarkets and suppliers," says Han Wiskerke, professor of rural sociology at Wageningen University, who cooperated in the research. "Eighty-five percent of farmers say they want to work differently, but then the consumer must also be willing to pay more for a smaller-scale, more animal-friendly production."

‘Meat the Victims' attempt to pull the curtain away from the bio-industry will have no effect in the short term. But in the end Wiskerke, just like Van der Weele, sees change coming. Consumers are increasingly asking questions about the origin of their meat. The composition of the countryside is changing: fewer and fewer farmers, more and more people who complain about odor nuisance and are concerned about environmental pollution and health risks. And finally the farmers themselves, who are equally dissatisfied. Wiskerke: "55 percent of farmers believe that the current export-oriented model will no longer be sustainable."

By:  en , Volkskrant

Cover photo by: Raymond Rutting, de Volkskrant

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community

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Bio-industry: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Us Eat Corrupt Meat

‘Meat the Victims’ activists invaded the stables of a pig farm. The idea behind it: if consumers know under what circumstances their steak is produced, they will naturally start eating less or no meat. Does this strategy work? The Netherlands. Protests in the bio-industry: do they really lead to less meat consumption? Many people know very well that chickens are kept in small cages, that pigs cannot dig in the mud and that the living conditions in the bio-industry are bad. For many consumers, however, that is no reason to leave their steak or opt for organic chicken. That has to do with conflicting interests. They just love to eat a meatball. And once in the supermarket they let themselves be tempted by the low price. Opinion versus behavior Cognitive dissonance then occurs: their behavior does not match their opinion. An unpleasant feeling that people then try to straighten, for example by fooling themselves. A report from the Rathenau Institute from 2001 gives a few examples of such corrective thoughts. Meat is healthy, people think Maybe the animals like to be in a cage with so much It is not pleasant on the truck, but it is only for a while. In recent years, cognitive dissonance can also be resolved by pointing to the opposition between  ‘elite’ and ‘people’. Pleas to eat less meat are then seen as an attempt to deprive the ‘common man of his meatball. Strategic ignorance Cor van der Weele, professor of humanistic philosophy at Wageningen University (Netherlands), points to another mechanism: strategic ignorance. "That is the mechanism by which people know just enough to know that it is not welcome to find out more," she says. "Then they would be faced with difficult choices or unwelcome decisions." The term comes from studies of human behavior in the Second World War, according to Van der Weele. "People who lived near concentration camps knew it was dangerous to know a lot about it. And so they closed themselves off." Initially the idea existed that ‘strategic ignorance’ only applied to extreme situations, but the mechanism appears to be ubiquitous and we all do it. "For example, many people prefer not to delve into the origin of their clothing. That would not only be a lot of work, it could also mean that you can no longer buy certain clothes, because there is, for example, child labor." Activists try to break through that strategic ignorance. By breaking open the stables, such as in Boxtel, or by taking pictures from stables or slaughterhouses with hidden cameras. That strategy could work, says Van der Weele. "There is something that gnaws in many people. Public opinion can change over time, so that people start to adjust their behavior. " In Belgium, meat consumption fell after a stream of unappetizing videos from stables and abattoirs. However, that is an exception. The visibility of abuses does not normally lead to behavioral change, says Hans Dagevos, consumer sociologist at Wageningen University (Netherlands). Bio-industry and the Holocaust After the swine fever crisis in the 1990s, a comparison was made between the bio-industry and the Holocaust. But meat consumption fell only slightly. She has been stable in recent years, despite the fact that more and more people call themselves vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. The behavioral change of meat avoiders may be offset by an increase in meat consumption by large carnivores or flexitarians eat more meat than they themselves realize. The action of ‘Meat the Victims’ will certainly miss its goal, thinks Dagevos. "The promotion reveals information, but the sender is not trusted: an action group, many of whom come from abroad, who robs a farmer," says Dagevos. After the action, the sympathy of public opinion immediately went to the farmer. "Such a farmer cannot go anywhere. He is also just a cog in a system of scaling up and low prices," says Dagevos. "Many farmers feel miserable about public opinion. They work hard, but do not feel appreciated by society. "Farmers are on the alert. This is also an explanation for the support that the raided pig farmer from Boxtel received directly from his colleagues. Yet the farmers themselves are also dissatisfied with a system of large-scale and cheap agriculture of which more than half of the production is destined for export, according to a Trouw (Dutch newspaper) survey last year. "65 percent of farmers feel that they mainly work for the directors of banks, supermarkets and suppliers," says Han Wiskerke, professor of rural sociology at Wageningen University, who cooperated in the research. "Eighty-five percent of farmers say they want to work differently, but then the consumer must also be willing to pay more for a smaller-scale, more animal-friendly production." ‘Meat the Victims' attempt to pull the curtain away from the bio-industry will have no effect in the short term. But in the end Wiskerke, just like Van der Weele, sees change coming. Consumers are increasingly asking questions about the origin of their meat. The composition of the countryside is changing: fewer and fewer farmers, more and more people who complain about odor nuisance and are concerned about environmental pollution and health risks. And finally the farmers themselves, who are equally dissatisfied. Wiskerke: "55 percent of farmers believe that the current export-oriented model will no longer be sustainable." By:  Rik Kuiper  en  Peter Giesen , Volkskrant Cover photo by: Raymond Rutting, de Volkskrant https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community