Psychological Processes Underlying an Omnivorous, Vegetarian, or Vegan Diet: Gender Role Self-Concept, Human Supremacy Beliefs, and Moral Disengagement from Meat

Magdalena Weber, Marlene Kollmayer

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Most people consume meat regularly but simultaneously claim to be animal lovers, which should lead to a state of cognitive dissonance and cause distress. Against this backdrop, it is important to understand why some people decide to stop consuming meat or completely eschew animal products, while others do not. Research has shown gender and self-regulatory mechanisms as important factors, but the underlying psychological processes require further examination. In total, 3259 vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores completed an online questionnaire about their diet, gender role self-concept, moral disengagement from meat consumption, and human supremacy beliefs. The results showed that male vegans described themselves as more feminine but no less masculine than male omnivores, while no such differences were found in women. Furthermore, omnivores reported the highest moral disengagement from meat consumption, followed by vegetarians and vegans. The same was true of human supremacy beliefs. Moreover, the results showed that not only is diet itself related to differences in human supremacy beliefs but also the motives for this diet, with health and environmental motives being associated with stronger human supremacy beliefs than animal-related motives. These findings present practical implications for animal rights activists, marketing, and the health and education sectors.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Juli 2022

ÖFOS 2012

  • 501021 Sozialpsychologie
  • 504014 Gender Studies