The issues of extreme consumption of meat for well being and the atmosphere are clearly recognized by the scientific group. Final week, the Spanish Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, launched a marketing campaign explaining these issues and calling for a reduction, not an elimination, of meat consumption.
The Minister met with sturdy resistance and controversial statements (for instance, #chuletonalpunto) in the political and media sphere. This controversy hides the necessary reality that almost all of persons are already in favor of the essential thought expressed by the marketing campaign.
Majorities in Spain (and different international locations)
We have a look at a big 2020 survey analyzing environmental attitudes and behaviors amongst 30,000 residents of the EU-27, China, the UK and the US. The samples from every nation had been consultant of the final inhabitants primarily based on quotas comparable to age, intercourse, or location.
When residents of Spain had been requested in the event that they had been decreasing their meat consumption to fight local weather change, 61% answered “sure” (see determine 1). This determine was barely under the EU-27 common of 66%.
Moreover, when persons are requested if they’re decreasing their meat consumption, or “do they intend to take action”, the variety of affirmative responses rises to 76% in Spain. That is proof of the widely excessive willingness to vary consuming habits.
Gender or ideology don’t make huge variations
Probably the most attention-grabbing and related findings of the survey is that there are majorities even when totally different traits of the individuals surveyed are thought of. For instance, though decreasing meat is related to a risk to masculinity, 57% of males say they’ve diminished their meat consumption, in comparison with 66% of ladies. There are majorities in all of the autonomous communities of Spain, starting from 55% in Madrid to 70% in Asturias and the Balearic Islands.
In all probability many of the resistance to the marketing campaign got here from politicians from right-wing events. Nevertheless, even 59% of people that determine themselves as “far-right” say they’ve diminished their meat consumption for climatic causes, in comparison with 72% of “centrists” and 80% of the “excessive left” individuals.
All these figures from the survey introduced should not extraordinarily distinctive: for instance, one other survey in the EU from 2020 finds that lower than 30% didn’t cut back their consumption of purple meat, nor did they intend to take action for environmental causes, whereas nearly all of Spanish individuals have extra constructive intentions or behaviors.
Different causes and coverage assist
It ought to be famous that these survey questions ask for environmental causes for decreasing meat. However as additionally talked about earlier, there are different causes to chop down on meat. For instance, 62% of Spanish residents are conscious of meals security issues associated to meat, particularly, residues of antibiotics, hormones or steroids in it. This might be one of many different causes persons are prepared to chop again on meat.
Analysis additionally reveals that offering well being, environmental, or different data can additional cut back meat consumption.
As with different domains of sustainability, the accountability for making behavioral adjustments shouldn’t relaxation solely with particular person shoppers. Public insurance policies are wanted, which require the assist of residents. Whereas individuals might not be as excited concerning the coverage change as they’re about particular person adjustments, the information nonetheless signifies, for instance, that there are extra individuals in Spain who agree than disagree that “laws ought to pressure farmers and meals producers to adjust to stricter sustainability requirements ”.
So why the general public controversy?
There isn’t a single reply to why there’s a lot controversy. On the one hand, there are the sturdy lobbyists in the meals trade that may affect. Alternatively, the media may present extra context on the issues of extreme meat consumption. For instance, one research reveals that just one.5% of all articles associated to local weather change in varied Spanish newspapers over a 7-year interval consult with the topic of meat.
Political polarization in Spain could also be one other figuring out issue. Reactions to the marketing campaign resonate with the findings of an experimental US research.When Republican and Democratic voters had been introduced with a local weather coverage, they had been extra supportive of it when informed the coverage was promoted by politicians from their very own occasion. . Voters from each events seen the identical coverage extra negatively when informed that the initiative was promoted by the opposing occasion. This “occasion on politics” impact may additionally be working in Spain. Maybe the marketing campaign video would have generated much less controversy had the minister not appeared.
This text was initially revealed on The Dialog. Learn the unique.
Stefan Drews doesn’t obtain a wage, nor does he follow consulting, nor does he personal shares, nor does he obtain funding from any firm or group that will profit from this text, and has declared no related hyperlinks past the educational place cited.