Meat, myself, and I: The role of multiple identities in meat consumption

Louise Randers, John Thøgersen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Excessive consumption of meat challenges global food security and environmental sustainability. In the mounting literature on identity as a motivator of behaviour, meat consumption has been associated with a handful of identities. Identity theory suggests that people hold multiple identities on different levels of abstraction, but how identities at different levels of abstraction interact and possibly co-determine intentions and behaviour remains largely unanswered. Inspired by research on attitudes and goal hierarchies, this study investigates a hierarchical model of meat-related identities and their relation to intentions to consume red meat. By means of a survey of Danish consumers (N = 1001), we identified identities related to the consumption of red meat (e.g., flexitarian identity), using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. We also controlled for the most important additional antecedents identified in prior research. Evidence was found that more abstract identities (e.g., national identity, environmental identity) mostly influence intentions to eat meat indirectly, meditated through more behaviour-specific identities (e.g., flexitarian identity). However, some higher-order identities also appear to have a direct impact on intentions to eat meat after controlling for more behaviour-specific identities, which suggests a less hierarchical structure manifesting itself, possibly due to the behaviour being instrumental at reaching different, functionally unrelated goals that are related to different identities. Policy recommendations towards reducing meat consumption are proposed.

Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2023


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