Unsustainable, unhealthy, or disgusting? Comparing different persuasive messages against meat consumption

Gonzalo Palomo-Vélez*, Joshua M. Tybur, Mark van Vugt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

114 Downloads (Pure)


Excessive meat consumption is associated with a range of environmental problems. In this investigation, we examined the effectiveness of three types of persuasive messages posited to affect attitudes toward meat consumption. The first two messages contained health and environment-related appeals (e.g., the moral consequences of environmental degradation and animal welfare), which are commonly used in campaigns aimed at meat reduction. A third kind of message – one that is less frequently applied in meat-consumption campaigns – follows from research suggesting that meat aversions are acquired via the emotion disgust. Results across three studies – and a meta-analysis of these studies – suggest that disgust-oriented persuasive messages are more effective than health-oriented messages, and they are at least as effective as moral (i.e., animal welfare) messages in influencing meat attitudes. The practical implications for campaigns to reduce meat consumption are being discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online date1 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Climate change
  • Disgust
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Meat attitudes
  • Persuasive food messaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Unsustainable, unhealthy, or disgusting? Comparing different persuasive messages against meat consumption'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this