Meat and Dairy Consumption Drivers: Exploring the Values and Ethics that Define People’s Attitudes in Wellington
Over the past few decades, rising meat and dairy consumption has had increased environmental implications, ranging from soaring greenhouse gas emissions to river pollution in Aotearoa New Zealand. Recent studies suggest the importance of altering meat and dairy consumption attitudes to reduce environmental damage, and researching people’s meat and dairy consumption drivers plays a crucial role in understanding behavioural change and encouraging alteration in meat and dairy consumption attitudes. Changing people’s attitudes around meat and dairy consumption is vital to reducing environmental degradation. Furthermore, moving towards a less meat- and dairy-intensive diet can be beneficial not only for the environment but also to personal values and ethics. This research aims to understand how some people in New Zealand society perceive their attitudes around meat and dairy consumption and its implications for the environment, as well as contribute to behavioural change. Qualitative research methodology was applied to understand four drivers that define people’s attitudes towards meat and dairy consumption. These drivers stem from domain-specific value- and ethics-based attitudes. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect in-depth data on how individuals perceive the environmental implications of meat and dairy consumption from faith-based, health-based, environmental ethics and animal welfare viewpoints. Implications of these drivers and their combinations to inform behavioural change are discussed, as well as how findings from this research can inform behavioural change. Further, this research aims to contribute to future educational campaigns that encourage sustainable choices for individuals whose values and ethics drive their attitudes around meat and dairy consumption.