The Role of Livestock Production Ethics in Consumer Values Towards Meat
- Cite this article as:
- Mceachern, M.G. & Schröder, M.J.A. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics (2002) 15: 221. doi:10.1023/A:1015052816477
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This study examines the specificvalues held by consumers towards organic andconventionally produced meat, with particularreference to moral issues surrounding foodanimal production. A quota sample of 30 femalesfrom both a rural and an urban area of Scotland(UK), were interviewed. Overall, there was lowcommitment towards the purchase of organicmeats and little concern for ethical issues.Price and product appearance were the primarymeat selection criteria, the latter being usedas a predictor of eating quality. Manyattitude-behavior anomalies were identified,mainly as a result of respondents' cognitivedissonance and lack of understanding regardingmeat production criteria underpinning meatquality marks, e.g., Soil Association label.Responsibilities for ethical issues appeared tobe delegated by the consumer to the meatretailer or government. This raises issuesabout educating consumers and bringingconsumers closer to understanding meatproduction systems. A conceptual framework isproposed that illustrates the significance ofconsumer involvement in how meat-purchasingdecisions are approached in terms of theevaluation of tangible and or intangiblequality attributes. The results also point tothe need for further research into thoseaspects of quality that individuals tend toaddress at the level of the citizen (law),rather than at the point of purchase.