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Individual motivations for limiting meat consumption

Ifat Zur (Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Christian A. Klöckner (Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 April 2014




The aim of this paper is to identify predictors of meat consumption and the intention to reduce it. Since meat consumption is one of the major contributors to human made environmental destruction including climate change, biodiversity loss or water and air pollution and at the same time under volitional control meat consumption is an interesting target for interventions.


An integrated model was derived from the theory of planned behaviour, the norm activation theory and the protection motivation theory which was tested in a paper-pencil based questionnaire study including self-reported meat consumption was conducted with a convenience sample of 210 adult inhabitants of Trondheim (Norway).


The model was confirmed to a large extent. Meat consumption was predicted strongly by meat eating habits, but also negatively by reduction intentions. Reduction intentions were determined by attitudes, moral beliefs and health beliefs. Moral beliefs were predicted by injunctive and descriptive norms as well as perceived behavioural control.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on a convenience sample, thus the sample is not representative. Furthermore, some of the measurement instruments are of only mediocre quality.

Practical implications

The results show that interventions to reduce meat consumption need to include habits braking components to be effective. Meat consumption reduction is motivated by a broad array of motivations, including morality and health. Intervention campaigns need to cover this spectrum.


This study is one of the first that systematically analyses determinants of meat consumption which makes it valuable in spite of its limitations.



Zur, I. and A. Klöckner, C. (2014), "Individual motivations for limiting meat consumption", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 4, pp. 629-642.



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