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Diet, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and predisposition to prejudice : Results of a German survey

Petra Veser (Health Psychology, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany.)
Kathy Taylor (Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University Medical Centre Mainz, Mainz, Germany.)
Susanne Singer (Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University Medical Centre Mainz, Mainz, Germany.)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 6 July 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine whether reported food habits (vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore diet) are associated with right-wing authoritarianism, prejudices against minorities and acceptance of social dominance.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 1,381 individuals completed validated questionnaires on dietary habits and attitudes. Associations were analysed using analyses of covariance on attitudes, adjusted for age with gender and diet as factors.

Findings

Of the respondents, 35 per cent reported eating mixed food (including meat and fish), 31 per cent vegetarian food (excluding meat and fish) and 34 per cent vegan food (excluding animal products entirely). Authoritarianism was more frequent in carnivores compared to vegetarians and vegans; this difference was more distinctive in men (mean 2.4 vs 1.9 vs 1.7) than in women (2.2 vs 1.9 vs 1.8). Women with a mixed diet were more inclined to social dominance than vegetarians and vegans (1.8 vs 1.6 vs 1.6). Men with a mixed diet had a stronger tendency to dominance (2.0 vs 1.7 vs 1.5) and prejudices (2.5 vs 2.3 vs 2.1); this difference was less distinct among women (2.2 vs 2.1 vs 2.1).

Originality/value

This research is of academic value and of value to policy makers and practitioners in the food supply chain. The results show that individuals with vegetarian or vegan diets less frequently report having prejudices against minorities, supporting social dominance and accepting authoritarian structures than individuals with a mixed diet.

Keywords

Citation

Veser, P., Taylor, K. and Singer, S. (2015), "Diet, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and predisposition to prejudice : Results of a German survey ", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 7, pp. 1949-1960. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-12-2014-0409

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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