It is also known as cognitive dissonance. What is cognitive dissonance?
First of all, Leon Festinger’s theory: cognitive dissonance is an emotional state that is perceived as unpleasant, and that arises when one has several cognitions that are not compatible with one another.
Let’s take a few examples of cognitive dissonances, e.g.
-Animal welfare is important to you, but you still continue to eat meat
-You don’t have a lot of money to spare, but still buy the new cell phone.
-Your health is important to you, but you still smoke 1/2 packet a day, etc….
We mostly know what is right and what is good, but we’re still doing the wrong thing!
When it comes to dissonance in our behavior towards animals, it gets the name “meat paradox”.
The “meat paradox” is the “psychological conflict between people’s dietary preference for meat and their moral response to animal suffering”.
The meat-eaters argue that “bringing harm to others is inconsistent with a view of oneself as a moral person.
As such, meat consumption leads to negative effects for meat-eaters because they are confronted with a view of themselves that is unfavorable: “how can I be a good person and also eat meat?”
This moral conflict doesn’t just threaten our enjoyment of eating meat, it threatens our identity.
To protect our identity, we establish habits and excuses that make us feel better:
Eating meat is part of social life, you can’t celebrate holidays if you can’t eat meat with friends and family. Some call it a signal of masculinity or that we humans have evolved into super-predators that need to eat meat
And finally, “our” meat only comes from the farmer next door!!
In addition to our own attempts to justify eating meat, advertising and marketing can make this easier for us.
This is why the meat industry goes to great lengths to ensure that “animals ” and “meat” appear different and not related to each other.
We call it “veal” instead of a baby cow, “ham” instead of pork, “game” instead of hunted wild animals.
We pack our dead animals in pretty packages – physically, verbally, and conceptually we distance ourselves from the real origin of our food.
It is time for a revolution.
In how we deal with human beings, animals, and the planet, it is time to fight our own hypocrisies.
Rather than doing mental gymnastics to justify unethical behavior, we must actually change it.
Recognizing and treating our own inability to consistently tackle animal suffering will make us useful human beings for human, non-human animals, and our planet.
My best regards to all, Venus