Why do right-wing adherents engage in more animal exploitation and meat consumption?
“Despite the well-documented implications of right-wing ideological dispositions for human intergroup relations, surprisingly little is understood about the implications for human–animal relations.
We investigate why right-wing ideologies – social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) – positively predict attitudes toward animal exploitation and meat consumption.
Two survey studies conducted in heterogeneous community samples (Study 1, N = 260; Study 2, N = 489) demonstrated that right-wing ideologies predict greater acceptance of animal exploitation and more meat consumption through two explaining mechanisms:
(a) perceived threat from non-exploitive ideologies to the dominant carnist ideology (for both SDO and RWA)
(b) belief in human superiority over animals (for SDO).
These findings hold after controlling for hedonistic pleasure from eating meat.
Right-wing adherents do not simply consume more animals because they enjoy the taste of meat, but because doing so supports dominance ideologies and resistance to cultural change. Psychological parallels between human intergroup relations and human–animal relations are considered.”