Experts Say Looking At Cute Photos Of Baby Animals Will Reduce Your Appetite For Meat
No one wants to head to Texas Roadhouse after seeing images of cute, baby cows or other little animals. But just this month, a team of researchers discovered there may be more to reducing one’s desire for meat than we originally thought.
Too Cute To Eat
A team of psychologists from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom showed both men and women pictures of calves, baby kangaroos, piglets, and lambs. They also showed study participants photos of cooked meat dishes alone and alongside images of baby animals. In doing so, they were hoping to discover whether the images influence the participants’ desire to eat meat.
“We found that both men and women find baby farmed animals to be cute and vulnerable, and experience feelings of tenderness and warmth towards them,” the researchers stated in a news release on August 6, 2018. Although, one group was more likely to sympathize with animals more than the other.
As it turns out, the women in the group had less desire to eat meat than the men after seeing the photos.
“Our findings may reflect women’s greater emotional attunement towards babies and, by extension, their tendency to empathize more with baby animals,” Dr. Jared Piazza, one of the researchers, stated. “Also, meat is associated with masculinity and images of tough men who consume meat for muscle building protein, along with prehistoric ideas of the male as hunter. Women have a much more ambivalent attitude towards meat and their identity is not bound up with it in the same way.”
Turn Up The Cuteness
This study may be even more meaningful to groups of animal rights’ activists, like PETA. Before, there was no real way to measure how successful photos of cute animals would be in deterring people from eating meat. Now, researchers know the cute photos actually do work.
“Our results highlight a tension within some omnivores between caring for baby animals and appetite for meat,” the researchers explained. It’s no wonder. With all due respect, who would feel good about eating KFC after a look at this adorable chick?
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