Butchers’ and Deli Workers’ Psychological Adaptation to Meat

Piazza, Jared (2020) Butchers’ and Deli Workers’ Psychological Adaptation to Meat. Emotion. ISSN 1528-3542

[thumbnail of Deli_Workers_Adaptation_to_Meat_Revision_Jan_20_Final]
Text (Deli_Workers_Adaptation_to_Meat_Revision_Jan_20_Final)
Deli_Workers_Adaptation_to_Meat_Revision_Jan_20_Final.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (557kB)


In many societies today, the average consumer is largely removed from the earlier stages of meat production wherein meat, in many ways, resembles an animal. The present study examined the emotional and psychological consequences of recurrent meat handling. Fifty-six individuals with commercial experience handling meat (butchers and deli workers) were contrasted with 103 individuals without such experience. Participants were presented images of meat from 3 animals—cows, sheep, and fish—that were experimentally manipulated in their degree of animal resemblance. Participants rated the images on measures of disgust, empathy for the animal, and meat–animal association. Broader beliefs and attitudes about meat and animals were also assessed. We used mixed-effect linear modeling to examine the role of time spent handling meat in participants’ psychological adaptation to it. We observed significant reductions in disgust, empathy, and meat–animal association within the first year or 2 of meat handling for all types of meat. Time spent handling meat also predicted the degree to which a person defended and rationalized meat consumption and production, independent of a participant’s gender and age. The findings have implications for understanding how people adapt to potentially aversive contexts such as handling animal parts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Additional Information:
©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000738
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? general psychologypsychology(all) ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Feb 2020 15:45
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 11:22