Meat Where They Are

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Focusing less on the meat-free or health aspects of plant-based dishes, like this jackfruit burger — and more on their flavor, mouthfeel and provenance — could go a long way toward getting meat lovers to choose these options more often. That’s according to research by the World Resources Institute’s Better Buying Lab in conjunction with food chains, marketers and behavioral economists. Westend61/Getty Images

As much as I would like to dedicate another post to a shout out for Carolyn Kormann, since her latest posting is on a topic I am following closely, something else seems even more of the moment.

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Against the image of the millennial left, Pete Buttigieg appears to be a relatively prosaic Presidential candidate, but, in his own understated way, he is suggesting a sharp break with the past. Illustration by Tyler Comrie; Source Photograph by Alex Wong / Getty

Just after reading this brief profile of a remarkable person, I read something as seemingly different as could be in this story about changing food preferences by Maria Godoy. In the profile, this quote two thirds of the way through stood out:

…“So much of politics is about people’s relationships with themselves,” Buttigieg said. “You do better if you make people feel secure in who they are.”…

In the food story, just reading the caption in the image above you get the same message: meet people where they are. As sensible in politics as in changing food preferences. For all our attention to the important ecological reasons to reduce or even better to eliminate animal protein consumption, better to appeal to what most people most quickly respond to, namely their existing preferences. Meat where they are seems like the best option, so show how another option is tastier, healthier, or whatever is the most salient point for a particular type of consumer according to Godoy’s reporting:

…”The language for meat, and beef in particular, just sounds so much more delicious,” says Daniel Vennard. And labels like “meat-free,” “vegan,” and “vegetarian” tend to be turn offs for consumers. “People don’t create positive associations with how it’s going to taste and don’t feel it’s very indulgent.”

And that’s a real problem for Vennard: As head of the World Resources Institute’s Better Buying Lab, it’s his job to work with food companies, behavioral economists and marketing experts to find ways to get people to eat more sustainably. Or, as he puts it, to make “this party sound even better than the other party.”…

2 thoughts on “Meat Where They Are

  1. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that even if their doctor tells some humans that they must avoid the consumption of meat, the humans won’t take that chance for the sake of their own health.
    The change must be focused in your own brain, for an ethical or ecological reason…
    then, it will work. My husband and I, from 15 years we’re meat-free and 10 as well fish (we eat once or twice a week meat of fish). When the kids want to eat meat/fish products they ask to buy, and they cook it by themselves. Since a couple years we were explaining our both kids (17 and 20) the reason why they too should turn vegetarian… but we always said that the choice was their, not ours, to make.
    Today, my daughter with tears in her eyes told said: “mom I decided, from today on I don’t want to eat meat. You and dad were right. I can’t bere anymore to see this suffering of animals…” Yesterday night she saw a video that some time ago I published on my blog…
    We don’t have to despair, keep up talking about it, showing and explaining…

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