Optimizing Messaging to Reduce Red Meat Consumption

Samantha Stea, Gary J. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Red meat production has a range of negative environmental impacts. We sought to characterize the motivations, environmental attitudes and demographics of red meat-eaters, and examine the effect of message framing in reducing future meat consumption. Canadian adult meat-eaters (593) completed a survey and were randomly assigned to one of six message treatments that presented information on the environmental impacts of meat production using frames representing social norms and/or place identity constructs. Taste and quality were the most important motivators for eating meat, while moral/ethical factors were the least. Forty-nine percent of respondents indicated they would reduce red meat intake after exposure to an information only message, while the social norms frame was more effective than others (χ2). Awareness of the environmental effects increased significantly after messaging for all 13 impacts. These findings should assist communicators with designing more effective messaging aimed at encouraging pro-environmental behaviours associated with meat consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-648
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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