No one wants to drive to Texas Roadhouse after seeing pictures of cute baby cows. But just this month, a team of scientists discovered there could be more to reduce the desire for meat than we originally thought.
Too sweet to eat
A team of psychologists from Lancaster University in the UK showed both men and women pictures of calves, baby kangaroos, piglets and lambs. They also showed the study participants photos of cooked meat dishes alone and alongside pictures of juveniles. They wanted to find out if the pictures influenced the desire of the participants to eat meat.
"We found that both men and women find baby farm animals sweet and vulnerable and feel tender and warm towards them," the researchers said in a news release dated August 6, 2018. Although one group was more likely to sympathize with animals more than the others.
As it turned 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 to babies and, more broadly, their propensity to become more involved in wildlife," Dr. Jared Piazza, one of the researchers, said. "Meat is also associated with masculinity and images of tough men consuming meat for muscle building protein, along with prehistoric ideas of man as a hunter." Women have a much more ambivalent attitude towards flesh and their identity is not tied to it in the same way. "
Turn on the cuteness
This study could be even more significant for groups of animal rights activists such as PETA. In the past, there was no real way to measure how successful photos of cute animals could be that keep people from eating meat. Now scientists know that the cute photos actually work.
"Our results show a tension within some omnivores between caring for the baby animals and Appetite for meatExplained the researchers. It's no wonder. I mean, who would be comfortable having a look at this gorgeous woman eating KFC?