To Meat or Not to Meat? Why Carnivores Are Likely to Go for Vegetarian Meals

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Researchers conducted three experiments during the study, including one at an Oxford University cafeteria, where sales of plant-based meals outnumbered meat-based options.
Are you an inveterate meat eater who cannot do without juicy pork chops or beef tenderloin? Well, it turns out that more vegetarian options on a menu can sway even the most die-hard carnivores to leave meat behind for a meal.
The study was conducted by Oxford University and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. It involved three separate experiments, including the first online scientific study of plant-based menu choices.
During the first experiment, researchers surveyed 2,201 people aged 18 to 98, finding that when three of four meal options were vegetarian, 48% of participants chose a vegetarian meal.
The same result was found at an Oxford University cafeteria, where sales of meat dishes plummeted considerably when vegetarian options outnumbered meat-based ones.
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The third experiment was conducted in workplace cafeterias, including in warehouses and factories, with sales data indicating a 5% switch to plant-based meals at 10 sites.
Commenting on the findings, Brian Cook, a co-author of the study, said that "this can be an effective way to nudge people to choose less meat, without restricting freedom of choice".
He added that "having more meat-free options helps to normalise them" and that "it may help people realise a vegetarian option is an acceptable and normal choice".
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