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Germans Go Veg for Ethical Reasons

Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany

Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany

Dr. Kristin Mitte and Dr. Nicole Kaempfe of the Institute of Psychology in Jena, Germany, wanted to know more about the motivations of vegetarians. According to their recent study, rather than for health reasons, vegetarians overwhelmingly stated that they choose a plant–based diet because of the certain death of animals raised for meat, the inherent violation of their rights, and the pain and suffering they endure.

Reason for their curiosity was the fact that the vegetarian population of Germany is steadily growing: From 0.6 % in 1983 to a whopping 8 % in 2001.

They found out that vegetarians have no elevated risk of eating unhealthy, no more than any carnivore might have. They also differentiated between “emotional” vegetarians who refused meat on the basis of taste and visual appeal, they find it disgusting. “Moral” vegetarians, on the other hand, refuse meat for ethical reasons. This group is angrier when seeing others consuming meat.

Another result reports that vegetarians are more open for experience, and are more likely to try new things more often. Universal values such as tolerance, understanding, and the well–being of humans and the environment are more important to them, while might, social status, or authority is less significant.

According to the study, vegetarians are not any more conscientious, extroverted, or content than a carnivore, which concludes that after all, in this respect, we are just like everybody else.

Oh, and by the way, this great University not only has these two amazing Psychologists on staff, but also offers daily vegetarian options in the dining halls! Echt genial!

1 Comment

  1. Comment by


    on #

    I wonder how the growth of vegetarian population compares with worldwide growth? It’s wonderful to see more than a %1300 percent increase in such a short amount of time. Perhaps Germans are getting sick of weiner schnitzel for three meals per day. ;)

    I often get the sense that veg* is slowly winning the war, but I haven’t seen any comprehensive reports on worldwide trends.

    These are some sites I googled with various stats, though I haven’t checked to see if they’re legit.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sis8739