Reducing individual meat consumption: The role of socio-psychological factors and the stage model of behavioral change.
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The aim of this study is to identify the factors involved in reducing meat consumption. Meat consumption is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus to climate change. Since meat consumption is a voluntary form of behavior, and since only 1.4 percent of the Swiss population are strict vegetarians, there is considerable potential for behavioral change. We propose an integrated and dynamic model based on a theory of planned behavior and a phase model of behavioral change to identify the factors involved in encouraging behavioral change and to discuss their practical implications. Our findings, based on a representative survey applying a multi-nominal logit approach, suggest that it is mainly attitude, perceived behavioral control, personal norms and problem-awareness that have significant impacts on the phase an individual has reached in a process of behavioral change (pre-decision, pre-action, action and post-action). The theoretical, empirical and practical implications discussed here will increase our understanding of the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing meat consumption. This should aid public authorities, policy-makers and marketing professionals in deciding how to promote a meat-reduced diet by choosing the most promising factors for behavioral change.