Media has Negative Effect on Meat Consumption

Media attention to animal welfare issues corresponds to lower demands for meat both in that quarter and the following quarter, according to an economic analysis from Kansas State University.

The researchers created an index of stories about animal welfare presented in top U.S. newspapers and magazines from 1982 to 2008 for the analysis. All indices (pork, poultry and beef) have gone up in recent years. Media attention to pork and poultry welfare issues was linked to reduced pork and poultry demand in an economic model that included these indices.

Beef demand did not seem to be directly related to increased media attention, but the industry is not immune, the researchers wrote.

“In particular, this study found increased media attention caused a reallocation of expenditures to nonmeat food rather than reallocating expenditure across competing meat products,” the report says, adding that the pork, poultry and beef industries are at risk if consumers respond to increased media coverage by cutting back on their total meat purchases

(Image: elycefeliz)

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