Are consumers wilfully ignorant about animal welfare?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
E. Bell, F. Bailey Norwood, J. L. Lusk
Animal Welfare
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Wilful ignorance is a documented human behaviour whereby people deliberately avoid information. Although much work has documented consumer attitudes toward farm animal welfare, few studies have questioned whether people even want to know how farm animals are raised. Using an internet survey of 1,000 subjects from the US state of Oklahoma, it is shown that around one-third admit to being wilfully ignorant regarding pork production. One-third also chose to look at a blank screen rather than a picture of how pregnant hogs are housed. Avoidance of guilt is shown to be a motivator for this behaviour.


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