Animal welfare involves societal and human values, ethical concerns and moral considerations since it incorporates the belief of what is right or what is wrong in animal treatment and care. This paper aims to ascertain whether the different dimensions of individual attitudes toward animal welfare in food choices may be characterized by general human values, as identified by Schwartz. For this purpose, an EU-wide survey was carried out, covering almost 2500 nationally representative individuals from five European countries. Compared with the previous literature this study shows a twofold novelty: (1) it develops a general framework to link individual enduring beliefs and attitudes toward animal welfare attributes in food choices; (2) the framework is analyzed within a broad-based cross-country study. Our empirical results prove that human values related to self-transcendence are strongly associated to overall animal welfare attitudes and especially to those explicitly related to food choices, while values related to the spheres of self-enhancement and conservatism are significantly associated to less sensitive attitudes to animal welfare. Moreover, our results appear to indicate that a determinant of animal welfarism in food choices is potentially associated to individual concerns regarding food safety issues.