Acceptance of Animal Husbandry Practices: The Consumer Perspective

Jutta Roosen, Johanna Lena Dahlhausen, Silke Petershammer


Everything consumers do involves making a choice. Looking at these choices, an increasing consumer interest in food products bearing labels identifying non-tangible attributes has been observed over the last years. Consumer concern relates not only to the issue as to what is produced and which product attributes are present in final products, but the growing sentiment relates also to the question of how food is produced in general. Consumers question fairness and justness of production processes with regard to producers (e.g., fair trade labelling) or animals (e.g., animal welfare labelling) and demand support for local supply chains. As a result, certain food production technologies are stigmatized in certain parts of the society. Thereby stigma is defined as “[…] a mark placed on a person, place, technology, or product, associated with a particular attribute that identifies it as different and deviant, flawed, or undesirable.” (Kasperson, Jhaveri & Kasperson, 2001:19).
Human values are thought to be at the root of the stigmatization of certain food production technologies. A systematic analysis of human values was introduced in the seminal book by Milton Rokeach in 1973. He defines values “an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally and socially preferable to alternative modes of conduct or end-states of existence.” Values hence transgress situations and time. Later work by Schwartz (1994) has refined the definition of values and developed a value survey instrument that links values to ten different value domains. He arranges these along a two-folded dichotomy of self-enhancement versus self-transgression and openness to change versus conservation. In consequence, some of these values relate to egoistic versus altruistic versus biospheric values. Thereby egoistic values refer to an egocentric orientation, altruistic values refer to a homocentric orientation and biospheric values refer to an ecocentric orientation (De Groot & Steg, 2008).

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ISSN 2194-511X


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