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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Healthy or Environmentally Friendly? Meat Consumption Practices of Green Consumers in Vietnam and Switzerland

Markoni, Evelyn; Ha, Thanh Mai; Goetze, Franziska; Haeberli, Isabel; Ngo, Minh Hai; Huwiler, Reto Martin; Delley, Mathilde; Nguyen, Anh Duc; Bui, Thi Lam; Le, Nhu Thinh; Pham, Bao Duong; Brunner, Thomas A.

Abstract

High meat consumption is a phenomenon in both developed countries such as Switzerland and emerging countries such as Vietnam. This high meat consumption is associated with environmental, social, and health consequences. Drawing upon social practice theory, this study explores the influence of social practices on the meat consumption of green consumers, as a growing number of consumers in both countries want to eat healthy and sustainably but still have different needs and face different barriers. Data were collected from online group discussions. For green consumers, meat consumption was found to convey certain meanings and depends, among other things, on the information available. The consumption decision in Vietnam is strongly influenced by health and food safety, whereas negative environmental consequences are important in Switzerland. Social and cultural aspects also play a major part in the decision to eat or abstain from meat in both countries. Meat is a non-negotiable part of any special occasion meal in Vietnam and is often eaten at social gatherings in Switzerland. We argue that meat consumption is linked to social status in both countries, but family influence is stronger in Vietnam than in Switzerland. Interventions, such as policy measures that are adapted to regional, cultural, and consumer group specificities and focus on social practices rather than individual behavior, are a promising means to promote meat reduction.

Keywords

meat reduction; sustainable food consumption; green consumers; Switzerland; Vietnam

Published in

Sustainability
2023, Volume: 15, number: 15, article number: 11488
Publisher: MDPI

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

    Publication Identifiers

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511488

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/123810