Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Edited by Lucia A. Reisch and John Thøgersen

This Handbook compiles the state of the art of current research on sustainable consumption from the world’s leading experts in the field. The implementation of sustainable consumption presents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities we are faced with today. On the one hand, consumption is a wanted and necessary phenomenon important for society and the economy. On the other, our means of consumption contradicts many important ecological and social long-term goals. Set against this background, the Handbook aims to offer an interdisciplinary overview of recent research on sustainable consumption, to draw attention to this subject and to encourage discussion and debate. In 27 chapters, leading authorities in the field provide their expertise in a concise and accessible manner.

Chapter 12: Peak meat: the role of meat in sustainable consumption

Achim Spiller and Sina Nitzko

Subjects: economics and finance, behavioural and experimental economics, economic psychology, environment, ecological economics, environmental sociology


The issue of sustainable meat consumption is inextricably linked with aspects of animal welfare and ethical treatment. In the context of a growing worldwide demand for animal products, sustainable meat consumption may take several forms. We take a theoretical approach to segmenting consumers into four types that differ in their qualitative and quantitative meat consumption. Based on a consumer survey of a sample of the German population, we then validate and describe these consumer types. We then give an overview of existing and potential policy measures to promote sustainable meat consumption within these different target groups, including methods of libertarian (soft) and hard paternalism, before summarizing the future challenges of sustainable meat consumption.

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