“Led by Jonas R. Kunst, a fellow at Oslo University’s Institute of Psychology, researchers found that descriptive terms such as ‘beef’ and ‘pork’ created emotional distance between consumers and the animals they were preparing to eat.
“By alienating the animal through euphemism, these less representative terms made it much easier for consumers to eat meat. By contrast, the terms ‘cow’ and ‘pig’ — direct references to the living animal — brought the consumer closer to the reality of what one psychologist has called the ‘face on your plate.’ This intimacy lessened the desire to eat meat….”
— From “Pork or Pig: Words Can Hurt You, Especially if You’re an Animal” by James McWilliams at Pacific Standard (Nov. 4)
Wonder how Professor Kunst might evaluate the emotional distancing of diners at such indelicately-named barbecue joints as Pigman’s in Kill Devil Hills, Pik-n-Pig in Carthage, Little Pigs in Newton or The Pig in Chapel Hill….