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Study: Meat-Eaters Are Selfish and Anti-Social

Written by PETA | August 30, 2011

Is it selfish to eat shellfish? The results of several studies in the Netherlands seem to indicate so. Three professors at two universities have determined that meat-eaters are more selfish and distant and less social than vegetarians are.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that sentencing an animal (or several) to death for the fleeting taste of a turkey sandwich or bacon cheeseburger shows a certain lack of empathy, decency, and altruism. But the researchers studying the psychological impact of meat-eating concluded that carnivores are insecure people who feel the need to dominate others and be “the boss.” They eat animals as a way to feel superior. Vegetarians, on the other hand, are less selfish and less lonely—and therefore happier.

Could this mean that happiness is waiting at the end of the produce aisle? I’m pretty sure that leafy greens are a lot cheaper than therapy.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Jackninja5 says:

    I am a vegetarian (and an antisocial :P) and I agree! They are selfish and only care about the sodding food chain because they are meat-heads 😛

  • Lucy says:

    This is so absurd. I’m perfectly happy eating meat. Now I have heard that an all-raw veggies diet does help to reduce stress and increases the ability to process information in stressful situations. But I do not think that it reduces selfishness. That is a trait that comes from someone’s childhood, or just their inherent personality. I realize that humans eat much more meat today than we were originally and biologically supposed to due to technology that now lets us process and distribute meat on such a larger scale. But at the same time, studies have shown that, when our primates ate meat, their brains were able to grow larger due to consumption of protein. Eating meat is a natural urge. The way animals are treated and the way meat is processed however, is quite unnatural. I will agree with that. But as people are becoming less tolerant of animal cruelty I believe this will change in the coming years.

  • Hypocrite says:

    Does PETA support animals that are carnivores? If so, humans (omnivores, to which the subset carnivores belongs to) should be able to eat to live and live to eat as they please.

  • bawa says:

    The professor conducting this research has been fired from his university because he faked the results of this and 3 of his other researchs. So well….Haw haw

  • Dieda Artemis says:

    I don’t agree. Food chains are normal, so eating meat is normal too. The only thing which is wrong is the fact that animals are mistreated and raised in very bad conditions. I would eat meat if the animals were treated with dignity.

  • Gina says:

    Oh thank you Jesus, FINALLY the truth comes out!!! Meat-eaters: of course your going to deny this article is true, to protect your selfish meat-eating ways, but we know better…the world knows better. It’s a WIN for veggies!!!

  • Kariel says:

    ok i understand everyone’s feelings on eating meat..some think its ok and some are completely against it but why be mad and rude to each other about it..its almost like peoples belief on gays whether you believe in one thing and another person doesn’t, is not going to change anything..this is exactly why we have war, everyone’s argument on this subject is a matter of opinion.both sides are responsible for hostility towards each other instead of degrading each other why not try and be kind? people react to kindness and saying that one party is superior to another is just wrong..vegan’s need to keep trying to educate theirs beliefs to others and carnivores need to be open minded instead of this on going battle trying to be better then each other because neither party is going to gain a thing being rude.

  • Ursula says:

    Seriously? This is so biased I can’t believe any moderately intelligent person would give it any merit.

  • M says:

    I eat meat and I rescue dogs. Am I an anomaly? Not everyone is going to be vegan. That’s not realistic. Why not focus on slaughtering the most humane way possible and raising the animals ethically? Which sounds like such a mess, but I think that’s a battle more easily won, and then you can move on to trying to make everyone a vegan. But, we already have a pet overpopulation issue, so maybe trying to make all the cattle pets, too, would be adding a whole new issue.

  • meat eater says:

    carnivores ARE superior to others. that’s why carnivores eat others.

  • thecatstumbledhere says:

    Hmmm, interesting. I was a bit disappointed because I could not read the actual study…but it is NOT a scientific paper. It is a psychological study published by an undergraduate institution. That being said, perhaps it is a good one, I can’t tell, but I’m extremely skeptical. That being said, this article gives a very inaccurate description of the study itself. The study had a general, randomly selected test group…not a test group divided by vegetarian and omnivore, so concluding that omnivores are more selfish then vegetarians inaccurate. What the study concludes is not scientific; it makes a lot of general observations that ignore human biology and focus on human psychology. I think it is important to understand that before concluding that the results are somehow scientifically accurate. Personally, I am an occasional meat eater. However, I eat meat only when I know the source of my food, or have hunted it myself, and I tend to avoid eating pork at all costs. I think factory farming is horrible, both for the animals, and for the environment. I can’t be made to feel guilty about eating what I eat. This is not the old times, when we had the luxury (or the discomfort) of raising our own food. It is just not possible with a large population size. I understand that. What I do know is that I need a balanced diet to remain healthy and active. That means I eat lots of nuts and grains and green things, and a little bit of fresh protein…just the way my body was designed to.

  • Tom says:

    Humans are omnivores. Of course meat is here for us to eat. we are like other primates in that regard. To say meat isn’t for humans is ignoring biology and evolution.

  • Amy Rosanova says:

    This is so true!!! If a person is going to condemn an animal to the slaughter just to satisfy their taste buds and wardrobe, how cruel, selfish, and desensitized are they?!!!

  • Arya says:

    It seems as if the studies are implying that there’s something wrong with being anti-social…

  • 4mula1 says:

    HEY ANDREA.. you say. we eat meat because its there to eat.. that doesnt make any sense.. that doesnt mean its for humans any more than saying that cows milk was designed for humans.. milk is for baby cows, we did NOT evolve as carnivores, they eat it for millions of years BECAUSE they didnt know any better. same is true of fur.. THEY HAD NO CHOICE.. we do, and being VEGAN isnt only salads, there is vegan BURGERS, hot dogs, tofu dogs, brats, tofurky, pizza, deserts, rice, almond, and soymilk.. and today we know. its the meat n dairy that lead to heart attack, stroke, pad, ed, ect.. ( the arteries become as hard and brittle as the stem of a clay pipe. cutting them with a scissor at autopsy makes a distinct crunching sound. this blockage also occurs in the arteries to the brain. when they close off, part of the brain dies, a stroke.. do you STILL believe the world is flat?.. as for ani res AND there charities visit, then, where would we be today if we all did as they did even 100s of years ago?.. AND peta ISNT forceing there ways on you. anymore than school teachers are forceing there beliefes on you.. you go to school, what about collage?.. WE ARE no different. WHY not question tradation???… or should we just believe the world is flat. as those before us did?

  • Val says:

    Andrea, we don’t just sit around eating salads (I’m a vegan and actually am not a big fan)-we have degrees, careers and goals. We are selfless; I do agree that most meat-eaters are selfish. They put themselves ahead of innocent animals, just wanting life, because they’re too scared to give up meat. Get a life!! And if you don’t care, then get off this site, it’s for people that care and want to be accountable for their actions!!

  • Alan Roettinger says:

    I don’t know how this study was conducted, but it might be also the reverse: opening up to other living things, being more sociable, letting go of the need to dominate, might lead to eating fewer animals (or none). Either way, I don’t think this (sorry to say) nakedly self-congratulatory piece is going to influence anyone to try a vegetarian (let alone a vegan) diet. What else would be the goal of it–except, perhaps, to show who’s boss?

  • Andrea says:

    bullcrap. You Vegetarians think your better than everyone else. We eat meat because it’s there to eat. (has been for millions of years) Just because we don’t eat salads every day you think we are bad people. I guess eating lettuce makes you rude and uptight. Get over yourselves.

  • No not really says:

    This is a very idiotic study, of course there are going to be more selfish and anti-social meat eaters, there are far more meat eaters than vegans. This article makes a stereotype of vegans being uppity and condescending towards meat eaters instead of helping them see the light of vegetarianism.

  • Tom says:

    SO exactly how is that measured?

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    This is a joke, right? It says that the study showed that “selfish” people preferred beef to fish or eggs. Apparently fish-slayers and hen-subjugators aren’t selfish, despite not being vegetarian. It also says that people who see a picture of a cow or beef answered multiple choice questions “selfishly”–which would technically mean that anyone, be they meat-eater or vegetarian, would suddenly become selfish after seeing a picture of a cow or steak. Ironically, if a meat-eater saw a picture of a tree, they were less selfish–which technically means meat-eating has nothing to do with anything.

  • Luke says:

    Very well written, non-biased, valuable article not full of ridiculous speculations and obscure studies. I especially like the feel-good tone towards vegetarianism. Those pesky meat eaters with their insecure carnivorous instinct!

  • Marin Martin says:

    So this study concludes that about ALL carnivores? I disagree. I eat meat, but in no way do I feel “superior” because of it, nor do I try to dominate or bully others. In fact I’m the complete opposite of what this article claims me to be. I don’t feel a surge of happiness or power every time I eat a burger, it’s just food. My body requires protein, so I won’t deny it what it needs. I think it’s great if people can live on a vegan diet, all the power to them, but not everyone can do that. That doesn’t mean they’re anti-social, power-hungry beings. Eating a strictly vegan diet isn’t for everyone, but some of us are doing other things to help animals like buying cruelty-free products and not wearing skins. You shouldn’t be guilt-tripping those who are trying to help to the best of their ability with articles such as this one.

  • Jennifer Hagens says:

    True true true!!

  • Toby says:

    I think lots of us saw it coming.

  • kathy says:

    How about the people who make a big show about eating their meat when they learn you are a vegan or vegetarian? Obviously this study *really* applies to those types. (Come to think of it: that would include those random trolls that come to the PETA site just to post ridiculous comments about how they love to eat meat.) Insecurity is unattractive.

  • Terry Pecor says:

    What a bunch of crap. I’m a vegetarian and the meat eating friends and aquaintances I have do not fit the profile of people who feel the need to dominate others. Maybe some do but most don’t. Where did these “professionals” conduct their study?