2019-20 | Evaluating the Ethics of State-Based Strategies for Reducing Per Capita Meat Consumption

reducing meat consumption

'Evaluating the Ethics of State-Based Strategies for Reducing Per Capita Meat Consumption'


Knowledge Exchange Fellow:
Dr Adam Shriver   |   Faculty of Philosophy, Uehir Centre   |   University of Oxford

Partner Organisations:
Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH)   |   World Health Organization (WHO)



A recent editorial in The Lancet entitled ''We need to talk about meat,'' strongly urged that now is the time to have a public debate about the proper amount of societal meat consumption. Several studies published this year from Oxford researchers have found that the high level of per capita red meat consumption in the developed world contributes to a number of serious global problems including direct human health risks, adverse environmental impacts including climate change, and increased likelihood of antibiotic-resistant zoonotic disease. However, most proposed strategies for reducing meat consumption are controversial and a detailed analysis is needed that evaluates which strategies can be most effective while also respecting the well-being, rights, and autonomy of people in the developed and developing worlds. This project involves a KE Fellow, Adam Shriver, working with the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the purpose of producing a report that can be distributed to WHO member states outlining the ethical advantages and disadvantages of different policy approaches to reducing societal meat consumption.

The project will involve a two-day workshop where team members from the WHO visit Oxford to discuss relevant research taking place on campus. Following this workshop, the KE Fellow will work with the WHO to develop guidance documents that 1) review the relevant science for understanding the relationship between meat consumption and health and environmental impacts, 2) outline proposed policies for reducing red and processed meat consumption, 3) review ethical debates about other dietary interventions such as the use of tax incentives, behavioural nudges, and education campaigns and finally 4) synthesize these findings into an accessible discussion of the ethical considerations related to various strategies for the reduction of meat consumption.

Past Events