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The meat industry is a leading cause of climate change in the Western world, and while reducing meat consumption has often been studied as a health behavior, it is equally important to understand its significance as a pro-environmental behavior. In a national sample of the United Kingdom (N = 737, Time 1, N = 468, Time 2) we sought to evaluate to what extent the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is an effective model for understanding people’s intentions to reduce their meat consumption. Overall, we find that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control explain 57% of the variation in intentions to reduce meat consumption. In turn, past behavior and intention explain 31% of the variance in self-reported meat consumption behavior four weeks later. Somewhat surprisingly, habit did not have any predictive utility over and above the TPB constructs. The effectiveness of the TPB and implications for devising pro-environmental interventions are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Psychology

Publication Date





681 - 690