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Wehbe, L. H., Banas, K., & Papies, E. K. (2022). It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control Perspective. Collabra: Psychology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.38823 Social Psychology It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control Perspective 1 2 1 Lara H. Wehbe , Kasia Banas , Esther K. Papies 1 2 School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK Keywords: flexitarian, self-control, identity, habit, social norms, qualitative research. https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.38823 Collabra: Psychology Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2022 Reducing meat and dairy intake is necessary to mitigate the effects of animal agriculture on global warming. Here, we examine the experiences of environmentally motivated meat and dairy reducers. Specifically, we examine whether shifting towards and maintaining sustainable eating behaviours requires self-control. We conducted a pre-registered qualitative online study surveying 80 participants to explore their experiences of reduction, particularly the role of self-control, habits, identity, and social norms. We analysed the data using reflexive thematic analysis and generated three themes. Theme 1 captures participants’ incompatible short-term and long-term motivations, which led to experiences of conflict and required self-control to manage. Theme 2 describes aspects of food and social environments, such as social feedback and food availability, cost, and appeal, that hindered or supported participants’ attempts at reducing meat and dairy intake. This theme also revealed that most reducers did not want to identify with specific dietary groups, particularly flexitarians. Theme 3 captures strategies, varying in effort, that helped participants overcome internal conflicts or challenges from the food and social environment. Examples include avoiding choice situations, or behavioural substitution, which facilitated behaviour maintenance through small and comfortable changes that fit with participants’ taste, skills, and habits. Our findings highlight the need to temper negative social feedback and introduce more availability and favourable social norms to support meat and dairy reduction. Interventions that aim to support the transition to sustainable eating also need to consider the social identities of consumers. 2019; Rosenfeld & Burrow, 2017), but meat and dairy re- 1. Introduction ducers remain an underexplored group (Graça et al., 2019; Current levels of meat and dairy consumption in Western Taufik et al., 2019). Especially dairy reduction is under-re- societies are unsustainable and need to be rapidly reduced searched (Sandberg, 2021). While vegan diets may be the to curb climate change (Clark et al., 2020; Committee on most sustainable, it is unlikely that most Western popula- Climate Change, 2018; Masson-Delmotte et al., 2019). tions would adopt them. Therefore, encouraging smaller- Modern meat and dairy farming not only contributes to scale reductions among mainstream consumers may be greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation more realistic (Graça, Oliveira, et al., 2015). Consequently, (Federici et al., 2015; Vermeulen et al., 2012; Willett et it is important to understand the daily-life experiences of al., 2019) but also raises ethical concerns (Cornish et al., consumers reducing meat and dairy consumption, in order 2016). Further, the excessive consumption of these foods to understand what could be done to best support their ef- can negatively impact human health (Hansen et al., 2018). forts. This paper aims to explore the experiences of meat Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and dairy reducers who are driven by environmental mo- impacts, and many are open to adapting their diets tives. (Sanchez-Sabate & Sabaté, 2019). Research has generated a large body of literature on veg- ans and vegetarians (Hoffman et al., 2013; Judge & Wilson, a Corresponding author: Lara H. Wehbe, email@example.com, Room 520, 62 Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QB It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... azza et al., 2015) can be barriers to reducing the consump- 1.1. Meat and Dairy Reducers: What is known tion of meat. Meat reducers also need to confront norms about the process of reduction? and attitudes that favour meat-eating (Grassian, 2020), es- We define meat and dairy reducers as individuals who are pecially for men, and may struggle to overcome their own actively trying to reduce their meat and dairy intake, even meat consumption habits (Hoek et al., 2017). Barriers may though we acknowledge that they may not always be suc- also include the lack of information and cooking skills, so- cessful. Meat and dairy reducers may vary widely in their cial prejudices and lack of support, as well as moral disen- consumption frequencies of certain foods and their dietary gagement, liking of meat, and frequent meat-eating (Graça identification (Malek & Umberger, 2021). The reduction et al., 2019). Meat reducers may further face barriers such process often follows a specific order based on food status as food neophobia and identity-incongruence (Hielkema & hierarchy (Grassian, 2020), potentially based on perceived Lund, 2021). For young adults, their sense of control over human-animal similarities (Rothgerber, 2014). Reducers of- their food choices, cravings, conflicting eating motives, and ten begin avoiding red meat first, followed by white meat, compromises at social gatherings may be additional barri- dairy, eggs, then seafood. However, there is variability in ers (Kemper & White, 2021). this pattern (Calton et al., 2014). Additionally, there is vari- Similarly, environmental factors such as visibility, prox- ability in dietary group identification: meat and dairy re- imity, and availability of foods, can strongly shape choices. ducers may identify as omnivores or as flexitarians, vege- A review of 15 articles on nudging consumers’ food choices tarians, or semi-vegans. At face value, these dietary groups shows the promising effect of making changes to the food may seem categorically different in how frequently people environment on choice without depriving consumers of consume animal foods, but consumers understand and choices (Bucher et al., 2016). Other research showed similar identify with these groups in variable ways. For example, effects of nudging on increasing fruit and vegetable intake individuals who eat fish, yet do not consider fish as meat, (Broers et al., 2017) and healthier diets and nutritional may identify themselves as vegetarians (Rosenfeld & choices (Arno & Thomas, 2016). Tomiyama, 2021), and flexitarians who do not consume Thus, there are many barriers and facilitators to reduc- meat may not identify with vegetarians to avoid stigmati- ing meat and dairy intake, and meat and dairy reducers sation (Rosenfeld et al., 2020). We will explore this issue in need to navigate often challenging food environments with the current study to better understand the role that such varying availability of sustainable food choices. This sug- identity processes may play for meat and dairy reducers. gests that self-control might play an important role in Meat and dairy reducers may reduce consumption of maintaining reduction behaviour. To our knowledge, no re- these foods for various reasons, which might translate to search has attempted to explore the experiences of en- different processes and outcomes. Numerous researchers vironmentally motivated meat and dairy reducers from a have explored the primary motives that meat and dairy re- self-control perspective. Therefore, that is the focus of the ducers hold, such as health, animal welfare, and the en- current article. vironment (De Backer & Hudders, 2014; Grassian, 2020; 1.2. Possible Self-Control Challenges of Reducing Hielkema & Lund, 2021; Lacroix & Gifford, 2019; Rothger- ber, 2015). While one systematic review suggested that in- Meat and Dairy Intake dividuals reducing meat intake for ecological reasons are a Meat and dairy reducers often need to overcome pre-ex- minority (Sanchez-Sabate & Sabaté, 2019), another more isting meat-eating and dairy-eating habits, temptations to recent review highlights that both sustainability and health consume meat and dairy, or social norms promoting the are currently important motives for reducing meat and consumption of meat (Zur & Klöckner, 2014). Encountering dairy consumption (see Dagevos, 2021). Given the climate such barriers may lead to the need for self-control. While emergency, we predict that in the future, the group of con- the evidence on barriers to reduction is increasing in the sumers trying to reduce their meat and dairy consumption literature, little is known about the psychological experi- for environmental reasons will increase (Bastian & Lough- ences of meat and dairy reducers and the social and envi- nan, 2017; Mathur et al., 2020). Therefore, the current ar- ronmental factors influencing them (Graça et al., 2019). In ticle focuses on exploring the experiences of environmen- this paper, we address these gaps by exploring whether re- tally motivated meat and/or dairy reducers. ducing meat and/or dairy requires self-control, the situa- The literature on shifting from meat-based to plant- tions that necessitate the exertion of self-control, and how based diets is rapidly growing (Graça et al., 2019; Stoll- individuals manage these challenges. Kleemann & Schmidt, 2017; Taufik et al., 2019), and has Self-control has been defined as “the ability to restrain identified a broad array of barriers and enablers to reducing impulses in the service of greater goals and priorities” meat consumption. Meat disgust (Rothgerber, 2014), (Milyavskaya & Inzlicht, 2017, p. 1). While this has often awareness of climate impacts (Kirsten et al., 2020), as well been understood as requiring effort, it has also been sug- as supportiveness from others (Haverstock & Forgays, gested that self-control can be effortless, for example when 2012; Hielkema & Lund, 2021), are some of the factors that adaptive habits are developed and automatically inhibit de- enable consumers to reduce their meat and dairy consump- sires (Adriaanse et al., 2014). The relationship between tion. In contrast, meat attachment, hedonic enjoyment of self-control and behaviour change maintenance has been meat (Graça, Calheiros, et al., 2015), and the belief that previously examined mainly in health domains. For in- consuming meat is natural, normal, necessary, and nice (Pi- stance, self-control predicted adherence to weight-loss pro- Collabra: Psychology 2 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... grams (Baker & Kirschenbaum, 1993; VanEpps et al., 2016). et al., 2020). On the other hand, flexitarians view their In the domain of meat reduction, one study found no ef- diet as less central to their identity, which might make fects of self-control on adherence to vegan, vegetarian, and their transition more challenging (Rosenfeld et al., 2020). health-related diets (Cruwys et al., 2020). Others suggested Meat and dairy reducers may not necessarily strongly iden- that reducers who identified as omnivores more strongly tify with any dietary group. Little is known about meat reported a need for self-control than vegetarians (Allen and dairy reducers’ social identities and how they shape et al., 2000), perhaps because vegetarians rely more on their experiences and behaviours. The current research ad- their social identity and motivation to adhere to their diets dresses this gap. rather than their psychological capacities. To the best of 1.3. The current study our knowledge, there has been no research with the pri- mary aim of exploring the role of self-control in the process Understanding what facilitates and hinders meat and of reducing meat and dairy intake, and we aim to fill this dairy reduction is important, because it could inform ways gap in the literature. to better support individuals transitioning to reduced meat Meat and dairy reducers may experience conflict be- and dairy diets (Graça et al., 2019). Here, we explored the tween their long-term reduction goals, and their habits experiences of individuals in this transition, to ultimately and desires to consume these foods. Like most eating be- identify ways to better support them toward more sustain- haviour, the consumption of meat and dairy is influenced able diets. We conducted qualitative research to address the by habits and liking, as most people have frequently con- following research questions: sumed these foods from an early age (Papies, Johannes, 1. How do people perceive and experience the transition et al., 2020; van’t Riet et al., 2011). Inhibiting habits and food temptations typically requires self-control (Adriaanse towards more sustainable eating behaviours? 2. Does shifting towards and maintaining sustainable et al., 2014; van’t Riet et al., 2011; Wood & Neal, 2007), eating behaviours require self-control? If so, what are as also suggested by dual-process theories (Hofmann et the situations where people feel they need to exert al., 2008). Indeed, self-control processes are often activated when conflict between desires and higher-order goals is de- self-control? And how do they deal with these chal- lenges? tected (Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2012; Kotabe & Hofmann, 3. What are the roles of habits, identities, and social 2015). Some of these processes may be deliberate and ef- norms in the transition towards and in the mainte- fortful, but dual-process models of behavioural regulation suggest that effortful processes are more likely to guide be- nance of sustainable eating behaviours? And how do people experience them? haviour when sufficient self-control resources are available (Baumeister et al., 1994; de Ridder et al., 2012). Thus, both 2. Methods self-control processes and self-control resources may play a key role in enabling the reduction meat and dairy intake We developed an online qualitative survey for our com- and in developing strategies to maintain this behavioural parative case study design (Braun et al., 2020). A key advan- change. tage of online survey methods is that it allows for poten- The mechanisms of behavioural maintenance that have tially rich data from a broad representation of individuals been identified for successful health behaviour change may and experiences (Braun et al., 2020). We asked participants also play a role in reducing meat and dairy intake for en- questions related to their current diet and their reduction vironmental reasons. Health behaviour maintenance mod- goals and experiences. All study materials, including the els suggest that self-control is essential for dealing with full survey schedule and data, are available on the Open sources of tension, or struggles of maintenance (Greaves et Science Framework (OSF; https://osf.io/vuhsy/). al., 2017; Kwasnicka et al., 2016). Tension may arise from external influences (e.g., social pressure) and individual ca- 2.1. Procedure pacities (e.g., motivation). In the context of our research, we propose that managing tension, such as inhibiting de- We held question creation meetings using the research sires and old habits, may be required to transition to and aims, research questions, and relevant theories on behav- maintain the reduction of meat and dairy. ioural change and self-control (Greaves et al., 2017; Kotabe Another self-control challenge that may influence the & Hofmann, 2015; Kwasnicka et al., 2016). We ensured an reduction process is the management of conflicting social open-ended format (Korstjens & Moser, 2018) and piloted norms. Social norms and the social environment influence the survey for comprehension (n = 5). The resulting survey eating behaviour, such that people are motivated to eat included 14 open-ended questions covering various aspects the foods that are normative in their society or the social of the reduction experience (see Table 1). groups they identify with (Demarque et al., 2015; Higgs, Then, to yield a deeper understanding of participants’ 2015). Consuming meat and dairy is the norm for most experiences, we asked four background questions on cur- Western societies (Willett et al., 2019), and deviating from rent meat and dairy intake (e.g., “In a typical week, how of- this norm may challenges to one’s social identity. Vegans ten do you eat meat?”, “In a typical week, how many times and vegetarians have often managed this challenge by de- would you like to eat dairy?”), on current diet (“Which of veloping a strong sense of identification with their dietary these describes you best at the moment?” response op- group, a key factor in the maintenance of their diet (Cruwys tions: “I am currently trying to reduce meat, not dairy”, “I Collabra: Psychology 3 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 1. Main questions of the survey schedule as shown to participants. 1) Tell us about your experience in changing your eating behaviour. How is the reduction of meat and/or dairy going for you? 2) Can you tell us about when you started to reduce meat/dairy? Was it a specific event that triggered this change? Why did you decide to change? 3) Tell us about the changes in your eating habits while you are trying to reduce meat and/or dairy. Which new habits have you been able to maintain and which not? Please describe. 4) Can you tell us about some of the challenges you experience when trying to reduce your meat and/or dairy consumption? 5) Have you ever felt conflicted, for example, because you felt like eating meat and/or dairy? How did you respond? What happened? 6) Can you tell us about the effort that this change in eating behaviour is taking? Why is it more difficult at some times than at others? Can you give us an example of when it is easy and an example of when it is difficult to reduce meat and/or dairy? Please explain. 7) How confident do you feel in your ability to change your eating habits? 8) Tell us what helps you maintain your new eating habits of reducing meat and/or dairy. What are effective ways that help you reduce meat and/or dairy? Give us an example and describe. 9) Can you tell us about an experience of going back into your old behaviour of consuming higher quantities of meat and/or dairy (if any)? Why did this occur? How did you respond? 10) What do other people in your life think of you reducing meat and/or dairy? How do they react? Can you give an example? Do other people’s responses affect you in any way? Do they help or hinder you? 11) How do you think your decision of reducing meat and/or dairy impacts others in your direct environment? 12) Do you currently see yourself as a person who eats meat, a flexitarian, a vegetarian, or a vegan? What do you think about these groups? Please explain. 13) What would make it easier for you to reduce your meat and/or dairy intake? Is there anything that you, people, or organisations in your daily life environment could do to help you? 14) How do you feel in general about your transition to reducing meat and/or dairy? am currently trying to reduce dairy, not meat”, “I am cur- English. One thousand participants answered three screen- rently trying to reduce both meat and dairy”), and on the ing questions (average duration 1 min; payment £0.1); “Are desired future intake of these foods ( “In a typical week, you currently trying to reduce your meat and/or dairy in- how many times would you like to eat meat?”, “In a typi- take?”, “What is the most important motive for you to re- cal week, how many times would you like to eat dairy?”). duce meat and/or dairy right now?”, and “Which of the Finally, we asked demographic questions, such as age, gen- following dietary categories do you see yourself belonging der, occupation, education, perceived social class, and na- to?”. We selected participants who were trying to reduce tionality. meat and/or dairy and indicated that their most important Question 13 asks for participants’ suggestions about motive was environmental. In the rest of this article, we re- what they, or others, could do to make their dietary transi- fer to these participants interchangeably as meat and dairy tion easier and more enjoyable. The responses to this ques- reducers or meat and/or dairy reducers. We excluded veg- tion were gathered into one subtheme (3.3.3) where we ans and self-identified omnivores who did not want to re- included counts of participants mentioning each contex- duce meat intake (n = 192). Then, 239 participants who sat- tual strategy. Although generating meaning from the data isfied the inclusion criteria (female: 192/ male: 42/ other: partly depends on more comprehensive patterns (Sande- 5) were invited to the main survey. Participants completed lowski, 2001), we believe that displaying the counts for this the survey on Qualtrics (average duration 30 min; payment subtheme will provide a comprehensive overview for the £3.75). In line with research on reducers (Dagevos, 2021), reader of what lay people think could help them in their re- most participants were female. duction process. We stopped data collection once 80 participants had The study received ethical approval from the University completed the main survey. This predetermined sample of Glasgow Research Ethics Committee. To enhance trans- size was based on recommendations for sample size with parency, we pre-registered the study and documented the online qualitative surveys (Braun et al., 2017, 2020; Mal- complete research process (see OSF; https://osf.io/bhvyw). terud et al., 2016) and our budget limits (see OSF). We also Pre-registration can help ensure that the a-priori decisions used the definition of data saturation as “the point where to observing the data are maintained and encourage new no new and meaningful information is being generated” intentional decisions in case of changes (see Haven & Van (O’Reilly & Parker, 2013). Saturation of new information th Grootel, 2019; Kern & Gleditsch, 2017). started at the 65 case. However, we were more interested in the quality of the generated data described as data ‘suf- 2.2. Participants ficiency’ or ‘quality’ (Braun & Clarke, 2019). All authors discussed data saturation and quality thoroughly in weekly Participants were recruited through the online research analysis meetings. platform Prolific (prolific.co). Inclusion criteria were: living in the UK, between 18 to 65 years of age, and being fluent in Collabra: Psychology 4 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 2. Frequency Table Summarizing Participants’ 2.2.1. Sample Description Demographics and Dietary Background (N = 80). A summary of demographic information about our sam- ple is presented in Table 2. Detailed demographics can be Participants found in the Supplemental Materials on the OSF. Gender Self-identified omnivores in our sample reported con- Female (F) 63 suming meat meals moderately often (range: 4 – 10 meat Male (M) 15 meals per week) and dairy more frequently (range: 5 – 21 Non-Binary (NB) 2 dairy-containing meals per week). Self-identified flexitar- ians reported consuming meat and dairy less frequently (1-10 and 0-14 meals with meat/dairy, resp.). Some self- Age Range reported vegetarians reported eating meat (including fish) [18 - 25] 19 once or twice a week and dairy between 0 to 14 meals per [26 - 35] 21 week, while others described themselves as “strict vegetar- [36 - 45] 17 ians” and reported eating no meat and eating dairy at most [46 - 55] 17 a few times a week. [56 - 65] 6 2.3. Data Analysis Education Status In our analysis, we developed thematically organised Secondary 7 patterns throughout the dataset, supported by quotes. We College 20 adopted a reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, Undergraduate 37 2006, 2013, 2014, 2019) and followed the six stages of re- Graduate 14 flexive thematic analysis using NVivo Software (Windows Version 12) as a qualitative analysis management tool Doctoral 2 (Castleberry & Nolen, 2018; Maher et al., 2018; Silver & Lewins, 2014). We used a hybrid approach of inductive and Current Diet deductive coding (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane, 2006), gener- Reducing both meat ating broad data-driven conclusions and using pre-existing and dairy 48 theories to guide our observations with an a-priori list of Reducing meat only 28 codes (see OSF). In other words, we explored and analysed Reducing dairy only 4 the data separately from the relevant theories highlighted in the above section, and later, we discussed how the data links to the theories. The generated codes followed the Meat Goals process described in Table 3. No reduction 8 Since the flexible theoretical framework of this method Less than 50% can lack a grounding orientation (Braun & Clarke, 2013), reduction 20 we adopted critical realism as a methodological framework 50% reduction 9 compatible with thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019; More than 50% Fletcher, 2017). Critical realism’s approach consists of reduction 15 causal or generative mechanisms (Bhaskar, 2013; Sayer, Full reduction 20 2010). It begins with identifying the social problem and in- Increase 8 fers backwards to conceptualise from empirical data about the phenomenon whilst drawing on understandings from Dairy Goals previously established knowledge in a different context. No reduction 18 This perspective aligns with our aim to understand the sub- jective meaning and experiences and identify the mecha- Less than 50% reduction 21 nisms that underpin the maintenance of reducing meat and dairy for environmental reasons. 50% reduction 8 We conducted an additional exploratory analysis to ex- More than 50% reduction 11 plore how our 80 participants reported their dietary group membership in the pre-screening study versus the main Full reduction 14 study. In the pre-screening study, participants responded Increase 8 by choosing one of the following categories: 'omnivore’, Note. All demographic and background questions were asked in open format, except for 'flexitarian’, 'vegetarian’, 'vegan’, or ‘other’. We compared the educational qualification question. Meat and dairy goals were determined using per- these responses to participants’ answers to the open-ended centages comparing participants’ approximal current intake (e.g., “how often do you eat question in the main survey 'Do you currently see yourself as meat”) and their approximal desired consumption in the near future (e.g., “how many times would you like to eat meat”). ‘Increase’ represents that a participant reported a a person who eats meat, a flexitarian, a vegetarian, or a ve- higher number for desired future consumption than for current consumption. gan? What do you think about these groups? Please explain’. Collabra: Psychology 5 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 3. Thematic analysis process based on the six phases outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006, 2013, 2019). Phases Process Author involvement Phase 1: Data The process of familiarisation LW engaged with recurrent reading of the dataset to increase familiarity familiarisation encompasses the researcher to with the data. Apart from reading the dataset as a whole, LW also read immerse in the data by reading the individual cases in context with the background and demographic and rereading the dataset while information prior to coding. taking notes of initial thoughts and insights. Phase 2: The process of coding the data Initial exploratory annotations were made, which included descriptive Initial code involves creating and assigning comments of the data. LW coded responses and focused on generation codes to categorise the data commonalities and differences based on the frequency, extracts. representativeness, and meaningfulness. Codes and extracts were fed back to KB and EP periodically, generating in depth descriptions through discussions. Phase 3: The process of generating initial Throughout the discussion process, LW generated initial themes and fed Initial themes themes involves clustering them back to KB and EP. The authors considered deviant cases in their generation together codes that are related discussions and brought in the different perspective that allows for an within and across the individual unbiased immersion in participants’ experience and lens of the analysis. cases. Phase 4: The process of reviewing and LW examined the themes across the entire dataset and the coded data. Reviewing refining themes entails verifying All authors approved the three generated themes to best fit the dataset. and refining whether the themes are an themes accurate representation of the data. Phase 5: The process of defining and LW finalised the definition of all themes and fed those back to KB and EP. Defining and naming themes involves the naming development of a theme name themes that formulates the essence of the theme as well as a clear definition of the themes. Phase 6: Writing the report represents the LW developed the written report. All authors reviewed the report and Producing final stage of the analysis. The contributed to the write-up and to linking the findings to previous report write up of the findings and each literature and theories theme in turn present an opportunity for a final refinement of the themes. 2.3.1. Credibility strategies 3. Findings Credibility was ensured through persistent observation Participants’ responses varied across questions and of the data (Korstjens & Moser, 2018). Detailed descriptions ranged between 14 to 236 words per response, with an av- of the participants’ experiences and demographic context erage of 73 words per response and no missing data across enhance transferability, making connections to help pro- responses. We generated three themes from the data (see vide a comprehensive understanding of the participants’ Table 4). The full supporting quotes for all themes can setting. While there are no set rules as to how many quotes be found in the NVivo file uploaded on the OSF. Typo- should be used and from how many participants, the focus graphical errors were corrected to safeguard the flow of the is on detecting themes that are reflected across the data quotes while conserving the meaning (see OSF). In each (Eldh et al., 2020; Sandelowski, 1994). We held meetings subtheme, tables include extracts from participants’ expe- periodically during the analysis phase to bring in different riences alongside a higher-order descriptive pattern that, perspectives and build consensus. We also discussed and together, provide a comprehensive overview of the theme at integrated the deviant cases from the patterns that hand. Following each quote, we provide participants’ self- emerged from the data analysis, to support a reflexive ap- reported gender to add depth to the illustrative purpose proach to research (see OSF). And finally, as the authors’ of our chosen quotes. Specific symbols in participants’ ex- positionality is pivotal in qualitative research, we declare tract include: […] indicating where text has been removed that LW and EP do not consume meat and are currently to avoid redundancy and [Text] indicating where text has trying to reduce dairy intake, while KB seldomly consumes been replaced for clarifications and descriptions. meat and dairy and identifies as a flexitarian. LW kept a re- flexive diary (Langdridge, 2007) throughout the data analy- sis process (see OSF). Collabra: Psychology 6 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 4. Table of themes and subthemes. Themes Subthemes 1. Conflicting motivations 1.1. Initial motives and triggers for behavioural change and goal setting 1.2. Liking and prompted desires for meat and dairy 1.3. Experiences of conflict resulting from incompatible motivations 2. Barriers, and sometimes support, from the 2.1. Barriers from the food environment social environment and food environment 2.2. Barriers and support from the social environment 3. Strategies for managing conflict and efforts 3.1. Resolving internal conflicts 3.2. Resolving conflict from food and social environment 3.3. Wishful suggestions; what I and others can do ticipants struggled with the idea of completely cutting out 3.1. Conflicting Motivations meat, because they would miss the enjoyment from eating 3.1.1. Initial motives and triggers for behavioural it (e.g., P55, F). They expressed how effortful they found it change and goal setting to eliminate these foods from their diets, especially when the sensory features of the foods triggered desires for meat Participants expressed many motives and triggers that and dairy (e.g., P66, F; P13, M), such as their smell, taste, prompted their intention to reduce meat and/or dairy con- and texture. Some participants described hunger as a fac- sumption. Environmental motives together with other mo- tor that hindered their meat and dairy reduction, and some tives such as financial or health concerns, or animal ethics shared experiences of not feeling satiated after vegetarian made participants want to limit their consumption of these dishes (e.g., P6, F). They also mentioned that it was easier foods (e.g., P40, M). Most participants described that their to reduce meat consumption during the summer months, as decision to change emerged gradually due to a cumulative opposed to winter, due to their desire for comforting foods awareness of the negative impacts of the meat and dairy in winter (e.g., P59, F). industry on the environment. For instance, they continu- Some participants justified their strong cravings by tying ously and increasingly sought knowledge from the media or them to their felt bodily changes or perceptions of nutrition the news (e.g., P20, F). Some changes occurred due to their deficiencies such as iron and Vit. B12 (e.g., P38, F; P18, worry and anticipation of future events (e.g., P50, F). F). Many described that moods, such as feeling forgetful, A few participants reported being triggered by turning distracted, lazy, stressed, or bored, triggered desires to eat point events, specific occurrences such as the Australian more meat or dairy (e.g., P74, M; P26, F). A few participants wildfires or watching slaughterhouse footage (e.g., P68, M), shared experiences with feelings of idleness and tiredness watching documentaries made by activists (e.g., P71, F), towards the end of the week or day. In these situations, par- and their limited spending capacity due to the COVID-19 ticipants chose comfort, familiarity, and convenience, over lockdown (e.g., P79, F). Nonetheless, environmental im- the harder task of resisting meat. For supporting quotes, pacts and animal welfare provoked awareness of conflicting see Table 6. attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours that many participants In sum, participants described liking and desires for held at the time of change initiation. As a result, partici- meat and dairy foods. Internal situations such as hunger, pants’ intentions (e.g., P50, F; P71, F; P21, F) and actions health concerns, and various mood states often prompted (e.g., P68, M) to reduce were primed by the discomfort they the desire to eat meat or dairy. experienced. Most participants who did not want to elimi- nate meat entirely also strongly identified with meat con- 3.1.3. Experiences of conflict resulting from sumers and viewed meat as central to their identity (e.g., incompatible motivations P8, M). For supporting quotes, see Table 5. Most participants experienced a range of conflicting mo- In summary, the data depicts various trajectories to tivations in many situations prior to and after consuming changing behaviour. Sometimes, change was sudden, while other times, it gradually emerged through actively seeking meat and dairy. The uncomfortable experiences of cognitive dissonance, where one’s actions are not in line with one’s information and increasing awareness about environmen- beliefs, left some participants feeling guilty. Participants tal, health, and animal welfare factors. These changes were varied in their detection of conflict and motivation to con- initiated by past events or in anticipation of future events. trol these difficulties and efforts. Some reported not feeling 3.1.2. Liking and prompted desire for meat and conflicted, felt comfortable bypassing the dissonance and dairy justified why they do not want to fully eliminate meat or dairy (e.g., P53, M). Participants described their liking of meat and dairy, and Participants described the conflicts between their de- their desires to eat these foods. These desires varied in sires to consume meat and dairy and their longer-term re- strength (e.g., urges, cravings, or temptations). Some par- duction goals. For instance, some felt conflicted between Collabra: Psychology 7 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 5. Data extracts for subtheme 3.1.1: Initial motives and triggers for behavioural change and goal setting. Many different motives “I have also found myself supporting other arguments (e.g., it’s cheaper, moral, health etc...) rather than just the environmental angle.” (P40, M) Gradual change through “Not a specific event - cumulative reading of lots of articles and to why we should reduce meat and increasing awareness dairy.” (P20, F) Gradual change through “I got increasingly concern about our human impact on the environment, including our consumption worry about the future of meat […], and meat free Monday is at least a start.” (P50, F) Specific event of watching “I started reducing after I saw one of those leaked videos of a slaughterhouse online.” (P68, M) disturbing animal cruelty videos Specific event of watching “I heard a speech by Greta Thunberg about how our consumption of meat is affecting climate change documentaries and wanted to take some action.” (P71, F) Specific event – “It’s about 4 months precipitated by concerned about the environment and trying to reduce spending Covid-19 due to a reduction in income due to Covid.” (P79, F) Guilt and cognitive “I have always been passionate about the environment and have been working around animals for dissonance years, so I've always held guilt with me about eating meat, hence why I am trying to reduce it now.” (P21, F) Dietary identification “I'd consider myself somewhere in between a meat-eater and a flexitarian. I don't think I'd ever be able to not consume meat; I'd honestly consider it a part of who I am.” (P8, M) Table 6. Data extracts for subtheme 3.1.2: Liking and prompted desires of meat and dairy. Missing meat “I like the taste of meat so it's hard to consider cutting it out altogether as I'd miss chicken, bacon etc.” (P55, F) Desire triggered by “I often craved the taste of cheese on toast.” (P66, F) thoughts of sensory features Desire triggered by “The smell of bacon would, even years after abstaining… the smell of it frying would make my mouth sensory features water and stomach growl.” (P13, M) Craving triggered by “Sometimes, I crave meat and fish. Veggie meals just don’t fill me up enough.” (P6, F) low satiety Desire for meat/dairy “But in the colder weather, I'm finding it more of a struggle. I think people crave filling stodgy food in the triggered by winter colder months, where in summer I'm happy with something like a jacket potato with salad.” (P59, F) Craving for meat due “When I have my period, I craveeee red meat which I'm assuming is because of my iron levels or to iron deficiencies something? I always want red meat for that whole week which is hard.” (P38, F) Craving for dairy due “I eat healthy versions of yoghurts to help with my B12 deficiency and I am trying hard to not eat them.” to B12 deficiencies (P18, F) Laziness leading to “I would say later in the week when I am feeling lazier about cooking food, it feels like a chore to find an meat as a convenient unfamiliar vegetarian meal that I need to cook from scratch.” (P74, M) choice Emotional eating “Initially if I feel frustrated in any other issue, the first thing I do is stress eating, and mainly meat. I found prompted by lapsing that as a negative habit and I gradually got out of it.” (P26, F) the desire to follow through with their new habits and nutritional qualities, or taste) and from having to deal with the desire to consume comforting foods. They also men- conflicting information (e.g., P52, F; P32, F). For support- tioned the desire to eat a plant-based diet and to eat a nu- ing quotes, see Table 7. tritious diet, which requires additional awareness and re- Overall, participants mentioned the many internal con- search (e.g., P5, F). Others experienced strong desires to flicts between their desires for meat and/or dairy and their consume meat and dairy despite their awareness of the en- longer-term reduction goals. As a result, they described vironmental and moral impacts of where their food was cognitive dissonance, negative affect, and the struggle to sourced from (e.g., P70, F). balance sustainability, health, and taste. At times, falling back into old habits and consuming 3.2. Barriers, and sometimes support, from the meat and dairy also led to other emotional experiences of conflict, such as feeling disheartened (e.g., P57, F), worried, food environment and the social environment less determined, or even questioning own beliefs and rea- 3.2.1. Barriers from the food environment sons for wanting to reduce (e.g., P18, F). Finally, partici- pants described conflict arising from having to choose from Participants noted that the food culture in the UK nor- many options that vary on many dimensions (e.g., ethics, malises meat and dairy consumption. Participants found it Collabra: Psychology 8 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 7. Data extracts for subtheme 3.1.3: Experiences of conflict resulting from incompatible motivations. Bypassing cognitive “On some level, I know there is cognitive dissonance. I can never TRULY justify factory farming etc... dissonance but I seem to have been able to bypass that quite comfortably.” (P53, M) Conflict between desires “Another challenge has been ensuring that I am getting the right nutrients from a plant-based diet. and goals This takes some research. I also feel conflicted about wanting to stick to my new habits but also wanting to eat some comforting food.” (P5, F) Conflict between desire “I sometimes feel conflicted as I do enjoy the taste of some meats, but I also understand that mass to eat meat and meat production burdens the environment.” (P70, F) environmental awareness Feeling disheartened “I was however disheartened at how easily I changed back; I immediately preferred dairy milk in hot from falling back into old chocolate, and it made going back to oat milk more difficult than the first time.” (P57, F) dairy habits Negative affect from “I feel like greed is overtaking my beliefs at times, and that I should be stronger and not eat dairy.” falling back into old dairy (P18, F) habits Conflict from too much “I also feel overwhelmed at times trying to figure out how to make the most ethical choices when I choice shop for food products.” (P52, F) Decision conflict from “With milk, do you choose almond or oat etc? Then there’s the fact that I’m told a lot of the dairy incompatible motives alternatives are just as bad, if not worse for the environment than what meat is.” (P32, F) effortful to maintain resistance against the mainstream en- F), for instance, when they wanted to order take-out foods vironment that normalised eating these foods since child- and there were few or no meat-free options. For supporting hood (e.g., P25, F; childhood conditioning: P49, F). The quotes, see Table 8. availability of meat and dairy alternatives and the proxim- Overall, participants’ responses evidence the influences ity and distribution of food shops affected participants’ di- of the food environment on their choices. The availability etary choices. Participants who had started reducing meat of foods, environmental food cues in different contexts and dairy intake several years ago reported that the avail- (e.g., shops, in restaurants, at home generally, or at home ability of alternatives was much better now than in the past during special occasions), and affordability impacted par- (e.g., P36, F). Nonetheless, most participants described that ticipants’ purchase and consumption decisions. This, in local food environments (e.g., shops, take-away food out- turn, often led to experiences of conflict. lets, restaurants) were not particularly encouraging of ve- 3.2.2. Barriers and support from the social gan and vegetarian eating. However, this was better in sum- mer (e.g., P17, F). environment Most participants found vegan and vegetarian eating Many participants mentioned negative social percep- more difficult when eating out than at home. Although tions of specific dietary groups. Self-reported vegetarians our survey was conducted during the COVID-19 lockdown, and self-reported omnivores both negatively perceived the when restaurants were closed, participants described the flexitarian label (e.g., P69, M; P21, F). Although some par- lack of availability of meat-free or dairy-free options when ticipants identified as flexitarian, they found the term flex- eating out in the past (e.g., P40, M; P38, F). In contrast, itarian vague and unclear, did not necessarily want to be most participants found eating at home was effortless, es- identified as a flexitarian in their social context (P23, F), pecially if they were in control of the food (e.g., P38, F). and indicated that this unclear dietary category may not be However, special occasions, such as Christmas, were chal- taken seriously by others (e.g., P29, F; A, P18, F). In ad- lenging, mainly because they encouraged old habits of eat- dition, many participants and their social circles perceived ing traditional foods and reduced participants’ sense of vegans or vegetarians as a clear out-group (e.g., P14, F). Re- control (e.g., P41, F). gardless of identification, participants reported perceiving Affordability was another factor influencing partici- negative attitudes from others that led them to doubt their pants’ food choices. Many mentioned their willingness to own beliefs, negatively impacting their behaviour. While try meat and dairy alternatives, but found those foods more most of these impacts came from close family members expensive than the foods they were trying to avoid (e.g., (e.g., B, P18, F), a few participants reported being hindered P38, F). Meat promotions enhanced participants’ tempta- by friends (e.g., P40, M). tions to consume meat in restaurants when they wanted Participants’ sense of control diminished around others value for money (e.g., P51, F). Health-motivated partic- who consumed meat and dairy. Some reported feeling con- ipants avoided meat alternatives that they considered flicted in these situations and found giving in was the easier ‘highly processed’ and sought to source more expensive but choice (e.g., P34, F). Another significant barrier to partici- higher quality meat from local or organic stores (e.g., P49, pants’ reduction was the traditional mindset of older gen- F). Participants reported feeling conflicted or uneasy (e.g., erations around food (e.g., P41, F). When participants were P30, F) when the food environment prompted them to make offered foods containing meat or dairy, they did not refuse choices incompatible with their reduction goals (e.g., P5, Collabra: Psychology 9 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 8. Data extracts for subtheme 3.2.1: Barriers from the food environment. Cultural norms “If it were more normalised to eat meat and dairy alternatives, I think it would be much easier for people who want to be vegetarian or vegan to make changes in their diets, including myself. If it weren’t so embedded in our society to eat meat and dairy, it would be a lot easier.” (P25, F) Childhood “It's tricky as I have been raised with the attitude that it isn't a proper meal without meat.” (P49, F) conditioning Increasing “Making products more accessible would be useful. I know there's been a whole lot of improvement but availability and there's still a fair way to go I reckon.” (P36, F) improvements across time Seasonal availability “It's obviously easier during the summer months when fruits and veggies are in more abundant supply.” (P17, F) Efforts vary in “I find it can really vary in how easy it is. Sometimes, if I'm at a local restaurant and the vegetarian options contexts are really poor, I will be tempted to order a meat dish instead.” (P40, M) Traditional meals “When it comes to occasions like Christmas, I just find it difficult to resist the traditional meal and tend to join in with the excuse that it's only once or twice a year.” (P41, F) Efforts vary across “If I'm home in lockdown and cooking for myself, it’s easy to get into a routine. Some weeks it’s much harder, contexts (home vs. i.e., coming out of lockdown and heading to all my favourite old restaurants.” (P38, F) eating out) Affordability of “The main challenge I have found has been the cost of meat and dairy alternatives” (P38, F) meat and dairy alternatives Meat promotions “I remember eating a large steak with a creamy sauce in a restaurant. […]. It was cheaper on that day. I felt it was a very good deal to get so much steak for a lower price, so I ordered it.” (P51, F) Meat quality “I would rather pay more for better quality and well looked after meat. Paying more though, means eating less.” (P49, F) Conflict due to lack “I often feel like this [conflicted], especially if I want to order a takeaway but also don't want to eat meat.” of availability of (P5, F) meat alternative options Conflict due to “I often feel conflicted knowing that chocolate or a lot of takeout options contain meat or dairy and when availability of meat the temptation is there, the aftermath is usually feeling quite disappointed.” (P30, F) or dairy options these foods, because they feared causing inconvenience to 3.3. Management and strategies of conflicts and others (e.g., P4, NB) or wanted to avoid the confrontation efforts (e.g., P71, F). For some participants, having different diets within the 3.3.1. Resolving internal conflicts household was a major barrier, causing additional expenses Low-effort strategies, such as behavioural substitution, and food waste (e.g., P5, F). Others reported having full were most helpful, because they provided comfortable and support from members of their household who were also small changes that fit participants’ reduction and environ- reducing meat or dairy intake, or were reducing for longer mental goals, but also their liking and taste. These strate- periods of time. The variability in support impacted par- gies entailed, for example, increasing the consumption of ticipants’ enjoyment and effort. For many participants, so- vegetables, other types of animal-based proteins, plant- cial support facilitated their reduction maintenance. Par- based alternatives, or meat of better quality (e.g., P78, M; ticipants felt validated and encouraged by social support P22, F). Participants also emphasised positive feedback and others’ reduction efforts (e.g., P5, F), which increased strategies or rewards from experiencing health benefits their self-efficacy (e.g., P37, F). For others, however, this from their dietary change, which helped maintain their mo- was more challenging: for example, a male participant re- tivation (e.g., P36, F). Additionally, participants often re- ported facing stereotypes around men for trying to reduce evaluated their goals through this feedback process. They the consumption of foods commonly associated with mas- assessed their new habits, successes and failures, or enjoy- culinity (e.g., P40, M). For supporting quotes, see Table 9. ment of their reduction experience, encouraging them to In sum, attitudes towards dietary groups affected par- pursue their reduction goals further (e.g., P12, F). ticipants’ desire to identify with them. Many participants’ Some participants acknowledged the effort and perse- responses highlight the social challenges they encountered verance required for forming new habits, mentioning when changing their diet, while some also reported sup- willpower, self-determination, and willingness. Once they portive social influences, especially from others with simi- experienced achievements and new habits, their confidence lar dietary goals. and self-efficacy increased, while the effort needed to man- age barriers decreased (e.g., P43, F; P35, F). Participants Collabra: Psychology 10 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 9. Data extracts for subtheme 3.2.2: Barriers and support from the social Environment. Vegetarian reducer – “I’m a vegetarian. Being a flexitarian is pointless, you either eat meat or you don’t.” (P69, M) unhelpful label. Omnivore reducer – “I see myself as a meat-eater still as I don't think I deserve to label myself as any other yet.” (P21, F) perceived unworthy of other labels. Flexitarian reducer – “[I identify as a] flexitarian. Although the term is not one I would use to describe myself to others, I unhelpful label. would say I am reducing my intake. The term seems made up. (P23, F) Negative perceptions of “I can imagine the idea of going vegetarian being the classical "but you don't make friends with salad" vegetarians jokes” (P14, F) Negative aspect of ‘Why do people have to make such a fuss of what we do and don't eat, is what I often wonder. If asked I dietary identification will say. It is personal choice, and I don't like labels.’ (A, P18, F) Impact of negative “My family would criticise my diet and would or could not understand my reasons. Other peoples’ attitudes from family responses have upset me in the past. They have made me question my beliefs. They have also made me and others more determined.” (B, P18, F) Toxic masculinity “I have often had ridicule from friends. My circle of friends can be quite full of toxic masculinity, and not eating meat is seen as a weakness.” (P40, M) Conflict from eating “[I feel conflicted] All the time. Again, it’s worse when I go out and if someone else gets something really with people who eat good looking or smelling like meat when I’ve convinced myself that it’s veggie day.” (P34, F) meat Conflict dependent on “It's more difficult when eating out, or especially when visiting family. My parents have some set habits context around cooking and stick to a range of quite traditional meat meals.” (P41, F) Perceived “I don't feel right forcing her [my mother] to prepare a separate meal/generally causing an inconvenience inconvenience with food.” (P4, NB) Fear of confrontation “My extended family were focused on the fact that I wasn't eating meat at large amount when I met up at Christmas […]. It sparked a lot of debate and I hated being the centre of that attention. This has definitely influenced me in terms of not being as strict as I should be. I now eat meat when I go to their house to avoid this attention.” (P71, F) The challenges of “The main challenge for me has been that my partner does not want to reduce his consumption of holding different diets animal products and it is not easy to cook two separate meals, it seems wasteful and more expensive.” within a household (P5, F) The benefits of holding “I have been doing this challenge with my wife which makes it a lot easier. We are able to cook things similar diets within a together and support each other.” (P40, M) household Social validation and “I do feel influenced and affected by friends’ opinions of me. I look to be validated by my social circle and support they help me.” (P5, F) Social support and “It helps me when there are people around me doing the same and encouraging me.” (P37, F) behavioural contagion noted that the process of changing their behaviour was of- enjoyment (e.g., P30, F; P68, M). Finally, some participants ten messy. They employed reframing strategies to accept reported simply liking meat and dairy alternatives more as the efforts needed to deal with challenging situations and time passed (e.g., P30, F; P24, M). This shift in liking may reduce the dissonance when they had not acted according result from associative learning from their social context or to their reduction goals. Such reframing was often effortful, the increased exposure to these alternative foods. For sup- but participants reported rewarding themselves for their ef- porting quotes, see Table 10. forts and progress when abstinence from meat and dairy In sum, participants evidenced both low-effort substi- was successful (e.g., P27, F; P26, F). They adopted a flexible tution and effortful reframing and reminder strategies to mindset to help resolve and balance conflicting motivations manage their internal struggles and conflicts throughout (e.g., P60, F). their reduction experience. Experiencing tangible health To stop themselves from consuming meat or dairy when benefits helped participants maintain their efforts. feeling tempted, participants used cues or reminders of the 3.3.2. Resolving conflict from food and social health effects of eating meat and of the negative impacts environments of meat and dairy on the environment, future generations, and animal welfare. These reminders increased their sense Participants resolved conflict from food environments of agency and impact on the world (e.g., P51, F; P18, F). with various low-effort strategies, such as avoiding the ex- Some participants described cooking new recipes as a strat- posure to tempting foods (e.g., P48, F) and tempting choice egy to deal with desires to consume meat and dairy, starting situations (e.g., P1, F). Participants also used communica- with small, achievable cooking tasks, while increasing the tion strategies, for example, when they feared causing in- variety of dishes they could prepare to fuel their sense of Collabra: Psychology 11 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 10. Data extracts for subtheme 3.3.1: Resolving internal conflicts. Low-efforts strategies: “I maintain by not changing my meals, just replacing meat with veggie alternatives. So, I can still eat the easy substitutions food I like but without the guilt. Earlier this week, I used mushrooms instead of chicken in fajitas.” (P78, M) Low-efforts strategies: “The fish and vegetable increase in our diets has been maintained and therefore the lowering small changes consumption of meat has also been maintained.” (P22, F) Rewards from tangible “And while my main goal is environmental, I do definitely feel better and healthier when I don't health benefits consume dairy. Sometimes that is an easier motivator to focus on when I need an extra boost.” (P36, F) Goal malleability “I've not stuck completely to Meat Free Monday, which was an intention, but I've stuck to reducing meat by 50% in each meal we eat.” (P12, F) Perseverance strategies; “Very confident and a lot of it is habit and retraining your brain to think differently. It may take more time and patience time and effort to change, but it is worth it.” (P43, F) Perseverance strategies; “Being willing to try new things and don’t just stop keep trying till you find what works for you.” (P35, F) willingness and openness Reframing strategies: “I find Sunday roast is keeping my meat intake going. I look forward to it and see it as a treat and a meat as a reward reward for abstaining all week.” (P27, F) Reframing strategies: “Now, I have started to congratulate myself if I didn’t eat meat for a month.” (P26, F) self-reward Reframing strategies: “I feel that having an all or nothing approach may not be particularly helpful in helping you achieve Flexibility goals, and that feeling 'guilty' about something isn't necessarily productive. So, whilst I do feel conflicted, it's [lapsing is] not the end of the world.” (P60, F) Reminder of the health “I think of the amount of cholesterol and fat that is going to line my arteries: “This will lead me to a implications heart attack. I will die because I wanted to eat more beef.” This is very effective in stopping me from eating beef.” (P51, F) Reminder of “Effective ways that help me reduce dairy are to think about where the food originates from. I think environmental and about the animals and their welfare. I think about the brutality in the milk industry plus the negative ethical implications health aspects of eating dairy.” (P18, F) Initial cooking strategies: “I also try to research recipes when bored and find easy ones to start with to build up more meal increasing variety options.” (P30, F) Enjoyment and “I introduced new foods to my diet which I'm really enjoying. So far, I have stuck to it. […]. I think the key increasing variety is variety and I've found plenty of options on food I can eat which does not contain meat.” (P68, M) Developing a liking for “I have developed a real liking for tofu and tofu-based recipes which has helped.” (P30, F) alternative foods Developing a liking for “I was a very big meat-eater. A meal without meat didn't seem like a meal to me. After about two weeks non-meat foods there was a switch in my brain. I started to see non-meat meals as perfectly acceptable alternatives.” (P24, M) convenience to others or when others had ignored or for- port to resolve the conflicts between their dietary goals and gotten their diet (e.g., P30, F). Others hid their dietary the food and social environment. identity from others to minimise negative perceptions (e.g., 3.3.3. Wishful suggestions: What I and others could P36, F), and sometimes gave in to temptations in social sit- do uations, compensating later by restricting their meat con- sumption (e.g., 71, F). Participants described what they or others could do to Action planning and meal planning were described as make their reduction experience easier and more enjoyable. very valuable, and helped with time management, effort, Participants mentioned individual-level strategies (n = and mindfulness. Participants used planning to increase 10), stating that these mainly relied on self-control (n = the availability of non-meat or non-dairy meals at home, 7). Participants also mentioned increasing their knowledge including freezing plant-based and prepared foods (e.g., through recipes, videos (n = 4), and following social media P15, F; P16, F). Some participants rejected negative main- accounts (e.g., P38, F) to maintain their motivation or con- stream perceptions of vegans and vegetarians. Those sur- tinue with their improvements (n =2). One participant men- rounded by others with previous experience in reducing tioned the need to communicate more effectively with oth- their meat and dairy intake, for instance, vegans and vege- ers to reduce temptations when offered meat (e.g., P20, F). tarians, found their support helpful (e.g., P4, NB), for exam- As a result of contentment with their dietary reduction, ple, for discovering and exchanging recipes and for holding some mentioned contemplating further reduction after re- each other accountable. For supporting quotes, see Table ceiving a new cookbook (e.g., P49, F). Many participants mentioned interventions they would Overall, participants used strategies such as avoidance, like others to do, mainly organisations (n = 61), such as in- communication, action planning, and recruiting social sup- creasing availability, accessibility, and variety of foods in Collabra: Psychology 12 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Table 11. Data extracts for subtheme 3.3.2: Resolving conflict from food and social environments. Avoidance of exposure “Avoiding meat aisles helps any temptation.” (P48, F) Avoidance of choice “We order shopping online now. We do a weekly shop and that is all we get. It doesn’t make us go and buy situations something we shouldn’t.” (P1, F) Communication “I did sit him down the next day and explained why I didn't want to eat so much of these foods, and it strategies would help if he found alternatives on occasions like this, which he has started to do.” (P30, F) Absence of “I keep it [my diet] to myself as best as I can to avoid issues.” (P36, F) communication: hidden diet Compensation after “I do eat meat when it's easier to. In my own time when it only affects me, I try to be stricter.” (P71, F) eating meat Increasing availability “Making sure I have veggie convenience food in stock for those time pushed moments.” (P15, F) of vegetarian food at home Action/Meal planning “Meal planning is most effective […]. It means I am prepared when I do my grocery shopping, buy food accordingly, and then prepare meals more mindfully. If I did not meal prep, I would make dinner last minute and not be so conscious about the food I am buying/preparing.” (P16, F) Support from “It was also helpful that a lot of my friends were vegan.” (P4, NB) experienced others Table 12. Data extracts for subtheme 3.3.3: Wishful suggestions: What I and others could do. Education through media “Following lots of environmental pages to stay educated and encouraged.” (P38, F) Reinforcing “I also need to be more vocal and ask people to stop offering me meat - because I really enjoy eating communication and I don’t really ever refuse it.” (P20, F) strategies Personal choice and “It is a personal choice, and I don't think it is up to supermarkets or environmentalist to pressure you, education but some non-pushy education on the health benefits and environmental benefits can help.” (P11, F) Satisfaction leads to “I'm really happy with how things are going so far. I may try to introduce another meat-free day in the contemplation on new year if I receive the meat-free cookbook I have requested for Christmas.” (P49, F) further reduction Taxation “If the government put tax breaks on vegetarian food to make them cheaper.” (P9, F) Promoting healthy foods “Promotions in supermarkets would help as seems all promos are for unhealthy foods snacks. Make and attractiveness of the advertisements for meat and dairy products less appetizing.” (P35, F) advertisement Need for education and “People need to be educated on the impacts of their choices, shown the facts of production, the understanding impact of factory farms, the deforestation, soil erosion and climate change being all inter-connected.” (P13, M) choices Digital application for “Having perhaps an app [phone application] where you can post pictures of your meals to have belonging, accountability. E.g., seeing that we've gone x number of days without meat, but doing this you've saved accountability, and x amount of carbon emissions, […] to make it a little more tangible.” (P71, F) motivation Note. Some of the suggestions mentioned by participants were somewhat similar to the strategies listed in subthemes 3.3.1 and 3.3.2. To avoid repetition, we only evidenced partici- pants’ extracts in this table if they were not previously mentioned. supermarkets and accessibility to easy and creative recipes same diet as them (n = 20). Participants mentioned that (n = 57), availability of fresh fruits (n = 1), and accessibility their social circle and the general public needed to better and availability of “ethical” meat (n = 2). Participants understand the negative impacts of the animal industry on wanted supermarkets to promote healthy, meat-free, dairy- the environment (n = 7) (e.g., P13, M) and the impacts of free food options, rather than only unhealthy ones (n = 25). their choices (n = 1), although most emphasised that diet They also mentioned policy interventions that would in- is a personal choice (n = 79) (e.g., P11, F). One participant crease taxes on the cost of meat (n = 2) (e.g., P9, F) or ban mentioned that shifting social norms would help. factory farming (n = 1). Others mentioned the need for bet- One participant proposed developing a phone applica- ter advertisement (e.g., P35, F), making vegan alternatives tion to increase their sense of community, exchange more attractive and meat and dairy foods less attractive (n recipes, and receive feedback on environmental impact = 2). (e.g., P71, F). Participants also suggested the need to im- Participants wanted more support from their family, prove the taste, texture, and quality of sustainable foods (n partners, or children (n = 24), and mentioned wishing that = 11), especially the taste of cheese alternatives (n = 6). For their social circle or the general population followed the supporting quotes, see Table 12. Collabra: Psychology 13 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... this and shows that self-control resources, social environ- 3.4. Additional exploratory analysis ments, social identity, and affordances of the food environ- Dietary self-description in the main study was not al- ment play key roles in the reduction process, and that di- ways consistent with the pre-screening self-identification, etary identity challenges and the need for self-control vary particularly for omnivores and flexitarians. For instance, 17 across situations. participants who self-identified as omnivores or flexitarian in the pre-screening study later chose not to identify with 4.2. Links with existing research and theoretical any dietary group. Similarly, 43 participants who identi- implications fied as omnivore or flexitarian in the main study reported 4.2.1. The need for self-control that they would not choose these labels to identify them- selves in social settings, despite choosing an appropriate One of the aims of this study was to explore the need label (e.g., "To be honest, I’d never heard of Flexitarian until for self-control in reducing meat and/or dairy intake. We now. But I guess I am flexitarian then." P68). All participants found that most participants experienced self-control con- mentioned the importance of being flexible with their diets. flicts and, at times, cognitive dissonance and doubts. Self- When given the opportunity to express their dietary iden- control conflicts arose when goals to reduce meat and dairy tity openly through open-ended questions, some of the intake were incompatible with desires and habits. We also self-reported omnivores and flexitarians deviated from observed conflicts between two incompatible goals (e.g., re- their previous dietary identification responses. They re- ducing meat intake and saving money). For instance, par- ported instead that they preferred not using any label, pos- ticipants found it difficult to choose tasty, sustainable, and sibly because this better depicts how they present them- healthy foods to replace meat or dairy. Consistent with self- selves in their daily lives (e.g., “I just see myself as a person control theories (Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2012; Kotabe & who eats meat. I am unsure what a flexitarian is.”) or because Hofmann, 2015), we found that detecting conflict prompted the pre-screening question on diets was multiple choice, self-control processes, and these were often experienced as whereas the question in the main study allowed for open effortful. responses. In line with dual-process theories (Hofmann et al., These findings could be important to consider in future 2008), our results suggest that automatic processes (e.g., studies. As lay people’s representations of how they iden- desires and habits) often overrode controlled processes tify themselves may differ from that of researchers, re- (e.g., deliberate pursuit of long-term goals), especially searchers interested in the behaviour of reducing meat and when resources were depleted. In such situations, for exam- dairy intake should consider not recruiting participants us- ple when they felt stressed or tired, participants preferred ing labels such as “flexitarian”, but rather by focusing on the convenience of eating familiar foods. Self-control re- the behaviour of reducing. For further details on this ex- search indicates that working memory capacity and other ploratory analysis, see OSF. factors moderate self-regulatory outcomes (Hofmann et al., 2008). Future research could examine which self-control 4. Discussion moderators are most important in the transition to sustain- This study was designed to explore the experiences of able eating. environmentally motivated meat and dairy reducers from a 4.2.2. Behaviour maintenance strategies self-control perspective, particularly to understand the role of habit, identity, and social norms in this transition. In line with health behaviour change maintenance re- search (Greaves et al., 2017; Kwasnicka et al., 2016), our 4.1. Summary findings suggest that self-regulation of thought and behav- Our analysis generated three main themes. The first iour is essential for dealing with sources of tension during theme reflects conflicting motivations and the need for behaviour change maintenance. Participants used various self-control in reducing meat and/or dairy intake. The sec- strategies for this. Effortful strategies included persistence, ond theme illustrates the influence of food and social en- reminders, action planning, meal planning, and effective vironments, such as availability and cost of foods, attrac- confrontations with challenging social influences. Low-ef- tiveness of meat and dairy-based dishes, as well as negative fort strategies included the avoidance of choice situations, social feedback and social support that impacted behaviour and easy and comfortable meal substitutions. The effort re- change. The third theme captured the strategies that par- quired for reframing strategies varied across participants. ticipants used or said that they could use to help manage Adopting a flexible mindset as well as being open to ex- the conflicts and challenges resulting from their conflicting periences encouraged persistence and acceptance of lapses. motivations and from their food and social environments. Most participants reported continuously seeking out infor- The preferred strategies were food substitutions and avoid- mation from the media. This strategy fuelled the mainte- ing temptation. Graça et al. (2019) have suggested that fur- nance of the reduction behaviour. ther research is needed to better understand barriers and Our findings are consistent with research suggesting enablers of the individuals’ capability, as well as aspects of that people who identify as vegetarians may be more open the environmental opportunities, that may hinder or pro- to experiences (Milfont et al., 2021), and this personality mote sustainable behaviour change. Our work addresses trait may make sustained dietary change easier. It is pos- Collabra: Psychology 14 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... sible that, compared to people making health behaviour (Gkargkavouzi et al., 2019), or the Transtheoretical Model changes, environmentally motivated meat and dairy reduc- of Behavioural Change (Prochaska et al., 2008), where iden- ers are more intrinsically motivated, which might help their tity processes could play a role across phases. Specifically, behaviour change. At the same time, it is possible that our findings suggest that social interactions polarised the meat and dairy reducers are extrinsically motivated by so- meat and dairy reduction identities. While previous re- cial norms. Future research could address the role of intrin- search shows that flexitarians may be less stigmatised than sic and extrinsic motivation in the maintenance of sustain- vegans (Rosenfeld et al., 2020), our findings indicate that able eating behaviour. flexitarians experienced social resistance to their diets as well. The vast majority of participants spontaneously high- 4.2.3. The role of social identities lighted that their eating behaviour was a personal choice, and participants found that identifying with a dietary group Our research points to the important role of social iden- provoked negative stereotypes and social perceptions. At tities in the reduction of meat and dairy intake. Consistent the same time, participants who found the vegan and veg- with previous findings (Rosenfeld & Tomiyama, 2021), par- etarian identity helpful mentioned having rewarding sup- ticipants’ self-reported meat and dairy consumption did port from those groups. Indeed, identification with social not map perfectly onto dietary identities; for example, groups that engage in meat and dairy reduction could help some flexitarians reported eating more meat than some increase reducers’ motivation and satisfaction with their omnivores (see section 3.4). Aligned with previous findings dietary change. (Rosenfeld & Burrow, 2017; Rothgerber, 2014), our findings In contrast, identification with groups for whom eating suggest that participants’ reports of belonging to a dietary meat is normative could hinder reduction efforts by in- group were based on their commitments to their reduction creasing the likelihood of social conflict or encouraging de- efforts, their social identification, dietary motivation, and sires to consume meat and dairy. Previous research has adherence. shown that vegans tend to score lower than omnivores on Additionally, our study adds insight into the highly vari- the personality trait of agreeableness (Milfont et al., 2021), able ways in which people conceptualise their dietary iden- which might make it easier for them to disengage from pre- tity. A large proportion of our participants who self-re- vailing social norms, and radically change their diet. Future ported as omnivores or flexitarians in the pre-screening research could explore how social interaction impacts meat also reported negative attitudes towards dietary labelling and dairy reducers’ sense of identification with a dietary (see section 3.4) in the main study. Possibly, dietary identi- group, and the role of personality traits in the management fication varies over time, and those with more variable diets of these social influences. do not find these labels helpful. There was less resistance Our findings on identity mechanisms in behavioural to dietary labelling among self-reported vegetarians, com- change are also relevant to spillover effects. Previous re- pared to other participants in our study. The reason could search has explored, for example, the spillover of sustain- be that vegetarians’ identity is more central to their sense able eating between home and work settings (Verfuerth of self (Rosenfeld & Tomiyama, 2019). et al., 2019). Environmental identity has been previously Our findings are in line with the identity-based motiva- shown to mediate the effect of spillover on pro-environ- tion theory (Oyserman, 2015), which suggests that differ- mental behaviours (Truelove et al., 2016), while more re- ences in context change people’s self-concept and identity- cently, this effect was not found (Xu et al., 2018). Our find- related motivations. For example, participants reported ings suggest that the settings that are studied in spillover that eating a vegetarian diet was easier in situations where effects should also be considered for their differing social their reduction goals were salient, and where identity con- influences, for example, eating with close family vs eating flict was low. However, when eating out with friends, some with colleagues, as the social identities activated by these participants chose a meat-based diet to conform to the situations matter. Understanding the social and identity friends’ group norm. In other words, reducers seemed to dynamics of the different situations could help us under- juggle multiple diet-related identities that differ in salience stand exactly when spillover occurs, and when it does not. across situations and prescribe different behavioural norms. This can explain why meat and dairy reducers prefer 4.2.4. Habits and reward a flexible identity, although this is not always helpful for their reduction efforts. This is in line with previous re- In line with habit research, our findings show that form- search suggesting that identities can be seen as dynamic ing new habits played a key role in participants’ reduction and fluid (Brubaker & Cooper, 2000), and suggests that this efforts (Gardner & Rebar, 2019; Lally & Gardner, 2013). is very much true for food identities at the initial stages Participants’ sense of automaticity increased when they re- of dietary change, where individuals attempt to establish a peatedly avoided eating meat and dairy. This was achieved new identity to categorise and define their eating behav- through behavioural substitutions, through the consistent iour. repetition of the new behaviour (e.g., eating plant-based More generally, our findings suggest that identity plays meals), and through reward (e.g., peer support and self-re- a key role in behaviour change, and might warrant more ward). central integration in behaviour change models, such as the In line with the Grounded Cognition Theory of Desire COM-B model (Atkins et al., 2017), where identity could (Papies, Barsalou, et al., 2020; Papies et al., 2017; Papies be considered as affecting subjective social norms & Barsalou, 2015), we found that habitual situations Collabra: Psychology 15 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... prompted mental simulations of eating and enjoying meat public’s awareness may progressively increase their willing- and dairy foods, which triggered desire, and at times, led ness to reduce or engage in further reduction. A large pro- participants to consume these foods (see Papies et al., 2021, portion of participants’ suggestions to facilitate this tran- 2022). For instance, desires were triggered by internal situ- sition was about the increase of awareness and knowledge ations, such as hunger or certain mood states, or by exter- in their social circles and the need to normalise meat and nal cues such as the sight or smell of liked foods. Especially dairy reduction. Thus, the reinforcement of knowledge may when participants felt low in self-control resources, the de- be important to initiate and support the reduction process. sire to consume habitual foods was stronger. This suggests A greater focus of intervention research on the envi- that participants’ meat and dairy consumption habits were ronment and choice architecture (Arno & Thomas, 2016; driven by expectancies of enjoying these foods, which is in Broers et al., 2017; Bucher et al., 2016) could help alleviate line with the perspective that habitual behaviour is goal- the decision conflicts observed in our study. Indeed, par- driven (Kruglanski & Szumowska, 2020). ticipants suggested changes in availability and pricing that could help reduce the effort needed for reducing meat and/ 4.2.5. The complexity of the reduction behaviour or dairy intake. Participants also found choosing from many options stressful, task as they held many motives and con- Our findings suggest that different related behaviours siderations that needed to be balanced (e.g., healthy, sus- may support each other and interact in the different stages tainable, and tasty). Again, changes in food policy, for ex- of behavioural change. As an example, engaging in meat re- ample affecting taxation, subsidies, and food procurement duction and reducing dairy may be interactive and mutually in the public sector, could support environmentally moti- enforcing. Some participants who reported reducing dairy vated dietary changes by increasing access to tasty, healthy, intake only reported having previously successfully reduced and sustainable options. their meat consumption. It is possible that their success in one behavioural change informed their willingness and 4.3.2. Identity as a potential intervention target confidence to engage in another. Additionally, our findings have implications for behav- Interventions supporting the transition to sustainable iour change models, for example, the Transtheoretical eating should consider the social identity of consumers, Model of Behavioural Change (Prochaska et al., 2008). and ways to strengthen meat and dairy reducers’ sense of While the Transtheoretical Model conceptualises the vari- identification with their dietary groups. This can be done by ous stages through which an individual progresses during linking social identity to pro-environmental outcomes (van behaviour change as relatively distinct, we suggest that, for der Werff et al., 2014) and by promoting pro-environmen- the complexity of the reduction behaviour, these stages are tal ingroup norms (Schultz et al., 2007), and could increase not mutually exclusive. In other words, individuals can find well-being and reduce doubt about dietary change. Social themselves in two or more stages at once. Most of our par- identity may also influence people’s taste perception, such ticipants were reducing their meat and dairy intake and, that identity-congruent foods are experienced as tastier therefore, engaging in two kinds of behaviour change, each (Hackel et al., 2018). Strengthening the dietary identity of with various strategies. For instance, some individuals re- consumers might further support them in their reduction duced their meat portion size by 50%, only ate dairy when experiences. eating out, and planned to adopt meat-free weekdays. Fu- Additionally, the process of reducing meat intake may ture research would benefit from examining how related differ by gender; for example, social expectations around behaviours interact, and how this informs the progression masculinity may deter men in their behaviour change between different stages of behaviour change. process. Indeed, recent research has suggested that gender conformity is linked to meat consumption frequencies 4.3. Applied implications (Rosenfeld & Tomiyama, 2021). Understanding gender dif- ferences in how social influences impact people’s meat and Our findings have implications for the development of dairy consumptions can help strengthen efforts to improve interventions and policy considerations to support the shift the sustainability of eating patterns. Therefore, future work to sustainable diets. could consider the individual challenges across genders as to manage these and potentially strengthen their dietary 4.3.1. Creating awareness and motivation identities with their decisions to reduce meat or dairy. Our research suggests that it may be useful to repeatedly 4.3.3. Taste, availability, and affordability expose the public to reliable information about the role of food in climate change. Participants shared that repeatedly Policies to encourage sustainable and healthy eating seeking information gradually increased their awareness of must consider the taste, availability, and affordability of the climate emergency and propelled them into action. This plant-based foods. Our findings suggest that small dietary is in line with research showing that receiving fourteen changes helped participants stay engaged in their reduction daily messages on the environmental benefits of reducing efforts, as they led to experiences of success and new meat intake changed participants’ attitudes (Carfora et al., habits. Thus, attractive meat replacements continue to be 2019). Our findings suggest that the motivation to reduce important. Our participants also found that taste was a key meat and dairy intake may develop gradually, and that the factor in their efforts. In line with this, research has shown Collabra: Psychology 16 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... that labelling plant-based foods by emphasising taste and majority of the participants. However, our aim was not to reward may be an effective and low-cost strategy to in- ensure representativeness but to explore the diverse lived crease the appeal of plant-based foods among habitual experiences of reducing one’s meat and/or dairy intake. Fu- meat eaters (Papies, Barsalou, et al., 2020; Turnwald & ture research would benefit from exploring demographic Crum, 2019) . (e.g., gender) and cultural differences, as well as differences Finally, our participants reported that the lack of avail- between meat and dairy reducers in self-control, identity, ability and affordability of attractive meat and dairy al- and the social influence processes that affect their experi- ternatives hindered their reduction efforts. Increasing the ences of changes in eating behaviour. likelihood of people choosing plant-based foods is impor- Conclusion tant and can be achieved by changes to the choice archi- tecture, for example increasing availability (Garnett et al., This study has developed a rich picture of the expe- 2019), using appealing language for plant-based foods (Pa- riences of a sample of UK residents reducing their meat pies, Johannes, et al., 2020; Turnwald et al., 2019), in- and/or dairy intake for environmental reasons. We found troducing financial incentives for sustainable alternatives that reducers often experienced conflict between different (Willett et al., 2019), or shifting subsidies from animal agri- desires, habits, and motives, and needed self-control re- culture to sustainable alternatives (Abadie et al., 2016). sources to manage them. Small and comfortable changes were experienced as preferred and effective strategies to 4.4. Strengths and limitations maintain the reduction behaviour. However, social chal- A strength of our study lies in the transparency through lenges and unclear identities hampered dietary change. In- pre-registration, and credibility strategies such as bringing terventions should address these processes to support a in different perspectives, peer debriefing, reflexivity, and wide-spread transition to sustainable diets. negative case analysis, which strengthened the robustness of our analysis process. Additionally, there are benefits to both researchers and participants when using qualitative Author Contributions surveys. Qualitative online surveys offer rich data from a broad representation of individuals and experiences to ex- All authors have approved the final article. plorative research. It provided us with diverse perspectives Contributed to conception and design: LW, EP of the reduction experience. This diversity is useful when Contributed to acquisition of data: LW researching an underexplored area. At the same time, qual- Contributed to analysis and interpretation of data: LW, itative surveys offer participants full control over their re- KB, EP search participation and bypass the traditional the power- Drafted and/or revised the article: LW, KB, EP dynamics of the researcher and the researched that takes Approved the submitted version for publication: LW, KB, place in qualitative interviews. In addition, participants’ re- EP sponses often provide more focused and targeted data as opposed to data from interviews (Braun et al., 2020; Braun Acknowledgements & Clarke, 2013). This study is not without limitations. First, online data We would like to thank the members of the Healthy Cog- collection risks excluding individuals from disadvantaged nition lab at the University of Glasgow for their useful feed- groups in society. Secondly, and as self-control theories back on an earlier version of this manuscript. guided our question generation, we acknowledge that our findings are limited in that participants were guided by Funding the concepts introduced in the survey questions. In other words, it is possible that participants’ responses referenced This research was funded by the College of Science and constructs such as habits and social norms because we Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and by Research asked about them, and that other aspects of the reduction Grant ES/T011343/1 from the UK Economic and Social Re- process were less likely to be shared as a result. Future re- search Council. For the purpose of open access, the author search may address this issue with either more open ques- has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) li- tions, or quantitative measures. cence (where permitted by UKRI ‘Open Government Li- Despite the broad representation of experiences in our cence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives study, our findings remain contextualised within some (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead) to any Author boundaries. For example, our sample was predominantly Accepted Manuscript version arising’. female. It is possible that the processes involved in reduc- Competing Interests ing meat and dairy intake differ between genders, as im- plied by one participant’s comment on toxic masculinity. We declare that we have no known competing financial Additionally, our UK sample may also limit the transfer- interests or personal relationships that could have ap- ability of our findings to different Western and non-West- peared to influence the work reported in this paper. ern cultures. Finally, only four participants of our sample were reducing only dairy intake. It is possible that the chal- lenges and barriers for this group of reducers differ from the Collabra: Psychology 17 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Data Accessibility Statement Submitted: December 01, 2021 PDT, Accepted: September 23, 2022 PDT All materials can be found on the Open Science Frame- work (OSF; https://osf.io/vuhsy/). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CCBY-4.0). View this license’s legal deed at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 and legal code at http://creativecom- mons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode for more information. Collabra: Psychology 18 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... References Abadie, L. M., Galarraga, I., Milford, A. B., & Gustavsen, Braun, V., Clarke, V., Boulton, E., Davey, L., & McEvoy, G. W. (2016). Using food taxes and subsidies to C. (2020). The online survey as a qualitative research achieve emission reduction targets in Norway. Journal tool. International Journal of Social Research of Cleaner Production, 134, 280–297. https://doi.org/1 Methodology, 24(6), 641–654. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 0.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.054 13645579.2020.1805550 Adriaanse, M. A., Kroese, F. 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British Food Journal, 116(4), 629–642. https://doi.org/10.1108/bfj-08-201 2-0193 Collabra: Psychology 23 It’s Easy to Maintain When the Changes Are Small: Exploring Environmentally Motivated Dietary Changes From a Self-control... Supplementary Materials Peer Review History Download: https://collabra.scholasticahq.com/article/38823-it-s-easy-to-maintain-when-the-changes-are-small- exploring-environmentally-motivated-dietary-changes-from-a-self-control-perspective/attachment/ 101875.docx?auth_token=vlHNY0PmGtBtYk5i59Kc Collabra: Psychology
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Published: Oct 26, 2022
Keywords: flexitarian; self-control; identity; habit; social norms; qualitative research.
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