Consumer Concerns about Animal Welfare and the Impact on Food Choice




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Will, P.; Balling, R. (1988): Verbrauchereinstellungen und Einkaufsverhalten bei Rindfleisch. Ergebnisse einer Verbraucherbefragung. Arbeitsbericht Nr. 6 der Professur für landwirtschaftliche Marktlehre, Weihenstephan.


Wirthgen, B.; Altmann, M. (1988): Verbrauchereinstellungen zu Fleisch und Wurst. Arbeitsberichte zur Angewandten Agrarökonomie. Fachbereich Landwirtschaft, Gesamthochschule Kassel, Witzenhausen, Arbeitsbericht Nr. 7.


Wochenpost Nr. 51, 13.12.1994, p. 35.


Ziehlberg, R.v.; Alvensleben, R.v. (1998): Die Bedeutung ethischer Motive beim Kauf von Lebensmitteln am Beispiel fair gehandelten Kaffees. In: GfK-Nürnberg (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch der Absatz- und Verbrauchsforschung, heft 2/1998, 44 Jahrgang, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, S. 201 - 216.


ZMP-Zentralbericht von den Agrarmärkten (1996): Informationen der Zentralen Markt- und Preisberichtsstelle für Erzeugnisse der Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft, 24.08.1996, 34, Bonn.


ZMP (Hg.) (1998): ZMP-Bilanz Vieh und Fleisch ‘98. Deutschland-EU-Weltmarkt, Bonn.


ZMP (Hg.) (1995): ZMP-Bilanz Vieh und Fleisch ‘95. Deutschland-EU-Weltmarkt, Bonn.

1 Unless otherwise stated, information in this chapter is taken from WIEGAND, 1979, pp. 25 – 41.

2 Due to the background of the authors and limited time available, literature on consumer concerns about animal welfare in areas other than food production has not been looked searched for very intensively. This review primarily looks at literature, which in some way is based on surveys. Largely left out is the more accesible German literature on animal welfare and animal rights in general.

3 According to SIX / SCHÄFER (1985, p. 9) there are more than 100 theories of attitudes and attitude change.

4 The first two points are akin to what is known as a „partial model“ in economics, the latter point is a reminder, that ultimately a „total model“, which includes all „products“, not just those related to animal welfare, would correctly reflect reality. I.e. exogenous factors to the „partial model“ need to be considered as a fourth factor. The third factor is included to reflect growing importance of „information“ in models other than pure neoclassical microeconomics.

5 LUKE (1989) looks at the development of animal husbandry in Germany from ancient up to the beginning of modern times.

6 Furthermore, if everybody states to be very concerned about animal welfare, there will be little variance in this factor and its explanatory power for consumer behaviour will be low. This is a problem, if some of the „very concerned“ consumers really are very concerned and others simply say so for social reasons.

7 We translate "artgerecht" into "appropriate" and the phrase "artgerechte Tierhaltung" into "appropriate husbandry". This is done consistently in this article. The term “artgerecht” refers to the special and individual needs of each species.

8 „KZ“ refers to the concentrations camps in Germany before and during the second world war. BRUMME (1991, p. 38) criticises that poultry keeping is described with a term representing mass-murder of European Jews. „The murdered people are again exploited and deprived of human dignity for the sake of a dramaturgical and emotional effect. Therefore this expression is clearly anti-semitic (...)“.

9 While the numbers for 1997 in Tab. 2.3.2 refer to the old counties, results by EMNID (1997) are available for the new counties, too. Less respondents in the new counties saw husbandry practices deteriorated (53%). Only slightly more men (59%) than women (58%) agreed to the statement.

10 Compare ALVENSLEBEN/STEFFENS (1989) for an analysis of factors that influence acceptance of agricultural technologies by people.

11 Values representing degrees of agreement on rating scales are aggregated for tables in this chapter.

12 „Massentierhaltung“ is translated into factory farming throughout.

13 Answers to be rated were given.

14 This section is related to section 2.4.2 „Topical issues“.

15 Associations tests are a special technique of indirect questioning.

16 Unlike fish, meat of sheep and horses are quantitatively rather unimportant in Germany.

17 Perceived quality of products can be equated to attitudes about products or their images (BROCKHOFF, 1993).

18 The consumption of veal was quantitatively not very important.

19 NIELSEN (1994) is quoted in MEYER-HULLMANN (1996), p. 91.

20 Butchers are relatively important for retailing meat in Germany.

21 These are documented by Wildner (1998, p. 16).

22 Statement: “Eggs from free-range chicken taste better”.

23 Most people in Germany believe meat of German origin to be better than imported meat (73% in a survey by EMNID, 1997). In spite of a clear preference for German origin in absolute terms, it might not be very important seen relatively: “German origin” was ranked least important among six criteria of the production process in a sample by BALLING (1991).

24 Compare section 2.3.6, p. 19-20.

25 Product quality as measured by product criteria and the respective indicators belonging to processes.

26 About 90% of interviewees were aware of the choice situation. It is not sure whether people in a non-experimental situation would have shown the same degrees of awareness. Further evidence suggests that purchasers of barn eggs bought more deliberately and that the keeping system was of higher interest to them than to purchasers of battery eggs. Barn egg purchasers therefore seem to more highly involved with regard to aspects of keeping systems and animal welfare (the latter will become clearer in the next paragraph).

27 A way to circumvent the criticism of KROEBER-RIEL/WEINBERG might be to replace the concept of the „subconscious“ with that of „passive knowledge“.

28 Similar questions about animal products and trade-offs with price are discussed in section ”2.3 Animal products” and section ”3.2 Willingness to pay”.

29 Statement had to be rated on a scale from 1 ( = I do not agree at all) to 5 ( = I absolutely agree).

30 Those mentioned first disagreed much less.

31 “Tierschutz” is here translated into “animal welfare”.

32 This section is related to section 2.2.1 „Spontaneous associations“.

33 Question: The media, e.g. print media, radio and TV often report on food. Please tell me issues which you remember. (n = 387, Kiel, multiple answers possible)

34 BPI is an organization with vested interests in animal testing.

35 NIELSEN, Fleischskandale: Reaktionen der Verbraucher, 1994, cited in MEYER-HULLMANN, 1996, p. 92.

36 This and the following numbers in brackets are factor loadings for the respective question.

37 The statement with the largest factor loading on „confidence“ was „I think people overact if worrying about polluted meat“ (0.65).

38 For instance, the category “> 50%” in Fig. 2.3.2(a) contains all people, who are willing to pay more than 50% mark-up on the ordinary price of 25-30 Pfennigs/egg in 1998. The category “40% to 50%” contains all people prepared to pay 40% to 50% more plus all those in the category “> 50%”. The category “25% to 35%” thus also contains people in the previous two categories.

39 Due to cumulation the functions are necessarily non-increasing.

40 We refer to the programm ”German quality meat from controlled rearing”, which mustn´t be mixed up with the certificate ”Branded quality from Germany – always neutrally controlled”. While both certificates are authorized by CMA, there are significant differences. The latter only looks at the quality of the final product, while the former also includes husbandry practices, feeding and additives.

41 The government ministry for food, agriculture and forests has a special department for animal protection which issues the „Government’s report on animal protection“ and other material. In March 1997 it published a booklet titled „Tierschutz geht alle an“ (animal protection for everybody). Topics discussed include legal and political framework of animal protection, farm animals, pets, animal transport and animal testing.

42 An exception were the materials for school by Thönes-Naturverbund.

43 Verein gegen tierquälerische Massentierhaltung

44 A new booklet on meat-quality programmes has been published in 1998. The evaluation criteria used include appropriate keeping, appropriate transport and careful slaughter. A summary is given in ALSFELD (1998).

45 The catalogue of outdoor posters „Der Grüne Pfad“ published by IMA in 1998 contains some posters which present current husbandry practices in a positive light, also with respect to animal welfare.

46 We distinguish between directories and telephone directories.

47 The problem that a large part of participants does not participate in the discussion is substantially weaker in homogeneous groups (Pollock, 1955, p. 435, cited in Halk, 1993, p. 74).

48 According to Salcher (1978, p. 56, cited in Halk, 1993, p. 74), a fundamental factor to be considered for the selection of people for focus groups is that they should in a distinct way be connected with the issue at question.

49 The Sample Institute stated that the initial sample size was 2.100, of which 1.594 people were interviewed. It declares not to know about any induced bias.

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