Younger consumers may say environmental sustainability tops their list of concerns when choosing to purchase products, but there’s reason to believe their habits don’t live up to their purported values. New research on meat consumption habits reported by Quartz show the country’s millennial generation is on track to eat just as much meat as the Boomer generation—even as more environmental scientists decry meat production as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems. The top reasons Millennials cite for eating less meat include: health (30 percent), animal welfare and environmental (both 23 percent), and social influences (22 percent).
Yet data shows there’s some self-deception at play with when it comes to this topic. Research shows 78 percent of Millennials ate either the same amount of meat or more of it last year than the year before, perhaps because Millennials tend to eat out more than their parents’ generation, and are willing to pay more for convenience. Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials have stronger opinions about the role meat plays in their diet. Fifty-four percent of Millennials (versus 47 percent of Boomers) say, “nothing is as satisfying as eating good steak,” while 51 percent of Millennials (and 43 percent of Boomers) say, “eating meat keeps me full for a long time,” and 52 percent of Millennials (compared to 40 percent of Boomers) say, “meat is essential for a balanced diet.” Finally, Millennials spend more on meat on average ($162 per month) than Boomers ($93 per month).