Reduced Meat Consumption: from Multicriteria Argument Modeling to Agent-Based Social Simulation

Abstract : A second nutrition transition seems to be emerging towards more plant-based diets, curbing meat consumption in developed countries at the beginning of the 21st century. This shift suggests that rational arguments tend to influence an increasing number of individuals to adopt vegetarian diets. This paper aims to understand and simulate the impact of different types of messages on the choice to change food diets at the individual level, and the impact of the diffusion of opinions at the collective level. It provides two results: (1) a network of arguments around vegetarian diets is modeled using an abstract argumentation approach. Each argument, formalized by a node, is connected with other arguments by arrows, thus formalizing relationships between arguments. This methodology makes it possible to formalize an argument network about vegetarian diets and to identify the importance of health arguments compared to ethical or other types of arguments. This methodology also identifies key arguments as a result of their high centrality in being challenged or challenging other arguments. The results of this argument network construction suggest that any controversy surrounding vegetarian diets will be polarized around such high centrality arguments about health. Even though few ethical arguments appear in our network, the health arguments concerning the necessity or not of animal products for humans are indirectly connected with ethical 2 choices towards vegetarian diets; (2) an agent-based simulation of the social diffusion of opinions and practices concerning meat consumption is then introduced. The purpose of this simulation is to capture the balance of vegetarian vs. meat food diets. It contributes to modeling consumer choices by exploring the balance between individual values and external influences such as social pressure, communication campaigns and sanitary, environmental or ethical crises.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 12, 2019 - 11:47:57 AM
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Rallou Thomopoulos, Nicolas Salliou, Carolina Abreu, Vincent Cohen, Timothée Fouqueray. Reduced Meat Consumption: from Multicriteria Argument Modeling to Agent-Based Social Simulation. International Journal of Food Studies, ISEKI Food Association, In press. ⟨hal-02265760⟩

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