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Faced with the unmitigated horrors of factory farms and the environmental destruction of flying meat halfway around the world, plenty of us choose to source our food ethically. And while that’s great for the planet, it also turns us into objectively awful people.In 2009, researchers from the University of Toronto set up two online stores.
One was a regular supermarket, while the other was a “super green” version.
Participants were assigned to one store, and either given money to spend, or simply told to browse. Afterward, all the subjects were given cash and told to divide it up between themselves and an anonymous person. Care to guess what happened next?Those who’d spent money in the “green” store completely ripped off their anonymous partners.
Convinced they’d already proved their moral superiority by buying green, they saw no need to treat the rest of the experiment honestly. When the scientists followed up by allowing them to take a specified amount of money from an envelope, the eco-shoppers went even further by taking more cash than they were entitled to.