Beyond one’s own convictions, being a vegetarian is a sign of virtue, therefore, as Benoit Monin , a Stanford University psychologist, demonstrated , the simple presence of a vegetarian, as a kind of moral beacon, can influence an omnivorous person.
Monin thus demonstrated that people who eat meat can feel morally inferior in the presence of vegetarians, since they anticipate that they will end up doing some kind of moral reproach.
They don’t need to say anything
The most surprising thing is that the simple fear of reproach affects the carnivore: it is not necessary for the vegetarian to make the comment or reproach effective: its simple existence, from the point of view of a person who eats meat, is already morally irritating .
For this reason, mutatis mutandis, also a meat eater feels special pleasure when a vegetarian is caught violating his moral code and eats a good plate of chops, for example. As Richard H. Smith abounds in Schadenfreude :
The discovery of this type of deceptive and hypocritical behavior is a gratifying event. We are not as inferior as they would have us believe; now we can take the opposite position of moral superiority. Naturally, this turn of the situation makes us feel good.