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Thanksgiving turkey: A feast of peace

Thanksgiving turkey: A feast of peace
U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned this turkey named Courage on Thanksgiving Eve on the North Portico of the White House in Washington on November 25, 2009. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

MONTREAL, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A Canadian researcher suggests feasts of meat promote non-aggression, contrary to the conventional wisdom.

Frank Kachanoff of McGill University in Montreal says research indicates big hunks of meat do not bring out aggression as previously thought.

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"Just looking at an object which is learned to be associated with aggression, such as a gun, can make someone more likely to behave aggressively," Kachanoff said in a statement.

"I wanted to know if we might respond aggressively to certain stimuli in our environment not because of learned associations, but because of an innate predisposition. I wanted to know if just looking at the meat would suffice to provoke an aggressive behavior."

Kachanoff and colleagues tested aggression levels in 82 males asked to punish a script reader every time he made an error while sorting photos -- some of meat. The researchers thought meat pictures would be associated with greater aggression, but they say they were surprised to learn meat had the opposite effect.

"We used imagery of meat that was ready to eat. In terms of behavior, with the benefit of hindsight, it would make sense that our ancestors would be calm, as they would be surrounded by friends and family at meal time," Kachanoff explained. "I would like to run this experiment again, using hunting images."

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