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[3rd last para:] ... Two recent studies demonstrate that right-wing adherents consume more meat and exploit animals more for two main reasons: (a) they push back against the threat that vegetarianism and veganism supposedly pose to traditions and cultural practice, and (b) they feel more entitled to consume animals given human “superiority” (Dhont & Hodson, 2014). You read that correctly: those on the left would not differ from those on the right in meat consumption if not for the latter’s relatively higher sense of threat from animal-rights ideologies and their sense of human superiority (and thus entitlement). Ideology, is [ Typo: This should be 'it' ] seems, creeps into the very foods we eat (see Loughan et al., in press).

How should if not for be analysed/decomposed/parsed? I tried substituting 'perhaps even' for if not, but this seems wrong, because I'm guessing that the sentence explains that 'those on the left .... in meat consumption', absent 'the latter's relatively higher sense of threat...'?

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  • The meaning is different, as you note. Here it effectively means "except for" or "if the following did not exist." Nov 2, 2014 at 1:59

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Again, here, as in your other question, if not shortens if + pronoun + verb + not.

...if (it was) not for the latter's...

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