The dataset provided with this article is related to “Lowering Barriers to Plant-based Diets: The Effect of Human and Non-Human Animal Self-Similarity on Meat Avoidance Intent and Sensory Food Satisfaction” . The connection between compassion and adherence to plant-based diets is intuitive. The first dataset is a sample of 372 participants in the United States that was collected online. Trait compassion, measured using the Santa Clara Brief Compassion Scale , is positively associated with intent to avoid dietary meat consumption. The second set of data, collected online from 131 participants in the United States, provides evidence for the underlying psychological process: the relationship between trait compassion and meat avoidance intent is serially mediated by perceived similarity to other human animals and non-human animals. Similarity scores were measured inversely as perceived distance using heat-map type questionnaire items based on inclusion-of-other-in-the-self (IOS, ) and relational closeness scales . Demographic information, physical characteristics, and measurement of athletic identity are provided . These data can be used in psychology research on food studies specifically and to glean more insight on human's connection with other animals in general [6,7]. The supplementary data on participants’ physical characteristics such as BMI, combined with measurement of athletic identity, can inform sports and nutrition science. Survey print-outs, two datasets including scale items, and scripts for analysis are provided.