Vegetarian + Vegan cow

Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe

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Is Eating Animals on the Decline?

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eating animals

We’re seeing a decline in meat consumption here in the U.S. Does that mean folks are eating fewer animals in general?

In the past 3 years, there has been a stark decline in the amount of meat that people in the U.S. are consuming. According to Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach:

Adding up the decline for 2009, 2010, and 2011, compared to 2008, 1.1 billion fewer animals were killed than if 2008 levels had continued.

That’s a billion animals saved over just a few years. Part of the decline is most likely linked to rising food prices, but you also have to give props to plant-based diets gaining popularity. Whether people are eating less meat to save money, improve their health, or for animal rights reasons, this trend is good news from an environmental perspective, given animal agriculture’s effect on the environment.

The bad news is that as Americans are eating less meat, demand for meat in other countries is on the rise. In China for example, experts expect beef imports to increase by 38%, and we’re seeing more meat consumption in Latin America, as well. Unfortunately, lower meat consumption here in the U.S. doesn’t balance out the demand in other countries. According to the meat industry experts, meat consumption worldwide is expected to increase by 73% by 2050.

Why do you think there’s an increasing demand for meat in other countries while we’re seeing a decline in eating animals here in the U.S.? What can we do to encourage more people to eat vegan, even if it’s just replacing a few meat-based meals with plant-based ones?

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Flikr]

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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://www.HealthyEatingStartsHere.com Heather Nauta

    That’s awesome to hear!! I figure meat consumption is on the rise in developing countries as their wealth and standard of living increases. When I was in China for my brother’s wedding, his wife’s family (Chinese) would take us out to elaborate dinners every night, and almost all the dishes were meat. My brother told me that they wanted to be good hosts, and show us that they could afford it, but at home they mostly ate vegetables and grains.
    I think the best way to encourage people to eat more vegan meals is to show them how awesome they can be!! And be shining examples of how healthy and HAPPY you can be :)
    Great article, Becky!

  • Myrtonos

    Fact is that meat wasn’t traditonally eaten daily, tradition was to only eat it on special occasions, as late as the 1950s it was still common to eat meat only once per week.

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