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HOW MANY ARE EATEN
According to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS),
U.S. per capita
consumption of mammal and bird flesh has risen from 196 lbs (retail
weight) in 1980 to 201 lbs in 1990, and 209 lbs. in 2001, mostly because
of a massive switch to consumption of chickens. The total includes 66.1
lbs of 'beef,' 50.2 lbs of 'pork,' 1.1 lbs of lamb, 74.4 lbs of
chickens, and 17.5 lbs of turkeys, as well as 252 eggs.
Consumption is now leveling off, reflecting market
saturation and increased
consumer interest in meat alternatives like veggie burgers, soy dogs,
and soy lunch ‘meats.’ Over the next ten years, the ERS projects 'beef'
and 'pork' consumption to drop 10 and 4%, as chicken and turkey
consumption climb 7% and 10%, respectively.
Consumption is typically reported in terms of retail
weight. A typical steer weighing 1,150 lbs (live weight) is reduced to a
714 lbs carcass (carcass weight) yielding 568 lbs of retail meat (retail
weight), or 49% of live weight. The figures for pigs are 250 lbs, 184
lbs, 139lbs, & 56%.
HOW MANY ARE KILLED
9,853.5 million animals were killed for food in the US
in 2001, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
and other sources. This includes 41.6 million cattle and calves, 118
million pigs, 4.2 million sheep and lambs, 8,902 million 'broiler'
chickens, 450 million laying hens, 309 million turkeys, and 27.7 million
The total number is expected to rise by 2.4% to 10,090
in 2002, including 40.8 million cattle and calves (down 2%), 120 million
pigs (up 1.5%), 4.1 million sheep (down 2 %), 311 turkeys (up 1%), 9,125
million 'broilers' (up 2.5%), 459 million laying hens (up 2%), 30
million ducks (up 7.6%).
In addition to the 8,964 million animals reported in the
NASS 2001 slaughter reports, another 888.5 million, or 9% of the total,
suffered lingering deaths from disease, malnutrition, injury, or
suffocation, associated with today's factory farming practices. The
number of 'other' or non-slaughter deaths was estimated from hatchery
reports and interviews with agricultural experts.
The worldwide number of animals killed for food in 2001
was 47.9 billion, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organization. This included 301 million cattle, buffalo, and calves, 1.2
billion pigs, 788 million sheep and goats, and 45.6 billion chickens,
ducks, turkeys, and geese. These figures probably exclude
'non-slaughter' deaths, generally not reported, and deaths in small
countries that have no reporting procedure in place.
Detailed tables will be available in the FARM Report -
Winter/Spring 2002 posted in the Information Archives on
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