Meat is a sensitive topic, right? While some cultures have no rules against consuming it, others forbid eating it. The debate gets even more complicated when vegans enter into the mix. Regardless of your views on consuming meat, there are some things that you must know. Humans are outnumbered by our farm animals.
As of right now, there is a total of 19 billion chickens, 1.5 billion cows, 1 billion of sheep, and 1 billion pigs – about three times the number of people on Earth. However, these figures are still nothing compared to the number of animals we are consuming. About 50 billion chickens are being slaughtered for food every single year; this doesn’t include the male chicks and the unproductive hens that are killed during the egg production. The number of slaughtered pigs is also growing and currently stands at 1.5 billion pigs that are being killed year to provide pork, bacon, sausages, and ham. This number has almost gone up three times during the last half-century.
Half a billion sheep are being taken to the abattoir each year. The number of goats killed became higher than that of cows eaten back in the 90s. The amount of seafood and thus, the number of individual fish and shellfish can’t be calculated. For perspective; about 150 million ton of seafood was produced for humans back in 2016.
The number of people on Earth has doubled during the last century. However, the amount of meat that we are consuming has almost tripled. A vast majority of this demand is generated from countries that have middle income. On the other hand, the appetite for meat in North America and Europe has somewhat hit a plateau and has even dropped. Poultry has caught up with pork and will most likely be overtaking it soon enough. Back in 1961, poultry accounted for 12% of meat production all over the world, whereas it now represents one-third of all the meat that is consumed in the world. Red meat, beef, has seen a decline in its global share during the last fifty years and stands at 22% but it still is about five times more popular as compared to lamb.
A lot of people consider meat to be a vital source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. However, not all meat is good, and some of the meat can even contribute to higher cholesterol on account of the saturated fats that it contains. The burgers, steaks, and sausages that are being served tend to be much bigger than the advised 70 grams a day. It has also been said that if we were to switch some of the beef, we eat with beans, peas, mycoprotein; we can reduce the mortality rate by 5-7%.
Regardless of what your views on meat might be, it has been proven that if we continue our meat consumption; we soon will run out of meat!