400 Million Fewer Animals Were Killed for Food Last Year vs. 2007 Because People Are Eating Less Meat

hannah-piggie-smallsFrom comments by Governor Jerry Brown to reports from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, there’s widespread agreement that everyone needs to eat more plants.

Where there’s less consensus, however, is how to effect change. While many vegans believe Meatless Mondays and other cutting-back-consumption campaigns don’t push enough of a paradigm-shift, others argue that these are crucial first steps towards a more compassionate world.

Given that around 93 percent of people still eat meat, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone will cease doing so anytime soon. A world that eats far less meat, however, is already on the way. Meat consumption has been steadily declining in the U.S.—by 10% per capita since 2007, in fact.

In that year,  for example, the U.S. raised and killed 9.5 billion land animals for food. As of 2014, that number plummeted by a whopping 400 million (to 9.1 billion — click here to view the statistics), says Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection for The Humane Society of the United States.

“What that means is that compared to 2007, last year almost half a billion fewer animals were subjected to the torment of factory farming and industrial slaughter plants–and that’s despite the increase in the U.S. population,” Shapiro explains.

“That’s more animals than are experimented on, hunted, used in circuses, puppy mills, and end up in animal shelters each year in the U.S.—all combined.”

Recent years have seen massive leaps in veg-friendly campaigns, realistic meat and dairy replacements hitting the market, and a rising awareness of the health benefits of cutting back on animal products.

The HSUS Farm Animal Protection division has an arm that focuses entirely on meat reduction campaigns in institutional environments. Started by Kristie Middleton, it’s been going strong since 2011, and is rapidly expanding. In Los Angeles, for example, the team convinced the school district to switch to Meatless Mondays back in 2012. Today, that program alone is saving more than 700,000 meat-based meals from being served each week.

“The rates of vegetarianism in our country have remained around five to eight percent for years. But the rate of meat reduction—people who aren’t vegetarians but are cutting back on their animal consumption—is what’s really fueling this trend,” Shapiro explains.

In other words, people who are eating less meat are actually saving lives.

“In fact, a 2013 Mintel study found that while more than a third of Americans buy meat alternatives like Gardein, less than 10 percent of Americans identify as vegetarians. In other words, the market for vegetarian meats is being largely driven by non-vegetarians,” he explains.

This doesn’t diminish the importance of vegans, or the impact the vegan movement is having on mainstream society, but it does demonstrate that omnivores can (and do) drive large-scale, life-saving changes to our food system.

“It’s clear that meat reduction is what is sparing astronomical numbers of animals from torment and misery,” Shapiro adds.

Just because someone isn’t 100% vegan, doesn’t mean they’re not making a difference. As recent research demonstrates, 36% of Americans are open to plant-based eating, but most of those people aren’t vegans—or even vegetarians. They are amenable to change, however, and that change is taking the form of farm animals saved. 400 million of them last year, alone.

So maybe it IS worth getting your carnivorous uncle to switch to salads a couple nights a week. Based on these numbers, it obviously adds up.

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Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

A wizard of words, lover of all living things and vegan mac 'n cheese master, Hannah is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of LatestVeganNews.com. Her writing has appeared in Live Happy magazine, the Miami New Times, OneGreenPlanet.com, MindBodyGreen.com, and numerous other publications and websites. She's obsessed with Cocowhip, Just Mayo and Dandies marshmallows, and is totally addicted to the outdoors. You can reach Hannah directly at hannah.sentenac@gmail.com.

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137 Responses

  1. Great post. So important to highlight the positive influence that compassionate people have. The road ahead remains long but together we will create a sustainable change. Keep on being influential!

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Thanks so much! Totally agree – sustainable change is on its way.

    • Pippa Sweet says:

      Change is happening at last ! long queues & over 2000 went to vegan fair (Bournemouth) UK on 28th june its estimated about 40% arent vegan & I know a few who went who just waking up to the truth of the animals unbelievable suffering thanks to social media info, posts & activists like ourselves opening their eyes& hearts.a great film to show the bigger picture apart from the obvious poor animals suffering which must stop, watch Cowspiracy; joins the dots, the cover up of the true biggest cause of global warming animal factory farming.the world MUST stop abusing farming animals not just cos its totally unacceptable to torture ournother feeling cousins for human pleasure (!) but its totally unsustainable.Animals, planet, starving people & greedy people die .Simple solution; plants ! loads vegan info on FB ,youtube & everywhere online. https://youtu.be/oHfVajDbyJk

  2. Lazer yakimo says:

    I’m vegan and I’m happy to hear this. Everyone always says what are you going to do your only one person… So far in the past 2 years I’ve helped 5 people go vegan and I’m working on a few more now. And another person just came to us because she’s pre diabetic and is close to having heart disease and she also wants to change!!! 🙂

  3. Alex Cuevas says:

    This is simply awesome … we still have a long way to go but good news indeed

  4. Candice says:

    This is the best news ever!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Carol says:

    Have you looked at the rate of meat demand? Meat production and meat demand are not the same and often meat production is more closely tied to things like drought and zoonotic diseases, which effects pricing, than to people actually wanting meat. Demand for meat is the real metric. As a vegan I want to believe vegan outreach is the answer, but I think we need to look at this issue much more closely before making that claim.

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Hi Carol,
      You make a very good point, but the data has consistently shown a decrease in meat consumption over the past ten years, not from lack of availability, but from decreasing demand. More and more people are choosing to eat more plant-based foods and meat substitutes as awareness grows about the issues surrounding meat production and its effect on human health (and the environment). It’s a fascinating subject!

    • Bryce says:

      Exactly what I was thinking

  6. Nora-Adrienne says:

    Another reason for the drop in the beef industry slaughter is that with the closing of the US’s largest Glatt Kosher Slaughtering business we’ve been getting our meat from both Canada and South America.

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      That may be so Nora, but there’s no question that meat consumption is also dropping, and has been consistently for the past ten years.

  7. Jim says:

    Fewer, but heavier chickens is mostly driving this. In 2007 the US produced 29 billion pounds of processed chicken. In 2014 the US produced 35 billion pounds of processed chicken, even with 400M fewer birds.

    We’ve bred faster growing chickens more efficient at converting feed to meat. It’s a win for animal welfare advocates in that fewer lives were taken, but the lives of the birds who are raised aren’t necessarily richer, just shorter.

  8. Andi says:

    Wonderful! Do you have links to the actual data? I’ve got someone telling me this isn’t quite true but I’m really hoping it is! 🙂

  9. Wonderful news! Let us work to see that this continues and increases because there is no way we will avert a climate catastrophe and other environmental disasters without a major decrease in the production of meat, since the methane emitted by cows and other farmed animals is a major contributor to the warming of the planet.

    =======

  10. Donell Malone says:

    A brand new writer can cite their sources to validate their claims, an editor-in-chief must not get paid to write. Especially the EIC is usually in charge of quality assurance (saying what goes up and what doesn’t) Take secondary writing again.

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Actually Donell, there’s a hyperlink in the story that goes directly to the statistics cited, and the primary source is listed in the article, the HSUS, and Paul Shapiro specifically.

  11. James says:

    I’m glad to hear that the rate of meat consumption in the US is declining, but your title exaggerates the extent of that decline.

    “Meat consumption has been steadily declining in the U.S.—by 10% per capita since 2007, in fact.

    In that year, for example, the U.S. raised and killed 9.5 billion land animals for food. As of 2014, that number plummeted by a whopping 400 million, says Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection for The Humane Society of the United States.”

    If you’re going to share news like this please do the world a favor and share the truth, posting misleading titles like this hurts your journalistic integrity and only serves to influence people into thinking they’ve made more change than they actually have, if you want humans to continue along this trend help us realize how much more change we still need to continue making if we want to put an end to a horrible industry.

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way, James. I’m not sure how you find the title misleading, as the 400 million number is accurate. I think the piece is extremely clear about the numbers and the reality of the situation. Clearly we have a long way to go, but the point is that things are changing, and it’s important to focus on the positive developments versus constantly beating the drum of criticism and judgment.

      • James says:

        400 fewer animals weren’t killed for food last year, that number didn’t drop by 400 million in the past year it dropped by 400 million in the past 7 years. You have a quote in your article that clearly states this.
        ” “What that means is that compared to 2007, last year almost half a billion fewer animals were subjected to the torment of factory farming and industrial slaughter plants–and that’s despite the increase in the U.S. population,” Shapiro explains. ”
        That number is being compared to 2007 so that is a drop of 400 million animals slaughtered over 7 years, this means on average 60 million fewer animals were killed per year. I can understand how you misinterpreted that information but your headline is false. To offer some constructive criticism, you should take a closer look at your source material the next time you’re writing an article.

        • Charlie says:

          James, wouldn’t that mean that MORE than 400 million animal lives have been spared since 2007? If the rate has been consistently declining each year, then we can count the 400 million animal lives saved last year along with consecutively smaller amounts of animal lives saved from 2008 through 2013.

          • They be saved another year until it’s there turn to be beaten and slaughtered. Each animals that slaughtered gives room for the others to be slaughtered and beaten. It does’t keep them from being slaughtered.

          • But no matter what no animal will be kept being beaten and slaughtered as long we got pets. Cats need protein to survive and how we know them animals are being tortured then slaughtered for others to survive. People can call the companies , but a person still know their telling the truth.

          • James says:

            Charlie you seem to have misunderstood my comment. Last year there were not 400 million fewer animals slaughtered, there were 400 million fewer animals slaughtered SINCE 2007 in total.

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            I just wrote back to your earlier comment, James — I didn’t see it until now. I think you misunderstood Paul’s quote. It was 400 Million fewer in 2014 ONLY. If we added every year between 2007 and 2014, the number would be much higher.

        • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

          Actually James, that’s not correct. In 2007, there were 9.5 Billion animals slaughtered. In 2014, the number dropped to 9.1 Billion. That’s a difference of 400 Million, only including 2014. If you totaled the seven years in between, the number would be much larger. The statistics are linked in the article and available here: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/resources/research/stats_slaughter_totals.html

          • Chelsea says:

            Are we looking at the same data? There has been an average of 9.1 billion killed since 2009. With it dropping from 9.5 to 9.1 between 2008 and 2009, but staying pretty consistent since then..

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            We are, Chelsea. The point of this piece is that production (and consumption) have decreased significantly in the last 10 years. Paul made a comparison between 2007 and 2014 as it demonstrated the long-term trend. While it hasn’t dropped as much in recent years, that doesn’t take away from the overall drop, or the fact that meat consumption is also declining.

          • Emma says:

            James, I was about to say the same thing – it is incredibly annoying and misleading that this website has misconstrued what Shapiro said. And I can’t believe people on these comments still don’t seem to understand… the title suggests that the number dropped by 400 million IN ONE YEAR. That is not the case. It dropped by that number over seven years, which is not as dramatic a decrease. Please amend this article LVN. Vegans rely on having accurate facts to back up their arguments with and this does not help!!!

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            Hi Emma,
            Please see my previous comments to James. The number is not 400 Million total in seven years, it’s 400 Million in 2014 alone. That’s what Paul was referring to in the quote you mention. If we totaled the decreases from each year since 2007, the number would be much larger than 400 Million. The link to the data is in the article.

          • Emma says:

            Hannah, I’m not disputing that – I am sure that if you added up the deficit each year it would total more than 400m. However, you must admit that by saying ‘400m fewer animals were killed last year’ you are implying that the number dropped by 400m WITHIN THAT YEAR, i.e. between 2013 and 2014. You should quote Shapiro correctly and say ‘compared against the figures for 2007’. This is quite irresponsible journalism tbh.

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            Thanks for your input, but I disagree. The headline isn’t the story, it’s just a short teaser, and it has to be concise. I think the piece itself makes the entire scenario quite clear. Paul was quoted correctly, to the letter, and he was in fact the inspiration for the story.

          • Emma says:

            “They are amenable to change, however, and that change is taking the form of farm animals saved. 400 million of them last year, alone.”

            Sorry but this is obviously misleading. Just because you quote him verbatim once in the article doesn’t mean you can misconstrue his words as a conclusion and post the same incorrect information in a headline just for clickbait. Like I said, vegans need clear and accurate information to share. Any omni with half a brain will just dismiss this article as bad stats.

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            Paul gave this article his stamp of approval and shared it, so I hardly think his words were misconstrued. The numbers are accurate and the conclusion is valid. The bottom line is that hundreds of millions of animals WERE spared from the industrialized food system last year due to reduced meat consumption, and that’s the point being made. Change is happening, and that’s all I’m trying to share. This movement needs to do more encouraging and less criticizing.

          • J says:

            I wish that you people would take all of this passion and energy and turn it towards other things. Such as people first. Do you know how many people are hurting in the world??? Why don’t you help people first. After all animals are a lower life form. I know you guys don’t want to hear that, but it is true. And although I am totally opposed to treating animals inhumanly for food, including the things they do to mass produce… I still believe that we are supposed to consume meat the right way. That’s what I wish all you animal rights organizations would spend your time on…not trying to convince people to give up meat altogether.

          • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

            I’m sure you’re aware that this website is geared towards vegans — these stories are not designed to convince people to give up meat, only to spread the word about the positive ways veganism and plant-based eating is impacting the world.
            Do you actually think we don’t care about humans? The planet will literally be destroyed if humans continue to consume meat and animal products at this rate, and humans will be destroyed with it. Are you aware that animal agriculture is the number one cause of ocean dead zones? Rainforest deforestation? Greenhouse gas emissions?
            Are you aware that animal products are the leading cause of heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer? Humans are dying by the millions because they’re addicted to eating meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s a fact.
            Are you aware that animals think and feel and suffer? Every year, scientists learn more about their intellectual capabilities. Have you watched any slaughterhouse videos? Have you seen for yourself what they experience?
            If you think animal advocates don’t care about human rights, you’re way off base. Animal rights and human rights are part of the same issue. You can’t compartmentalize compassion.
            Please please please educate yourself on the impact of animal agriculture and ALL its negative repercussions before attacking animal advocates for trying to make a difference. Watch Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Forks Over Knives. Learn more about this and stop wasting time criticizing people who are working to make this world a more compassionate place. http://www.mfablog.org/6-ways-human-rights-and-animal-rights-are

      • Terry Ward says:

        I do wish you folks would get your facts right
        U.S. producers/ranchers have reduced their stock because of weather changes -energy costs-feed prices..not because people are going vegan.
        In reality a 2015 sharp increase in beef prices corresponds to a very small rise in consumption of beef.
        And alas, our loss is China’s (and other far eastern countries’) gain.
        When production is decreased in civilized countries, production moves to countries what have no translatable word for ‘humane’.
        And no outlet for public outcry, assuming there is any.
        When production is forced to these countries, ours looks like Eden, comparatively speaking.
        The bottom line is be careful what you wish for.

  12. jim says:

    It’s a shame those facts are wrong. Americans are eating more meat than ever. And vegans pushing the issue aren’t helping, so please don’t fool yourselves.

  13. Robin Abas says:

    This is such good news. I was at a works ‘do’ yesterday and the buffet made me feel sick, so much meat & fish and all my colleagues chomping on the decomposing carcasses of these poor animals… its hard to have hope when you feel like you are alone and then this article puts it all in perspective… I’m a teacher, 2 of my students and 1 of my colleagues went vegan this year… every little helps.. We can make a difference.. Thank you so much..

    • I feel the same why. It makes me sick to see my roommate eat meat But i can’t make him by force. I can only educate him by what i know then leave it to him. I am teaching my parents to go vegan after their doctor told them to lay off the meat , dairy , and easy on wheat. Change is slow , but lease it’s happening after million of years . But i think most people are changing cause of their health no for the animals. But maybe both.

    • Robin, let’s connect! I came across your comment and noticed you were a vegan teacher. As my form of activism, I “specialize” in launching influencer network for vegan professionals in the institutional worlds (business/corporate, government…) As I come across vegan teachers through my LinkedIn efforts, my next project will likely be a platform for vegan education professionals. It would be great to connect. Please find me on LinkedIn or Facebook (Darina Bockman). Thank you!

  14. If we can get the technology like star trek where any food looks real but all protein made from non animal protein. Also looks unhealthy, but really healthy for everybody. That be great. We all got to go through the dark to get to the light in this f up world we live in and it’s going to continue off people don’t stand up and fight against the evil demons or entities that makes people narrow mind or evil vile beings . Thank you people for caring about your health , planet, and animals.

  15. John says:

    After reading the article, and the comments I am saddened to realize that there are such misguided people out there who place more value on animals than humans. Whats it like in your little fantasy worlds?

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      How exactly does caring for the well-being of animals take away from caring for the well-being of human beings, John? There is no limit on the supply of compassion. Not to mention that the production of animal products is hugely detrimental to human health and the planet we live on. As I vegan, I care for ALL life on this planet, as all life is capable of suffering.

    • Maria Fonseca says:

      And I am saddened that there are individuals out there who are so weak minded that the only way to pretend to be strong , is to condemn those who extend compassion to the whole of existence and therefore the strong ones who fight every day to stay sane in the midst of such arrogance. Life does not discriminate in it`s value, only humans do.

  16. Sam says:

    Please can we stop this Rediculous push for a world without carnivores… Your basically asking for the food chain set up by nature to be disrupted. We eat less meat that leads to increased population of herbivores leading to increased consumption of plants which leaves fewer for insects which leads to fewer carnivorous insects to have food which leads to birds and other animals to have dwindling food supplies and so on. If you would just sit back and think the food chain is there for a reason and we are omnivores plain and simple we need meat and plants not just one it’s unhealthy either way to much meat or to much plant. We need to balance but to completely stop what has been a part of nature for thousands of years is just not natural. So if you actually do care let carnivores do what they do and eat the creatures lower on the food chain so the world can keep on track how it’s meant to be

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Actually Sam, animals produced in factory farms are in no way a part of the food chain. We breed them, they do not naturally exist. Animal agriculture is hugely detrimental to human health and the environment, and in no way is it natural.

      • ladyjazz says:

        Thank you Hannah for clarifying this for Sam and others that think that factory farmed ‘food animals’ are somehow part of the ‘food chain’. These innocent beings are brought into the world for the sole purpose of being killed/processed for food as cheaply and quickly as possible. It is a blight on humanity. Choose compassion. Choose VEGAN.

        • Josh says:

          Are you suggesting, if it’s the farming that’s the problem, that the world would be better off if we all took up hunting for our food. An “I’m hungry, so I’ll go kill a deer and hopefully I’ll eat most of it before it spoils.” approach?

        • scott says:

          Vegan is not the answer. For a start I would never be. Pets need me and so do humans who wish for a balanced diet. The answer is looking after animals better before we eat them. If we do not eat them, most would never get born. Even many plants eat insects. It’s unfair to state ‘go Vegan’ when so many animals eat meat, go and tell that to a lion. Finally, vegan also includes dairy…are you crazy?? A life without milk! Cows need to be miked. Look at the bigger picture!

          • JR says:

            Your comment literally made me scratch my head. Humans don’t NEED meat because if that were the case, there would be no vegans alive. The idea that we need meat has already been disproven. When vegans start dying because of their lack of meat, then you can bring that up again. Even pets have been known to live long, healthy lives on vegetarian diets…

            “Looking after the animals better” brings up the ethical dilemma on whether we should even force these animals to be born in the first place if their sole purpose is to be killed to feed us. It doesn’t matter how many hugs and kisses and how many times you pet an animal and make it feel comfortable, because before it was even born, you’ve already decided it’s fate, and no animal or living sentient being wants to die. Even cage free/free ranged animals doesn’t mean they don’t suffer. I’ve seen a free ranged cow chase after a truck that took it’s calf. Animals feel pain and mothers especially feel compassion for their children.

            I don’t understand why a lot of meat eaters always bring up lions. It baffles me. Like, why, out of ALL the animals, do you compare us to lions? Do you jump on your prey and eat your meat raw? No, I will not tell a lion to go vegan, because it won’t understand me but hopefully another human might. Arguably one of the things that makes humans different from wild animals (lions) is that we have a choice. We are fully capable of living on a plant based/vegan diet (proven thanks to all of us alive and well vegans). And if you can live a life that doesn’t involve another’s suffering for your own selfish desires, why wouldn’t you?

            How are vegans crazy for not consuming dairy? Is that cow your mother and are you still a baby? No, right? So why are you still drinking breast milk that’s not even from your own mother? If a cow doesn’t need it’s moms breast milk after a certain age, why do you feel like you need it all your life as an adult? Why don’t you just drink human breast milk? Are you crazy?

            Do you think milking cows get pregnant naturally? Do you think that these big animal agriculture and factory farms are waiting for cows to naturally get pregnant? No, they’re not. They’re using artificial insemination to force female cows to become pregnant, just to exploit it for its milk. What happens to the calfs? Males are taken for veal or raised for meat. Females are raised to be milking cows. They’re raised to be raped (or forced to become pregnant against their will) just so you can have a glass of milk with your cookies. Look at the bigger picture because from your comment, it seems you still have a lot of zooming out to do.

    • Maria Fonseca says:

      You have no idea how irrational your arguments are. None of them are true, and nothing is meant to be. Humans beings have created a world to fulfill their self interests at the cost of every living being on this planet. It`s a self centered , bury your head in the sand mentality that causes unnecessary suffering in this otherwise beautiful and peaceful existence.

  17. Akhileshvari says:

    I found this article very refreshing, as it points out that even those people who are consciously limiting their meat intake are making a difference. A lot of omnivores find giving up meat really difficult, even though they believe it is wrong. It’s a bit like drug addicts or alcoholics who want to stop but they are addicted. I think vegans and vegetarians really need to show much more compassion to omnivores who are making attempts at limiting their meat intake. I have one Facebook friend who is vegetarian every second day and that is the best she can do right now. I am so proud of her. People in this situation need encouragement, not abuse. Let’s extend the same mood of love and compassion to the humans we know who are taking steps towards a more compassionate way of life.

  18. Ñame lesa says:

    I’m vegetarian but I don’t really think this is because or thanks to us I think this can be ’cause there’s more poor people every day, please be more realistic.

  19. Sam Treloar says:

    It appears that a lot of people are having problems interpreting the statistics correctly. Reading the right-hand column where the totals for all animals counted are rounded out to 0.1 of a billion (100 million if a billion is a thousand millions) it is clear to see there’s been little change apart from one year, 2009.

    From 2007 to 2008 there was no change – 9.5 billion each. It dropped 0.4 billion in 2009, 400 million.,and actually increased the next year by 100 million. Every subsequent year was either 9, 9.1 or 9.2 billion – in fact there is no difference between 2009 and 2014.

    2009 was the last big shift and it probably has little to do with customers’ influence and more to do with technology affecting farming techniques. Clearly the only real change since then is that technically, as the global population has increased from 6.8 billion to 7.2 billion (that’s 400 million more people) in real terms per capita slaughter has dropped even though 9.1 billion farm animals are slaughtered each year.

    What is apparent to me is that less cows and sheep are being killed as people eat more fowl and swine – and perhaps seafood as well although there are no statistics on this. If you added rabbits and non-farmed animals you might even get a different picture again!

    As a strict vegetarian (I recently have changed the brand of Merlot I drink after learning that gelatin is used as finings for De Bortoli cask wines) and a strong advocate for cow protection, it pleases me to see that the trend continues for reduced cow slaughter – in some religions like Hinduism, a sin equivalent to killing your mother.

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Hi Sam,
      You’re absolutely right about the totals from the different years. Clearly this is a very complex issue, and many, many factors are at work. The point of this piece was not to attempt to address all of these factors (otherwise it would have been much, much more comprehensive), but simply to highlight one key fact hammered home by Paul Shapiro in our interview: 400 fewer million farm animals were slaughtered in 2014 versus 2007 — a positive development! Certainly we could debate the reasoning behind that change and discuss the types of animals involved, population changes, etc. — as I said, there are numerous factors involved and many different opinions about those factors. Given the rising numbers of vegetarian and vegan options, Meatless Monday programs, mainstream acceptance of these lifestyles and other developments, however, it seems clear that consumer behavior is changing.

  20. Eliza says:

    Hello, I’d like to add here interesting note: I’ve read at The Civilizing Process (Norberth Elias) that from Medieval Age to nowadays (to 1900’s more specifically, because that’s when the book finish the research) people eat less meat than it is being offering, thinking that nowadays our meat offer is bigger, we eat less meat! And it is awesome for me those statistics which you showed now. It means that we are coursing to a new diet that less animals are going to be killed! I believe.

  21. Linda Hitsman says:

    I’ m damned if I’m going to let the government or public pressure determine what I eat; You eat what you want and leave me alone. By the way, if you don’t know it, Jerry Brown is an idiot and a clown. End of rant

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      Hi Linda! I can assure you that no one here is telling you what to eat — as you can see, the audience for this site is primarily vegans and vegetarians, so our messaging is really directed at those groups. 🙂
      I do want to mention, however, that what each of us chooses to eat does effect others, both because of the environmental impact of animal agriculture and the suffering of animals, themselves.
      Most animal lovers would be absolutely horrified by how their food gets to their plate, and that’s always something worth considering (and worth researching, if you haven’t seen firsthand how the meat and dairy industries operate).
      You’re absolutely right that this is a personal choice, but as with any choice, there are consequences.

  22. Tony says:

    It astounds me the lengths to which Hannah is going to deny click-baiting! I was vegetarian for most of my life, however I worked in the military and had to start eating meat again as the vegetarian diet was inhibiting my recovery from an injury. I have since realised that the negativity toward veganism is not people’s reluctance to change, but their reluctance to be associated with the vegan movement.

    Using figures like those in the title to attract interest only generates scorn from those who look at the true facts; there were 9.1bn animals killed in the US in 2014, which is where the value has hovered for fifteen years. Claiming success based on these figures is just wrong, it’s the same kind of vanity as bankers awarding themselves huge bonuses while turning a blind eye to the negatives of their situations.

    If you want to enact change, deal in facts. If you mislead people, they will resent it, and turn against your cause no matter their usual tendencies. And never, EVER, use your position as a source of moral superiority; quite besides the fact that more animals are killed in some types of arable farming than pastoral (see link below).

    If you really want to make a difference go tell a fat person to eat less. If people in the West didn’t overconsume we’d save resources across every industry, not farming alone.

    http://theconversation.com/ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659

  23. Shellethics says:

    While numbers in the US may be on a small decline, the number of animals killed in other parts of the world continues to rise.

    Half of the entire world’s population of pigs live in China, and with their booming population and economy, it is only increasing.

    Australia also sends most of its killed dairy cows to US as hamburger meat, an import figure which does not appear to be included in these numbers.

    • noncents says:

      “In that year, for example, the U.S. raised and killed 9.5 billion land animals for food. As of 2014, that number plummeted by a whopping 400 million”

      Exactly. These figures only show that less meat is produced in the USA.

      Entire countrysides are being clear cut in central/south America solely for the USA meat market.

      This article might serve a purpose at convincing people being meatless is not all that bad, but it does so nefariously since the reality doesn’t reflect a reduced consumption.

  24. Linda adams says:

    Wegmans added a freezer to their small health section about 10 yrs ago. (Dont quote me..somethin like that).We moved cross country..we came back last yr.We were saying this section wouldn’t even last…and they’d remove it the week it expanded.We came back expecting it gone. We couldn’t believe our eyes.It expanded by about 15 sep aisles and the freezer now goes the length of the section.They included a Mediterranean bar..a TON of vegetarian n vegan selections on their hot bar and expanded the salad bar and hot bar.They also have a huge gluten free section..and more vegetarian choices on the other side of the store in the regular freezer section.Not to mention it doesn’t need to be marked or from the health sect to be vegetarian or vegan.We were AMAZED and never expected a hometown Supermarket to embrace change….they aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their hearts ….they are obviously profitting and that means things are changing for the better.Only time I complain is..I used to be able to grab my earth balance mayo n butter etc…without waiting for someone to get out of my way.lol.

  25. Katta G. Murty says:

    This is really not a great news for animals. Human population continues to grow; the present 7.3 billion (?) human population will grow to 10 billion fairly soon; and who knows it may continue for higher levels. With this, the area of land for human buildings, and many other human uses keeps growing with less and less available for animals to live without cruel human interference. If you love animals, please do anything you can to inform world leaders to replace present “CO2 release limits for various countries” with “population limits for various countries”.

  26. Walter says:

    400 Million Fewer Animals Were Killed for Food Last Year …

  27. David Adams says:

    Really? 93 percent huh? Well no one asked me, my family or anyone I know that’s vegan If we eat meat, eggs or dairy. So that 93 % needs to take a few people out of that percentage.

  28. Steff says:

    Good news. The change is happening.

  29. Seth says:

    The numbers in the statistics cited don’t add up. 9 million chicken plus 30,000 cattle plus a few hundred thousand other animals doesn’t even come close to equaling a billion. Am I missing something here?

  30. Cristina says:

    ¡Bravo! 400 millones menos se asesinatos de inocentes. Una buena noticia, pero hay que seguir luchando por los animales.

  31. Amber says:

    I’m doing a vegan challenge next month. I not only think people should be eating less meat, but MORE vegetables. There is no denying the healing properties of plants. Plants rule!

    • Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief says:

      So true Amber! Plant power! 😉 Congrats on the vegan challenge, I’m sure you’ll rock it.

  32. Amelia Ghiggioli says:

    I know everyone here believes they are doing the right thing towards animals but you are actually putting many farmers in a position where they are in a very bad financial state. Farmers all over the world rely on their meat products to provide money to support their family. I myself am a beef breeder and the money produced from selling my animals is put into my education, along with the education of my brother and sister. The meat market pays the mortgage, pays the electricity bills, pays the phone bills and most of all pays the feed and vet bills! The less people that eat meat, the less farmers! Good luck eating all your vegetables when you have no one to grow them.
    The old indians used to say that vegan was just an old word they used to describe a shitty hunter.

  33. Jack says:

    Where’s this data from?

  34. Ben says:

    It seems pretty misleading to say that “people who are eating less meat are actually saving lives”. Presumably almost the entire figure is comprised not of animals who were ‘saved’ as you claim, but animals who just never came into existence. I agree that it’s a good thing that there is less suffering in the world; but this statistic belies the likely truth that almost no animal positively benefits from people eating less meat (or indeed, from eating no meat) if the fallout of that is only that fewer animals are bred for slaughter. The central ethical issue is what happens to the animals that do exist.

  35. truth lover says:

    I am extremely curious as to not just statements and views such as ‘ the impact of raising animals being harmful to health and environment’, but what is the solution? Shouldn’t we as opposed to not eating them slaughter them right away and get it over with? Are we going to use tax payers money to keep them in zoos? Let the species go extinct? Or keep them as pets (can just immagine the uproar at that)? What was nature’s intended purpose of such damaging species? oh right to provide poop… in a factory… so it can eventually be shoveled over to a soil devoid of nutrients thanks to grain farming and other domesticated vegatables (previously grasses).

  36. Linda Jane O'Brien says:

    It’s a hard one to properly evaluate. Change is happening and we can only validate the facts with figures. Sadly this is like an eternal tango, 2 steps forward, 3 back and vise-versa. Change, especially when it implies true applicability, making a true and honest effort by taking a journey from within, that’s where it all starts, is not easy for some, especially those with children, low paying, long hour jobs, they take the easy option in food preparation, and even if their hearts are bent towards change, their heads dictate otherwise. Nonetheless, we must persevere and keep the faith. The choices we have available to us today, and not just in the food domain, are numerous, it’s all about commitment and applicability, otherwise it’s like having a goal compared to a gun, the ammunition, but never having the courage to pull the trigger.

  37. David M. says:

    Do you have an Instagram Account?

  38. Cows require about 20 pounds of food eaten per a pound of beef. It’s so simple as pointed out in the book “Thoughtful Living” that besides the present problem of distribution of food that really could feed the world’s population well, by a reasonable reduction in eating meats we’d have plenty of food to feed triple the current world’s population. In some third world countries, there’s an over-emphasis on eating meat as if it’s suppose to be a prize or feeling of richness to eat meat and undercuts their ability to be well nourished.

  39. ubu says:

    “If you are part of the solution, you are in fact the unconscious source of the problem.” Problem/solution are one manifestation that can only be perceived as separate.

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  2. December 29, 2015

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  43. July 7, 2016

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  44. July 20, 2016

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  45. July 25, 2016

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