U.S. Meat Consumption Statistics

U.S. Animal Consumption Statistics

U.S. Meat Production and Consumption Statistics

  • The average American consumes 270 pounds of meat per year (Earth Policy Institute)
  • 9 million broiler chickens are killed and consumed for food in the U.S. each year (Purdue University, Animal Food Education Network)
  • 69 million laying hens are killed and consumed for food in the U.S. each year (USDA, 2008)
  • 30 million cows are killed and consumed for food in the U.S. each year; 400 cows are killed every hour in the U.S. (USDA, 2008)
  • 116 million pigs are killed and consumed for food in the U.S. each year (USDA, 2008)
  • 45 million turkeys are killed and consumed over Thanksgiving in the U.S. each year, and 271 million turkeys are killed and consumed in the U.S. each year overall (Purdue University, Animal Food Education Network)
  • Over 30 million cattle are raised and killed each year for U.S. meat eaters. There has been a 60% increase in the number of cows raised and killed for beef in the U.S. from 12.5 million in 1920 to 30 million in 2012 (Earth Policy Institute)
  • The U.S. is producing more beef now than in the 70s. The average weight of cattle has increased 30% from 541 pounds in 1921 to 784 pounds in 2009 due to drugs, antibiotics and grain/corn feed (USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service)
  • The average person in the U.S. consumes more meat per person than any other country in the world, except for Luxembourg (Earth Policy Institute)
  • Overall meat consumption in the U.S. has risen 400% since 1909, when Americans consumed 9.8 pounds of meat per year, increasing to 52.2 billion pounds of meat per year in 2012 (Earth Policy Institute)
  • In the U.S., approximately 11 billion land animals are raised and killed for meat, eggs, and milk. Of the 11 billion, 86% are birds—98% of land animals in agriculture—and the overwhelming majority are “broiler” chickens raised for meat. Approximately 1 million are killed every hour (Humane Society of the United States, HSUS.org)
  • The average American meat-eating man, woman, and child subsidizes the slaughter of over 37 land animals per year. This is the equivalent of 2,800 animals in a 75-year lifetime to include 2,630 chickens and ducks, 123 turkeys, 32 pigs, 13 cows and calves, and 2 sheep. None of these figures include fish, lobster, crab, or other aquatic animals (USDA, Slaughter Statistics, 2008)
  • More than 95 percent of the land animals killed for food in the U.S. are birds (Humane Society of the United States, HSUS.org)
  • Total consumption of fish for food in the U.S. is 4.8 billion pounds per year, or 15.8 pounds of fish per person per year (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA)
  • Every year in the United States, approximately 35 million cattle are raised for beef, 9 million cows for milk, and 450,000 calves for veal (Humane Society of the United States, HSUS.org)
  • According to the USDA’s Census of Aquaculture completed in 2005, nearly 1.3 billion fish were raised for human consumption per year, with the industry dominated by catfish, trout, tilapia, bass, and salmon (Humane Society of the United States, HSUS.org)
  • According to the U.S. EPA there are approximately 450,000 Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) or farms on a small land area in the U.S. There are approximately 18,800 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the U.S. (EPA)

 

Photo credit: Boston Public Library via Flicker/Photopin

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