Statistics on animals slaughtered per year

Posted on 9 November 2010

Recent statistics have been published on how many animals are killed each year in order to feed humans in the USA.

In 2009 the average American meat eater was responsible for about 198 deaths:
1/7 of a cow, 2/5 of a pig, 1 turkey, 1½ chickens for eggs, 25 chickens for meat, 40 fish and 130 shellfish.

In total, 8.25 billion land animals and 51 billion sea animals died to feed Americans in 2009 alone. Over a lifetime, this amounts to 15,000 animals per meat eater. That’s a huge number of animals per person.

While one can not extrapolate these statistics directly to calculate numbers of animals killed per year in South Africa, since there are approximately 6 times more people in the USA than in South Africa, if South Africans ate a similar number of animals per person then we’d be responsible for 1.3 billion land animal and 8.5 billion sea animal deaths per year.

Compared to the previous 4 years, these numbers show a decrease of between 8-19% (depending on type of animal). It is thought that demand for meat was significantly affected by media attention on farm animal welfare issues in the USA.


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