Climate Change and Meat Industry

People currently consume more meat than they ever have before. What was once a luxury food item for those who could afford it? Has fast become a staple in the diets of the majority of people. Climate change also depends on temperature and weather.

This surge in meat consumption is all because of income growth and better living standards around the world. Mass-scale industrialization, industrial globalization are also led by food MNCs. And enhancing science & technology that allows farmers to efficiently raise livestock and animals for higher profits. So that consumers can buy cheap meat throughout the year.

But, because our love of meat has major consequences for the environment and human health. Therefore, we wish to enable you to live a nicer, healthier, and more humane life by providing facts and study findings. For your convenience, we divide the facts and figures into subcategories.

So, whether you’re preparing a report on the linkages connecting animal agriculture and climate change. Or doing a school project, curious about the environmental and social implications of animal agriculture. Then here are some facts and statistics of the animal meat industry that may surprise you. And we hope that it pushes you to consume less meat, or, at the absolute. It is best to adopt a plant-based or vegan diet.

Habitual Meat Consumption

Every year, approximately 70 billion land animals are butchers for food. And this does not include fish and other seafood.

Hence, the global average consumption of meat is 34.1 kilos.

Australians are one of the world’s greatest meat-eaters, ingesting 110 kg of animal meat per year on average.

US and Australia also have comparable meat-eating habits. With chicken being the most popular meat, weighing in at over 40 kg per person.

Pig meat, veal, and beef account for 20 to 30 kg of meat per person. Fish accounts for about 15 kilograms per person. While sheep meat accounts for less than 10 kilograms per person.

In 2018, 360 million tonnes of beef were consumed globally.

However, in the 20 years leading up to 2019, worldwide meat consumption grows by 64%.

Therefore, the quantity of meat consumption triples in the previous 50 years. Despite the fact that the world’s population doubles.

Meat & milk demand expect an increase by 73% & 58%, by 2050, in comparison to 2010.

In both US and Australia, chicken also surpasses beef as the most preferable meat.

From the year 1998 to 2018, China’s meat consumption climb by 72 percent.

Therefore, the consumption of meat grows in Australia. And the United States over the 20 years to 2018. That lead to an increase in chicken consumption.

In 2017, Australians consumed an average of 300 gms of meat each day, in comparison to 93 gm worldwide.

Beef consumption per capita in Australia was around three times higher than the global average in 2018.

In the year 2018, sheepmeat accounts for 5 % of global meat consumption (excluding seafood). Whilst veal and beef account for 22 %, globally. Pork & chicken together account for 37 % of the total meat consumption.

Consumption of fish food is scaling at a rate of roughly 1.5 % yearly. That is from 9 kg in 1961 to 20.2 kg in 2015. Fish contributes about 20 % of the average per capita. Animal protein consumption for about 3.2 billion individuals.

Production of livestock

  • Firstly, livestock consumes 1/3 of the world’s grain.
  • If we did not nourish farm animals and instead consume the crop by ourselves. Then we could feed two times the world’s population with present-day global harvest (2019).
  • Brazil and India were the biggest veal and beef exporters in 2018. Usually, Australia ranks in third place.
  • Feedlots supply around 80% of the meat which is available in supermarkets in Australia.
  • Every year, almost 50 billion chickens slaughtering for human use.
  • To meet the global demand for ham, bacon, pork, and sausages, approximately 1.5 billion pigs kill every year. A figure that increases three times over the last 50 years.
  • However, every year, over 500 million sheep killing for meat.
  • On average, 1.5 billion cows kill for meat every year.

Animal Treatment

  • Dairy cattle are developing to yield up to 10 times the amount of milk they would normally produce.
  • New age chicken farming is called a “scientific accomplishment,”. As it takes only 35 days from egg to cooking pot, in comparison to 84 days in the 1960s.
  • The majority of chickens raise intensively, with up to 42 kilos of live chickens per square meter of floor space.
  • Dairy cows live for 20 years. However, poorly manage farms with high-yielding cattle or high illness rates butcher their animals as young as 5-6 years old. Or occasionally as young as 2-3 years old.
  • Although, Australia export more than 1.1 million live sheep and cattle in the year 2018.

Climate Change and the Meat Business

The livestock business expects to utilize 40% of global farmland, 36 % of crop calories produced & 29 % of agricultural water.

Considerably, meat production generates more emissions per calorie than veggie production. Although it is part of climate change, you can’t deny it. That the meat business is responsible for around 14.5 % of all human GHG emissions.

Beef production emits 4 times the amount of greenhouse gases as pork. And also 5 times the amount of GHGs as poultry.

Livestock farming emits more GHGs directly than all ships, railways, airplanes, & automobiles combined.

In the United States, beef cattle require 28 times more area & 11 times more water than dairy, pork, and poultry or eggs.

1 liter of ‘low-impact dairy milk consumes nearly twice as much area. And will produce emissions nearly twice as 1 liter of soymilk.

Brazil has the world’s greatest cattle population. Which results in the devastation of massive sections of the rainforest in the Amazon. Also contributing to 80 percent of deforestation.

There would be sufficient food for everybody in the United Kingdom if everyone turns vegan.

It would have similar environmental consequences as knocking 16 million cars off the road. If every household in the United Kingdom eliminate meat from their meal once a week.

On the basis of the area you live in, vegan diets can lower emissions from food by up to 73 percent.

Since Beef has a huge water footprint. On average it takes 15,400 liters of water to make 1kg of beef.

And has a greater environmental impact. One kg of beef requires an average of 15.5k liters of water.

Concerns About Meat and Health

For both men and women, prolonged consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, links a greater risk of mortality rates, heart disease, colon cancer, and type II diabetes.

People who consume animal protein have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The WHO categorizes processed meats like salami, bacon, ham, & frankfurts as a Group One carcinogen. That means there is good evidence and increase cancer risk.

Processed meat consumption raises the risk of stomach and bowel cancer.

Fermented meat & saturated fat intake in the United States and other highly developing countries surpasses nutritional demands. That contributes to the high prevalence of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, & several malignancies.

We hope that these facts will surely help to change your mind set on consumption of animal meat.