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USDA's official number of animals killed for food

Update to numbers in article: the USDA slaughter stats, but at the end of the article are more thorough numbers: animal killed for Americans' food. This number includes animals that die for reasons other than slaughter (like layer hens and discarded male layer chicks, most of which are not slaughtered), and in also includes animals killed abroad whose meat is imported to the US. Most of all, it includes sea animals, which the USDA numbers don't include, but which add a lot.

USDA slaughter stats 2008

Cattle: 35,507,500
Pigs: 116,558,900
Chickens: 9,075,261,000
Layer hens: 69,683,000
Broiler chickens: 9,005,578,000
Turkeys: 271,245,000


Animals used for food production account for 97% of all animals killed in US slaughterhouses, labs, pounds, and open spaces. Although they are capable of experiencing most feelings that we and our beloved companion animals do, farmed animals are view and treated by the meat, dairy, and egg industries as mere tools of production.

The number of animals killed in the US reached a new record in 2000, and the number is expected to continue rising, according to the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Survey (NASS). The overall rise was driven by a massive switch to consumption of chicken flesh. Moreover, one in ten farm animals died of stress induced disease or injury before slaughter. None of these figures include fish, which are not counted by any government agency.

According to NASS reports and expert interviews, 8,792,000,000 "broiler" chickens and 492,700,000 "layer" hens were killed for food in 2000, as well as 304,000,000 turkeys and 26,100,000 ducks, for a total of 9,551,000,000 birds, and is expected to continue to rise.

Among mammals 41,700,000 cows and calves were killed for food in 2000, as well as 115,200,000 pigs and 4,300,000 sheep, for a total of 161,200,000. These stats are also expected to continue to rise.

Thus, the total number of all animals killed for food in 2000 was 9.7 billion.

In more personal terms, the average American meat-eating man, woman, and child subsidize the abuse and slaughter of over 37 animals per year. It's much more if they eat sea dwelling animals). That's 2,800 animals in a 75-year lifetime. This number includes 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.

One dirty little secret of today's agribusiness industry is that 857,000,000 or nearly 8.8 perfect of the total, suffered lingering deaths from disease, malnutrition, injury, or suffocation, associated with today's factory farming practices.

In addition, 212,000,000 male "layer" chicks were discarded shortly after birth, since males can not lay eggs and are not of the right genetic breeding to be valuable for meat production. Usually the male chicks are ground up alive or discarded to suffocate to death in plastic garbage bags. Investigators have even found live chicks that have been dumped directly into hatchery dumpsters.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

* Eliminate meat, dairy, and eggs from your diet.
* Eliminate leather, wool, fur, & silk from your wardrobe.
* Educate yourself and others.

http://www.veganhealth.org/
http://www.pcrm.org/  http://www.pcrm.org/health/Info_on_Veg_Diets/index.html  http://www.notmilk.com/  -- a website specifically about the health dangers of consuming dairy products
http://www.veganyumyum.com
http://www.vegan.org 

Further info http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/2000slaughter_stats.html  


Sources:

* Action For Animals
* The Farm Report (a publication of the Farm Animal Reform Movement)


Average and Total Numbers of Animals  
Who Died to Feed Americans in 2008
 
 

Chickens

    Total number died for food: 8.13 billion  
                             
    (7.67 billion for meat, 458 million for eggs)  

    Average number killed per American meat-eater: 27.5  
                             (26 for meat, 1.5 for eggs)

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 2,147 
                            
    (2,028 for meat, 120 for eggs)

 

Turkeys

    Total number died for food: 269 million

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 0.91

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 71

 

Pigs

    Total number died for food: 117.6 million

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 0.40

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 31

 

Steers and Calves

    Total number died for food: 40.8 million

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 0.14

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 10.8

 

Rabbits

    Total number died for food: 2.4 million

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 0.009

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 0.69

 

Fish

    Total number died for food: 6.5 billion

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 22

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 1,700

 

Shellfish

    Total number died for food: 64 billion

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 218

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 17,000

 
 
 
 

ALL LAND ANIMALS

    Total number died for food: 8.56 billion

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 29

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 2,261

 

ALL SEA ANIMALS

    Total number died for food: 71 billion

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 240.

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 19,000

 

ALL ANIMALS

    Total number died for food: 80. billion

    Average number consumed per American meat-eater: 270

    Average number consumed per American lifetime: 21,000

* Note: Totals may not add up because of independent rounding.

 

Comparisons by Year 

The average meat-eater in 2008 ate 12 fewer animals than in 2007 (including 1.4 fewer land animals and 0.7 fewer fish), and 36 fewer than in 2006 (including 1.7 fewer land animals and 2.4 fewer fish). That�s 3 billion fewer animals killed to feed Americans in 2008 than in 2007, and about 9 billion fewer than in 2006, a three percent and ten percent decrease respectively. That includes more than 300 million fewer land animals in 2008 than in 2007 or 2006, a four percent decrease. This decrease was consistent across categories, though greatest for cattle and for chickens raised for meat; only egg-laying hens saw an increase in deaths. 
 

Total Number Died to Feed Americans (millions of animals) 

  Chickens

for Meat

Chickens for Eggs Turkeys Pigs Steers & Calves All Land Animals Fish Shellfish All Sea Animals All Animals
2008 7,673 458.0 269.2 117.6 40.8 8,561 6,500 64,000 71,000 80,000
2007 8,024 435.4 274.2 118.4 43.5 8,898 6,700 67,000 73,000 82,000
2006 8,031 415.0 273.0 114.9 42.4 8,879 7,100 73,000 80,000 89,000
 
 

Average Number of Animals Consumed Per American Meat Eater 

  Chickens

for Meat

Chickens for Eggs Turkeys Pigs Steers & Calves All Land Animals Fish Shellfish All Sea Animals All Animals
2008 26 1.53 0.91 0.40 0.14 28.95 22 218 240 269
2007 27 1.47 0.94 0.40 0.15 30.37 23 228 251 281
2006 28 1.42 0.94 0.40 0.15 30.60 24 251 275 306
 


 

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