In the second half of the nineteen hundreds, global meat consumption increased fivefold, passing from 45 million tonnes of meat consumed in 1950 to the current 300 million tonnes. According to FAO estimates, this figure is set to double by 2050…

The average consumption of meat today in industrialized countries is 224 grams of meat per person per day (around 80 kilos a year per person), compared to an average of 30 grams (11 kilos of meat a year per person) consumed in Africa.

Friend of the Earth Europe 2014, Meat Atlas
Source: Friend of the Earth Europe 2014, Meat Atlas

Figures concerning the numbers of animals slaughtered every year have reached exorbitant heights: 58 billion, 11 billion of which occur in China and 9 billion in the US. These staggering numbers alone refer to the amount of chickens slaughtered globally each year. Putting other species into the equation reveals figures that are still very high: one billion 383 million pigs; 517 million sheep; 430 million goats; 296 million cows are slaughtered yearly*.

In recent years, meat consumption has not only remained high in America and Europe, but has consistently grown in China, India and generally within those countries where a wealthy new middle class is emerging alongside a strong demographic increase (the Indian population, for instance, has grown by 200 million inhabitants every 10 years).

* Figures obtained from the Meat Atlas
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