Meat Consumption is out of control!
The USDA tracks and monitors food consumption statistics, and publishes a fact book periodically that helps shed some light on these numbers for us. If we monitor meat consumption in general from 1950 till the latest factbook I can find in 2000, we see a drastic
increase in consumption per person.
In 1950 people ate 138.2 pounds of red meat, 20.5 pounds of poultry, and 10.9 pounds of seafood. Grand total is 169.6 lbs of meat per year, per person in America. That comes out to 0.46 pounds per day.
Fast forward to the year 2000 and we find red meat at 195.2, poultry at 66.5 and seafood at 15.2. Grand total 276.9 pounds of meat per year, averaging 0.75 pounds per day.
That is, by my calculations, a 63% increase in eating of meat.
Couple that with a population of 151 million people in 1950, and 281 million people in 2000, which is an 86% increase.
Bottom line is, we are consuming a lot more meat than before per person, and we’ve practically doubled the population.
So while my personal choice is to go vegetarian, hopefully, vegan in the future, I think it is important to raise this issue with our fellow Americans. Try to ask them to perhaps stick with cereal for breakfast instead of the steak and eggs. Perhaps enjoy a nice salad for lunch instead of the double cheeseburger. Or even at dinner, order the petite 8oz filet, instead of the 22oz porterhouse. You’ll save more room for dessert.
While I doubt that vegetarians will ever outnumber the non-vegetarians, if we can at least help them reduce their consumption back to the 1950 or earlier levels, we’ll help save the environment, and reduce our health risks.
Demographics in the USA, Wikipedia
Factbook Chapter 2, USDA