25 March 2013

Meat industry reports fewer animals slaughtered

Is the public's taste for animal flesh declining? New figures from the meat industry provide solid evidence that the popularity of so-called "red" meat has fallen over the past year—an encouraging sign for those of us who are working to end the cruel exploitation of animals in the food industry.

As reported in the meat industry publication Meatingplace.com, the number of animals brought to slaughter dropped in February 2013 when compared to February 2012:
  • Number of cows slaughtered last month: 2.36 million, an 8 percent decline
  • Number of veal calves slaughtered last month: 59,600, a 1 percent decline
  • Number of pigs slaughtered last month: 8.59 million, a 5 percent decline
  • Number of sheep slaughtered last month: 161,700, a 2 percent decline
Of course, the sheer number of individual animals killed unnecessarily for food is still tragic. But the downward trend is encouraging. 

A year ago, pork producers were reporting "positive margins" of $13.54 per animal. A month ago, profits had turned to losses, as pork producers were losing $17.70 per animal. And just last week, the latest figures saw losses swell to $37.00 per animal. Given these steep losses, analysts suggest that pork producers may consider reducing production even further. 

Each plant-based meal sends a message and makes a real difference, putting less money in meat producers' pockets and fewer animals on the slaughter line, as these numbers attest. So pass the veggie bacon—let's keep the trend going.  

Elizabeth Gordon | Facebook | TwitterBlog | Website
Massachusetts Elizabeth is a writer, educator, and vegan advocate. She lives on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border with her husband and their quirky animal companions: a dog, two cats, and four fish (all rescues). An avid plant-based cook, she's proud to have finally perfected vegan versions of foods from her dual heritage—meatloaf, mac and cheese, and bacon from her Southern side, as well as potstickers, summer rolls, and wonton soup from her Asian side. (Plus she makes a drool-worthy buffalo wing pizza.) Elizabeth is the creator of the website MassVegan.org and founder of Vegans of North Central Mass.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/ericskiff