20 Billion Farm Animals Killed in 2010-2011

According to Farm USA, 10.1 billion livestock animals raised for food were killed in 2010 in the United States. They compiled data from the US Dept. of Agriculture to arrive at that total. Of the total, 9.1 billion were chickens raised to be eaten, 460 million were egg producers, 270 million were turkey, and the remaining billion were mammals such as cows and pigs, and fowl such as ducks and geese. For 2011 they expected another 10 billion, plus a one percent increase over the 2010 total.

To someone who is already familiar with such an enormous number of animals that die for human consumption the news might not be too shocking, but for everyone else it must be mind-boggling.

Farm USA didn’t analyze any data to calculate the quantity of fish killed for food in 2010, but they did cite a number from a researcher named Noam Mohr. They said he came up with a total of just over 53 billion aquatic animals that died for human food consumption in 2010. There were about 13 billion finfishes, and 40 billion shellfishes. On a per-person basis each year that works out to 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals killed for food, they say.

Meat and poultry production might drop five percent this year Bloomberg has speculated, thus increasing prices for 2012. Factors that may contribute to the drop are tighter feed supplies and increased production costs. Also a drought in the Southwest is forcing ranchers to decrease some herds and demand for American beef from abroad could cause meat prices to rise.

If meat production drops, there will be fewer animals killed, and less climate change emissions will be created. About 51 percent of climate change emissions come from livestock production around the world.

Image Credit: Geoffrey McKim

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Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

Do you know what is the sadest part of this? People throw more food away than what they eat. I cut up the scraps for feral that were neutered/spayed. It keeps my food cost down. I am a vegan but I still have to cook for 7 people in my house.

Ruth S.
Ruth C3 years ago

Everyone deserves the right to live!!

Stathi Stathi
Stathi Stathi4 years ago

I think that we humans must start to take the blame for this killing. But the numbers say that habbits in eating are hard to die, while billions of animals do. I sometimes hate myself for eating fish, meat, eggs, without having a second thought about these souls. Thank you for the thinking.

federico bortoletto
federico b4 years ago

Che schifezza!!!

Phillipa W.
Phillipa W4 years ago

massive numbers there. that's an awful lot of animals dying to feed one country

Cheryl T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Really upsets me when I read things like this. It wouldn't be nearly so bad if we knew for sure that ALL these animals were killed humanely but so very many are not. With all the awful stories and videos about cruelty to farm animals I am surprised anyone can eat meat.

Marcia Shiel
M s4 years ago

how disgusting and they say humans are the intelligent species It should be changed to humans,,the most gluttonous species

James S.
james S4 years ago

BTW - total number of animals who are killed, yearly, in the U.S. alone - 347,000,000. Don't forget the fish, another animal that most have no need to eat. What? Protein? Omegas? Yeah, plant sources have them. For example, hemp seeds are loaded with both and easily go with so many foods - salads, sandwiches, smoothies...

James S.
james S4 years ago

Carol P. - as an omnivore, do you "prevail nutritionally" over the growing world of champion vegan athletes? "I would no more judge a human for eating meat than I would a lion" Really?
Don't get me wrong - I'm glad you're healthy and want that to continue and in general, the concept of eating animals goes beyond right and wrong, good and bad - many people haven't woke up to it yet and some have no choice. A lion - true carnivore, knows no different. Humans - now about way more sources and means and know that most of us do just fine without eating animals and animal products.

Rebecca G.
Beci Sue4 years ago

To John S., I call Bull Sh**t to your statement...You cannot be both a meat eater and an animal lover it is an oxymoron. And it's like saying society will try and give you as comfortable life as possible and minimize your suffering while your throat is slit and blood drains from your body. Knowing the entire time it is all because meat "tastes good" and people don't have the discipline or consiousness to quit eating it. We ARE NOT animals or carnivores...humans do not need to eat the flesh & blood of animals to be healthy & happy...in fact, quite the opposite.