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Report: Number of Animals Killed In US Increases in 2010

10,153 million (nearly 10.2 billion) land animals were raised and killed for food in the United States in 2010, according to data extrapolated from U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. This is a 1.7% rise from the 2009 totals, larger than the 0.9% increase in US population, meaning that animals killed per-capita increased slightly.

The Breakdown:

Of the 10,153 million land animals killed, 9,210 million (91%) were chickens raised for meat, 464 million (4.5%) were chickens raised for eggs, 276 million (2.5%) were turkeys, and the remaining 202 million (2%) were cows, pigs, other mammals, and ducks and geese.

In addition to the 9,278 million animals who were slaughtered, the total figure includes the 875 million animals, or 8.6%, who died lingering deaths from disease, injury, starvation, suffocation, maceration, or other atrocities of animal farming and transport. It should be noted that the U.S. is a net exporter of both live animals and processed meat, so the number of animals actually consumed in the U.S. was less than the number killed.

The 10,153 million animals raised and killed for food in the U.S. in 2009 accounted for 98% of all land animals abused and killed in the U.S. An estimated additional 200 million land animals were killed in biomedical experiments, by hunters, by furriers, in pounds, or as “pests".

2011 Projections, Industry Speculations and Aquatic Animal Estimates:

Based on January-August 2011 USDA slaughter numbers, it is projected that the number of land animals killed in 2011 will increase an additional 1% from 2010 numbers, rising to approximately 10,266 million animals. Fortunately, due to increased feed prices and sinking domestic demand, is speculating that there may be a 5% drop in animals raised for food in 2012!

While the number of aquatic animals killed each year is not reported, meticulous calculations by researcher Noam Mohr estimate the number of finfishes killed each year for US consumption to be 13,027 million, and the number of shellfishes to be 40,455 million, resulting in a combined 53,481 million (over 53 billion) aquatic animals who died for American consumption in 2010.

In Personal and Global Terms:

Per-person, an average American meat-eater is responsible for the suffering and death of 28 land animals and an estimated 175 aquatic animals per year, totaling over 15,000 individual animals over a 75 year lifespan.

Globally, the number of land animals killed each year for food has exceeded 65 billion, according to conservative U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization figures. Aquatic estimates are unavailable.

A Partial List of Sources:

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, “Livestock Slaughter 2010 Summary”, April 2011,
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, “Production, Supply, and Distribution Database”
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Quickstats,
USDA NASS, “Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income: 2010 Summary”
USDA APHIS Veterinary Service – National Animal Health Monitoring System
USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service Agricultural Statistics Board “Chickens and Eggs 2010 Summary”,
USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, “Hatchery Production 2010 Summary”
 Agricultural Statistics Board, April 2011
USDA APHIA Veterinary Service, “U.S. Rabbit Industry Profile”, June 2002
USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service Agricultural Statistics Board
“Poultry Slaughter 2010 Annual Summary”, Feb 2011
Noam Mohr, “Sea Animal Mortality for US Consumption 2010”, 2011
UN Foreign Agriculture Organization,


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