The subject is controversial. Some say there is nothing sadder than eating without meat. Others consider the killing of animals for consumption insanity. NGO presents data showing how difficult this subject is to digest.
The Heinrich Böell Foundation and the NGO Friends of the Earth have just launched the Meat Atlas. This is an illustrated overview of global meat consumption trends. The study is serious, showing the situation around the world by gathering information from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), among others.
As we can see from the graphs below, the Northern Hemisphere leads consumption, being closely followed by the rest of the world. Projections of population growth imply even higher production, which means more deforestation for pasture formation, the indiscriminate use of hormones in livestock and concerns about how these animals are being treated.
Follow below some of the scenarios studied, with their comments that, in the next meal, will make us rethink.
This graph shows meat production around the world. While livestock production in the United States and Europe remains high, so are the costs involved, such as feed, energy and the price of land. Pigs and poultry gain space precisely because their production does not need much.
Top 10: Meat and meat products industries grow thanks to new groups that emerge and associate. With this expansion increases production. Today there are 10 major global market controllers - four in the United States: Cargill ($ 33 billion in sales / year), Tyson ($ 33 billion / year), Smithfield ($ 13 billion / year) and Hormel Foods ($ 8 billion / year). In Brazil, the BRF (Sdia and Pedigão merger) sold US $ 14.9 billion in meat in 2012.
Global demand for meat is growing, particularly in China and India, where we can see an 80% increase in the sector in 2012, thanks to the emergence of a new middle class (a phenomenon also observed in Brazil).
From the 1950s, meat production and consumption in the industrialized world increased dramatically. Overall, consumption seems to have stagnated. In the United States, the fall was 9% between 2007 and 2012, thanks to new food trends and increasing concern about the origin of meat.
Production of poultry meat for consumption has increased considerably. By 2020, Chinese production is expected to grow by 37%; the Brazilian, 28% and, in the United States, 16%. In India, consumption is expected to be 10 times higher, reaching 10 million tonnes by 2050.
One of the reasons chicken meat is so popular is its price. It produces less costs because poultry are more efficient at eating than other livestock, such as cattle. It also influences the fact that chicken meat is not religiously restricted. In 2011, 58 trillion chickens were killed worldwide - compared with 1.4 trillion pigs and 300 million cows in the same period.
Even with the spread of the benefits of these diets, only a small percentage of people in the United States and Europe claim to be vegetarians or vegans. This habit is far more popular in India, as Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the afterlife and therefore preach nonviolence - causing populations with these religious orientations to restrict their consumption of dead meat. .
Food efficiency: Facing meat as a priority source of protein is a cultural factor. Other people consume insects and algae to compensate for the low nutrient intake - as we have seen in the previous article. While an entire cow offers 40% protein, up to 80% can be found in a cricket.
Find here the full study “The Meat Atlas” to download and find out.