Food for Thought: Infographic on Number of Animals Killed for Food Worldwide

Thinking about the number of animals we kill for food each year can be staggering. Nearly 10 billion land animals in the U.S. alone. There is no way to calculate exact figures, so we must do with estimates. Recently National Geographic posted an infographic highlighting some of the species who were killed in the largest numbers in 2009, from around 52 billion chickens, to more than a billion pigs and rabbits each, to nearly two million camels.

And this chart by no means covers all species eaten in larger numbers. People in different parts of the world regularly dine on dogs, cats, horses, insects, and whales, for example. And what about sea creatures? One organization has tried to create an accurate calculation for fish, and has estimated that about 1 trillion fish are caught each year (not just for human consumption; some become food for fish that people then eat, or are used for other products).

Infographics like this one can spark great discussion about topics like our food choices, food systems, speciesism, cognitive dissonance and carnism, empathy and compassion, rights and responsibilities, food security, and more.

~ Marsha

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