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Which countries eat the most meat?

You may have heard an increasing number of people vow to reduce their meat eating lately - or cut it out altogether. This often forms part of a bid to become healthier, reduce their environmental impact, or consider animal welfare.

A third of Britons claim to have either stopped eating meat or reduced it, while two thirds of those in the US say they are eating less of at least one meat.

This trend is partly thanks to initiatives such as Meat-free Mondays and Veganuary. At the same time, a number of documentaries and high-profile advocates of veganism have highlighted the potential benefits of eating less meat. But have these sentiments had any effect on the ground?

Rising incomes

What we do know is that global meat consumption has increased rapidly over the past 50 years. Meat production today is nearly five times higher than in the early 1960s - from 70 million tonnes to more than 330 million tonnes in 2017. A big reason for this is that there are many more people to feed.

Over that period the world population more than doubled. In the early 1960s there were around three billion of us, and today there are more than 7.6 billion. While population is part of the story, it doesn't entirely account for why meat production increased five-fold.

Another key factor is rising incomes. Around the world, people have become richer, with the global average income more than tripling in half a century. When we compare consumption across different countries we see that, typically, the richer we are the more meat we eat. There are not just more people in the world - there are more people who can afford to eat meat.

More about meat consumption you can read here.

Autor: Hannah Ritchie, Oxoford Martin School   Quelle: BBC News, 4th February 2019
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