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Report: Decline in U.S. Meat Consumption Expected to Continue in 2012

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Meat consumption has been on the decline in the United States over the last few years – a trend that, according to a new report, is expected to continue through 2012.

According to Mercy For Animals (MFA), a new Daily Livestock Report 2010 was the fourth year in a row that Americans’ consumption of meat has declined. The trend is expected to continue in 2012, despite the growth of the U.S. population. The biggest decline is expected to occur in beef consumption, with many people opting for chicken instead. MFA says that this causes even more animals to suffer as it takes more chickens to produce the same amount of meat from a single cow. However, they state that consumption of meat, including chicken, overall has declined in the U.S.

Concern for animals is one reason, but not the only reason that Americans are eating less meat. Economic struggles have caused many individuals and families to change the food they’re buying. According to the Chicago Tribune, this year “high unemployment in the world’s wealthiest nation had cash-strapped Americans avoiding restaurants where beef is a common entree and had them switching to lower cost non-meat dishes at home.” To boost sales, beef companies are selling cheaper cuts of meat or smaller portions as well as exporting their products to countries where demand for beef is increasing.

Along with animal welfare concerns and increasing meat prices, health has become a concern as the risks associated with consumption of animal products have been increasingly covered in the media. The film Forks Over Knives continues to inspire viewers to try veganism to improve their health, and in some cases reverse conditions like diabetes. Celebrities have joined in the group of people going veg after seeing the film, including Russell BrandOzzy Osbourne, Eliza Dushku and Carrie Ann Inaba.

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