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How Many Animals are Slaughtered for Food Each Year?

 The Vegan Project

How many land animals are slaughtered for food each year?

According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximately 70 billion land animals are slaughtered for human (and animal) food each year globally.

This includes:

  • Around 66 billion chickens
  • Around 1.5 billion pigs
  • Around 300 million cattle
  • Around 1 billion sheep and goats
  • Millions of other animals including ducks, geese, turkeys, and other poultry.
It's important to note that these figures are estimates and may vary from year to year and by different sources. Additionally, these numbers only reflect land animals and do not include seafood or other aquatic animals that are also consumed for food. (see below)

How many sea creatures are slaughtered for food each year?

The number of sea creatures slaughtered for food each year is difficult to estimate accurately, as there are many different species of seafood and the fishing industry is complex and often poorly regulated. However, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global fish production for human consumption reached 179 million tonnes in 2018. This includes a wide range of species, from small fish like anchovies to larger fish like tuna and salmon, as well as shellfish like shrimp and mollusks like oysters and clams.

It's important to note that fishing practices can have significant negative impacts on marine ecosystems, including overfishing, bycatch (the accidental capture of non-target species), habitat destruction, and pollution. Additionally, the aquaculture industry (farming of aquatic organisms) can also have negative environmental impacts, such as pollution from fish waste and the use of antibiotics and other chemicals.

Overall, while it's difficult to provide a precise number of sea creatures slaughtered for food each year, it's clear that the fishing and seafood industry has a significant impact on marine ecosystems and that sustainable fishing practices and responsible aquaculture are important for protecting ocean health and ensuring the long-term viability of the seafood industry.

More statistics

In addition to the statistics from the United Nations above you can see specific numbers about individual species that are slaughtered in the United States and other countries here:


“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.”