5 Truths About the Meat Industry That Will Make You Lose Your Appetite

These off-putting facts may turn you into a vegetarian.


By John Anderer, Eat This, Not That!

June 16, 2022


Animal activists often proclaim that "meat is murder." A similar phrase, however, rings true as well: Meat is money.


Regardless of your personal stance on animal rights, there's no denying that meat is big business—and business is good. In the United States alone, meat packing and processing generates roughly $150 billion in revenue annually.


That kind of money is hard to imagine (picture Scrooge McDuck's vault), yet somehow meat revenues are projected to increase moving forward. By 2027, annual revenues are predicted to reach around $177 billion.


While the astounding scope of these numbers is enough to give pause, the fact that the meat industry is a perpetual golden goose shouldn't be all that surprising. After all, Americans love meat. Per the USDA, the average U.S. citizen consumed 144 pounds of meat in 2017. That's a lot of burgers and hot dogs! Notably, red meat in particular (lamb, beef, pork, etc) accounted for 51% of those pounds.


The fact that red meat makes up such a large portion of so many American diets is especially worrying. Why? Red meat is associated with a laundry list of health conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even a higher mortality risk in general.


More specifically, this study from the American Heart Association reports that eating more red meat and processed meats like sausage and bacon may increase stroke risk. Similarly, this research project published in JAMA Internal Medicine links red and processed meat consumption with greater heart disease and death risk.


If meat is so detrimental to our health, why do so many people still eat it day in and day out? It's a valid question, as one study published in Appetite even found that a decent portion of self-proclaimed meat-eaters (7%) reacted with a "fairly strong disgust response" when shown images of various meat dishes like roasted chicken or bacon.


If you've been on the fence about cutting back on meat, keep in mind that there are plenty of reasons to go for a greener diet besides just nutrition. The meat industry may turn a big profit, but it's also the definition of problematic. Here are five truths about the meat industry that will make you lose your appetite.


1. Salmonella in raw chicken is evading detection ...


2. The rainforest is dying to feed humanity's meat habit ...


3. The meat industry is blocking climate action ...


4. Hot dog ingredients are the stuff of nightmares ...


5. Big meat put profit over people during the pandemic ...


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