How many animals are killed for food in the US each year?
Adjusting for pre-slaughter farmed animal mortality rates, industrial farming claimed the lives of 8.38 billion land animals in 2018 to support the U.S. food supply:
- Chickens: 7,958,900,000
- Turkeys: 226,580,000
- Cattle (incl. calves): 35,810,000
- Pigs: 123,680,000
- Ducks: 28,620,000
- Sheep (incl. lambs): 6,880,000
Aquatic animal deaths are challenging to calculate since these lives are measured in tons. A very thorough analysis completed by Counting Animals estimated that 3.8 billion finned fish and 43.1 billion shellfish were killed to support the U.S. food supply in 2013.
Taken together, more than 55 billion land and sea animals die annually to support the U.S. food supply. Adding in bycatch (sea creatures caught and discarded–injured or dead) and feed fish, the total number jumps substantially.
To put this in perspective, during World War II–the deadliest conflict in human history–more than 60 million people were killed over 6 years. The same number of animals die in support of the American food supply every ten hours.
How many animals die for food in the United States every second?
Land animals only (USDA 2018 slaughter + imports – exports + pre-slaughter deaths):
- Every year: 8,380,450,000
- Every day: 22,960,000
- Every hour: 956,700
- Every minute: 15,950
- Every second: 266
Inclusive of land and aquatic animals:
- Every year: 55,286,450,000
- Every day: 151,470,000
- Every hour: 6,311,000
- Every minute: 105,190
- Every second: 1,753
Source: U.S. Animal Kill Clock