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Eating Meat Is the Norm Almost Everywhere

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

On average, 86 percent of people surveyed for the Statista Global Consumer Survey in 39 countries said that their diet contained meat – highlighting that despite the trend around meat substitutes and plant-based products, eating meat remains the norm almost everywhere in the world.

In only five out of the 39 countries - Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, China and India - fewer than 80 percent of respondents said that they ate meat. The latter country had the lowest score at 43 percent meat eaters. China, which had the second-lowest result in the survey, still counted 75 percent of respondents saying they ate meat.

India’s penchant for vegetarian fare is connected to Brahmanism or Vedic religion, a belief system connected to the caste of Brahmans, which are highly regarded in the Indian caste system, making vegetarianism equally desirable.

In Western countries, vegetarianism is more often tied to environmental concerns or concerns over unethical practices in meat production. To satisfy the hunger for meat, 333 million tons of meat were produced worldwide in 2020. Because meat consumption typically increases as countries grow wealthier, that number has been rising.

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