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Historical reduction in meat consumption in Sweden - millions of animals affected

During 2020, Swedish meat consumption decreased by 4.5 percent. A reduction in total consumption of meat that has never before been measured from one year to another. The reduction means that millions of individual animals have been affected.

The Swedish population has not eaten so small amounts of meat per person since 2001, and the reduction is historically large at 4.5 % between 2019 and 2020. This is shown when the Swedish Board of Agriculture has compiled statistics for 2020. Total consumption during the year was 78.6 kg per person based on all meat bought, thrown away and consumed.

The statistics show the lowest consumption of pork since the 1980s, and on a par with 2014 for chicken. This means that many millions of individuals avoided becoming meat for Swedes' consumption. Djurens Rätt has translated the statistics into individual animals and concludes that at least 7.7 million fewer animals ended up in the Swedish kitchens in 2020 compared to 2019, of which more than 7.6 million were chickens and 97,000 were pigs.

– It is extremely gratifying that so many more people choose to eat vegetarian. Djurens Rätt has for a long time fought to make a difference for the animals that are most and live under the worst conditions and now we see the effect of our consistent efforts, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt.

However, 147.5 million individual animals, when only considering the number of chickens, have still been consumed by the Swedish population in 2020. This shows the need for a continued sharp reduction in meat consumption and the importance of the campaign 99 miljoner, run by Djurens Rätt, which has just been relaunched. On average, Swedes have consumed almost one life less per person in 2020 than in 2019 through the reduced chicken meat consumption. Skipping chickens from your plate makes a big difference!

More information on how Djurens Rätt has calculated and analyzed previous consumption statistics from the Swedish Board of Agriculture can be found (in Swedish) here.

Linn Åkesson

Linn Åkesson | Kommunikationschef

16 mars 2021

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