A recent Worldwatch Institute reported noted that meat production increased two percent in 2004 from 2003 to an estimated 258 million tons worldwide.
That two percent increase, involved a much larger increase in total animals killed, however. Due to reports of Mad Cow disease in North America, Worldwatch noted, beef production was up less than one percent and the global beef trade actually declined.
That low growth had to be compensated elsewhere for total meat production to increase, which meant hundreds of thousands if not millions more chickens and pigs slaughtered for meat.
Annual meat production is likely to grow for the foreseeable future. Currently developing nations only consume 12.3 kg of meat per person, compared to an average of 30 kg per person in developed nations. As the economies of developed nations such as China continue to improve, world meat production will also continue to grow.
As The Namibian noted, today Asia accounts for more than 60 percent of global pork production. That represents a 50 percent increase in just 10 years.
Meat consumption on the rise. The Namibian, July 26, 2005.