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Thread: Meat consumption and world population

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Meat consumption and world population

    In the book ''Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking'' , it is claimed that more than 80% of the Indian population are vegetarians, but even if there are millions of vegetarians in India, and eg. Gujarat (a substate in India) declared itself a completely vegetarian substate a long time ago, only 60% of the Gujarati population apparently are vegetarians today. There are many reasons to believe that the percentage of vegetarians in India is much lower than it used to be.

    I've seen various numbers for the vegetarian population in India, some as low as 20%, 40% has been mentioned, and here's a link that suggests that while only 30% of the Indian population are regular meat eaters, "people who follow a strict vegetarian diet make up 2042% of the population in India".

    If we for the sake of simplicity say that 30% of the Indian population are not eating meat, that would be circa 350 million people. (According to euroveg.eu there are 399 million vegetarians in India.

    That means that if there would be no vegetarians outside India at all, the vegetarians in India alone would mean that more than 5% of the world population never eat meat. Those who are familiar with The China Study know that plant based food has been very common in China as well, but these numbers may decrease both in India and China due to the Western influence.

    At the same time, the number of people who don't eat meat in the Western world is increasing. If these numbers are right, there are more than 15 million vegetarians in UK (6%), Italy (10%) and Germany (9%) alone.


    Does anyone here know of other sources... are these numbers correct?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  2. #2
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    Quote Korn View Post
    In the book ''Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking'' , it is claimed that more than 80% of the Indian population are vegetarians, but even if there are millions of vegetarians in India, and eg. Gujarat (a substate in India) declared itself a completely vegetarian substate a long time ago, only 60% of the Gujarati population apparently are vegetarians today. There are many reasons to believe that the percentage of vegetarians in India is much lower than it used to be.

    I've seen various numbers for the vegetarian population in India, some as low as 20%, 40% has been mentioned, and here's a link that suggests that while only 30% of the Indian population are regular meat eaters, "people who follow a strict vegetarian diet make up 20–42% of the population in India".

    If we for the sake of simplicity say that 30% of the Indian population are not eating meat, that would be circa 350 million people. (According to euroveg.eu there are 399 million vegetarians in India.

    That means that if there would be no vegetarians outside India at all, the vegetarians in India alone would mean that more than 5% of the world population never eat meat. Those who are familiar with The China Study know that plant based food has been very common in China as well, but these numbers may decrease both in India and China due to the Western influence.

    At the same time, the number of people who don't eat meat in the Western world is increasing. If these numbers are right, there are more than 15 million vegetarians in UK (6%), Italy (10%) and Germany (9%) alone.


    Does anyone here know of other sources... are these numbers correct?
    Almost all those vegetarians in India eat dairy products and almost all the vegetarians in China eat egg products from time to time making them omnivores, not herbivores or vegans. I don't know how they stand on "honey", vitamin D3, L-cysteine (which is largely sourced from barber shop hair sweepings from those two areas), and a number of other products that are also animal matter and non-vegan but the thread you have forked from I had said:

    Quote Mahk View Post
    99% of the world population live eating animal matter their entire lives yet live to be exactly the average lifespan of their time and culture. I challenge you to find me a scientific study (no blogs!) that Jains or lifelong vegans live longer (and start another thread about it).
    I said "animal matter", not meat, vegetarians who eat eggs, honey, and/or dairy are eating animal matter, and hence are omnivores by definition, not herbivores who only eat plant matter. They consume animal fat and animal protein from those eggs and dairy products on a regular basis and for their entire lives.

    Most things I've read put the world vegan population at around 1 to 2%. If you know otherwise please speak up.

  3. #3
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    Almost all those vegetarians in India eat dairy products and almost all the vegetarians in China eat egg products from time to time making them omnivores
    I disagree, and think most people disagree, because most definitions of omnivore either mention someone who eats "all kinds of foods"/"anything" or specifically mentions that they eat animals/meat. Anyway, if you want to discuss this, please do it in this thread.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  4. #4
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    Here's a way to set up a very approximate guess about the number of people who don't eat meat:


    World population outside India: circa 5.5 billion.
    This site refers to some polls, which probably do not include eg. China, India or areas dominated by Buddhism or other religions that are (at least in many cases) pro-vegetarian, and claims that 6 percent "of the population" is vegetarian. There's another WikiAnswers response to the same question here - but that number doesn't make sense at all - he claims that half the world population are vegetarians....

    There are also areas, eg. in East Africa, where eating meat is uncommon - not necessarily because they are poor or against eating meat, they just don't do it much.

    If there are 350-400 million vegetarians in India, and 6% of the rest of the world population who don't eat meat, that would be:

    India: 375 mill.
    +Rest of the world (6% of 5.5 billion): 330 mill (of which more than half could be living in China).
    Total: 705 million people who don't eat meat.

    6% is a high number for some countries, but maybe too low for the parts of the world where vegetarianism is more common than it is in the Western world. Areas where people don't have access to meat or where many people can't afford also represent a lot of non-meat consumption. The number could be a lot higher or a lot lower - please post more info if you have any!
    Last edited by Korn; May 4th, 2009 at 08:04 PM.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  5. #5
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    I just saw a reference to the percentage of vegetarians in in China, it's apparently 14% of the total population of 1.33 billion people, in other words 186 mill people who don't eat meat.

    The numbers for India vary a lot, but the most specific number was 399 million.
    There are 6700 million people (6.7 billion) in the world.
    The population outside India/China: 4223 million

    If we assume that 3% of the population outside India/China don't eat meat, that's 127 million people.

    The total would then be (186 + 399 + 127 =) 712 million people who don't eat meat, or 10-11% of the world population.

    If the number of non-meat eaters outside India and China would be 6%, and not 3%, the total number would be 839 million, which would represent 12-13% of the world population.

    It is estimated that between 800 million and 1 billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, and I doubt that a large percent of these people eat meat, so the number could be a lot higher - for tragical reasons.

    Omnivore commonly is used about someone who includes meat in his/her diet, so based on these assumptions, it seems that between 10% and 13% of the world population are not omnivores.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  6. #6
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    I'm not being funny but what do we do with all this speculative information?

    leedsveg

  7. #7
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    You can eg. use it if someone claims that humans 'collectively' are omnivores. ;-)
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Barry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    It's very hard to pin down the exact amount of vegetarians in India, i spent a few months there last summer and although I was mainly in the north which has a much lower percentage than the south, one thing I definitely noticed everywhere was that vegetarianism seems to be higher amongst older people. A huge percentage of the young indian people I met ate meat. It really does seem like it's starting to die out with older generation.
    Todays empires, tomorrows ashes...

  9. #9
    Quirky Vegan Kate1978's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    I think that more people are eating meat and dairy in these countries as they are developing and becoming more industrialised. Such a diet is commonplace in the West and is seen as a sign of progress and affluence by people in developing countries.
    ~ Don't think twice, it's all right ~

  10. #10
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    Since we apparently pass the 7 billion humans mark today, I think this thread deserves a bump. Around 1960, we were 3 billion people. We are 6 billion more humans than we were only 200 years ago.

    That's a very dramatic growth rate - and quite scary numbers. We could feed at least twice as many humans off the soil on our little planet if all humans would eat a plant based diet.

    ETA:
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
    (Albert Einstein)
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Meat consumption and world population

    World UN chief welcomes six billionth baby - Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK

    That's 1 billion in 12yrs2wks. Stop breeding already damn you!

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