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Americans Are Now Eating 400 Million Fewer Animals

Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."

It looks like those Meatless Mondays really do add up after all. Turns out that 400 million fewer animals were slaughtered in 2014 than in 2007, according to USDA reports. This is due in large part to a rise in flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, diets.

That doesn’t just benefit animals — it’s good for the earth as well. The livestock industry is a major emitter of harmful gases, including methane and nitrous oxide.

This encouraging trend is expected to continue. Beef production levels this May are 7% lower than May 2014 totals, while lamb production is down a whopping 14% due to decreased demand.

Meatless mentalities are quickly gaining popularity, with 10% of Americans identifying as vegetarian-inclined — meaning they focus on plant-based nutrition and keep consumption of factory farmed meat to a minimum.

In response, restaurants are expanding vegetarian options, plant-based cookbooks are on the rise and veggie burgers are giving conventional whoppers a run for their money. With such veggie variety, going green is getting easier (and tastier) by the day.

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