One of the ways in which advocates try to reduce the suffering of farmed animals is by encouraging people to eat less meat, or become vegetarian or vegan. There are a number of factors that go into the success of such interventions, including the specific animal products that are eaten or avoided, and how long dietary changes last (recidivism). These factors are discussed in detail in the pages below.
We review how many animals are affected by a typical American’s diet, and how many could be spared by different choices. This includes an estimate of how many animals are directly affected by the average American’s diet and an overview of how elasticity considerations reduce the impacts of dietary change.
Many interventions on behalf of farmed animals seek to convince individuals to change their diet so that they affect fewer farmed animals. Assuming these interventions work, how long those changes last significantly affects their impact.
Many animal advocates promote individual diet change as a way to help animals, while many environmentalists recommend it as a strategy to tackle environmental problems. We have already examined the impacts of individual dietary choices on the lives of farmed animals in effects of diet choices, and here we will examine the impacts of dietary choices from an environmental perspective.
We estimate the total number of fish that are killed, on average, on a per-capita level, to meet the demand within the U.S. This includes both the fish and shellfish that are killed and consumed directly and the fish that are reduced to fishmeal and fed to farmed fish in aquaculture.