An increasing number of diners are choosing Beyond Meat over animal-based options. - Media Credit: Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat And Impossible Foods Helped Save Nearly 1 Million Animals In The US Last Year

More diners are opting for vegan and vegetarian options, helping to lower demand for animal-based foods

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3 Minutes Read

Just two plant-based food companies have helped spare at least 630,000 animals’ lives in 2021, and that’s just in the US. Non-profit World Animal Protection (WAP) collated the data, and stresses that the actual figure is likely significantly higher – nearing to one million. 

The international charity looked at some of the US restaurant chains offering Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods’ products, such as Burger King and Panda Express.

WAP looked at each chain’s portion sizes, how many days a year they are typically open, and how much plant-based food they are likely selling. 

The animal protection charity predicts that in 2021, more than 211,000 pigs, 77,000 cows, and 350,000 chickens were spared by the US food system.

Given that the calculations only scratch the surface of the plant-based movement, WAP believes the figure is closer to one million animals in the US alone.

Adobe Stock Nearly 80,000 cows were spared last year thanks to diners choosing Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods products.

“Our assessment does not account for the full plant-based product market, such as those sold in grocery stores, menu items that feature other plant-based brands or those made in-house, or Beyond and Impossible products offered at other types of restaurants,” the charity clarifies. 

For instance, last year Impossible Foods rolled out its products to 20,000 grocery stores – up from just 150 locations.

Further, WAP’s analysis does not include egg or dairy products. But data provided by plant-based food brand Zero Egg indicates these figures are similarly impactful. 

Looking purely at its own restaurant sales, Zero Egg revealed that more than a million conventional eggs were left out of US diets in 2021. 

“We believe in making every bite count … Zero Egg’s vision is to empower the era of sustainable foods and we understand that we won’t be able to protect the planet and improve the lives of animals without replacing ordinary eggs with a plant-based option,” said Joe Loria, Zero Egg’s director of communications and marketing.

Loria added that the company’s vegan eggs require 93 percent less water and 92 percent less land to produce compared to conventional eggs. Further, they generate 59 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Shifting diets

WAP acknowledges that there is still progress to be made. Roughly 120 million pigs, nine billion chickens, 30 million cows, and 320 million laying hens are raised or killed for food every year in the US. 

But the tide appears to be turning, as more people (in the US and beyond) ditch animal-based foods. Research from late last year found that just under half (49 percent) of Americans are interested in swapping out meat and dairy in favor of plant-based alternatives. 

And in Veganuary 2021, it’s predicted that more than two million animals’ lives were spared in just a month thanks to those who took the 31-day vegan pledge. This year’s Veganuary campaign is expected to be its biggest yet.

To read more about how World Animal Protection calculated the above figures, see here

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The Author

Jemima Webber

Jemima is the editor of Plant Based News. Aside from writing about climate and animal rights issues, she studied songwriting in London and psychology in Newcastle, Australia (where she was born).

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Matt
Matt
4 months ago

As a vegans I think we should address the elephant in the room: Bykill. We know that when grains or legumes are harvested many small mammals and insects are killed as a result. So it is impossible to say that any diet is 100% free of causing deaths. However grains and legumes are used to feed livestock and due to energy loss 90% of that energy is lost in the form of heat. So eating grains and legumes directly reduces these incidental deaths by 90%. So while it is impossible to say zero animals die when we eat a plant based burger, it is still safe to say that the bykill is reduced by 90% in addition to the percentage of the animal that would have otherwise been turned into a burger if that plant based burger is actually replacing a meat burger. We should acknowledge that veganism isn’t perfection, just the best of all options available.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Easy answer to this one Matt. Don’t eat any foods that are artificially fertilised or sprayed in chemicals, or any foods that use a combine harvester. That rules out all grains, pulses, oilseeds etc. plus all industrial meats and many more. As you quite rightly say you can’t eliminate by-kill altogether, but the above would reduce it by multi trillions every year as well as improving bio-diversity overall. In other words “STOP INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE”

VeganThink
VeganThink
12 days ago
Reply to  Matt

I wonder, would we doing less harm when consuming organic than conventional vegetables? I wonder how much difference in accidental insects and animal deaths in the fields would be.

Brian
Brian
4 months ago

I think it’s hilarious “science” to say every plant based piece of “meat” sold = meat burger unsold/animal saved. These products are largely purchased by people who wouldn’t have purchased meat to begin with. Not all, but I’d be willing to wager it’s easily the majority. So you didn’t save any animals in all of those cases. So.. I’d also wager you should cut your final figures in half or so.

Good work anyway! But fraudulent science makes you look bad.

Plant Based News Moderator
Plant Based News Moderator
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Hi Brain,

Thank you for your comment.

Please be aware that we only report on the facts as we are a news platform. We do not create or change any figures. Plant Based News is a reputable new platform regulated by IMPRESS.

Brian
Brian
4 months ago

….of course your comments are moderated before posting. I presume you don’t let anything negative through lol.

???

Plant Based News Moderator
Plant Based News Moderator
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Moderating comments is a very normal thing to do, as we must be vigilant when it comes to abuse and offensive material, for obvious reasons. This comment has been approved.

Francis
Francis
4 months ago

I love this story!!!! I’m SO uplifted by this news!!! Bravo good people!!! My husband and I have been vegan since we married 45 years ago. It is SO fantastic to see veganism taking hold! I never thought we would see such a day. Humans ARE evolving!! I will sleep better tonight having read this story. Blessings all!

Plant Based News Moderator
Plant Based News Moderator
4 months ago
Reply to  Francis

Hi Francis,

We are so glad you enjoyed the article.

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