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Plant-based meat from fast-food chains saves around 250,000 animals per year*, according to research from non-profit World Animal Protection.

The charity’s data suggests plant-based products from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which are offered at more than 25 major quick-service restaurants (QSR), results in 140,000 pigs and 110,000 cows exiting the food system annually. 

‘Cruel confinement’

“This number may sound a lot, but it is a fraction of the 120 million pigs and 30 million cows killed for food in the US every year and sold in groceries, supermarkets, and other food service industries,” the organization’s website reads.

“So why the cause for celebration? Because each of these statistics represents an animal’s life saved – being spared from painful mutilations like teeth clipping, tail docking, and castration, as well as a life of spent in cruel confinement.”

‘A number of assumptions’

World Animal Protection contacted both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat for their sales data – but both companies declined to comment. 

The charity has also made ‘a number of assumptions’ such as the widely quoted claim that Burger King could sell 50 Impossible Whoppers each day. 

World Animal Protection has then applied that same figure to all the QSRs in its model. The results are also reliant on the assumption that stores are open 360 days a year and that people are swapping meat for plant-based alternatives rather than just eating more food than before. 

*This statistic is based on a typical beef cow producing 500lb on meat, and 130lb of pork for the typical pig

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.