The United States of America (US) is a very poor performer (“F”) under the VACI, on par with Myanmar. The country has a high level of animal slaughter and consumption, and inadequate protection of farmed animals under the law.
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Download the 2017 VACI Report for the United States here.
Half of all US farms raise cattle or calves. The cattle industry has the highest value of production, followed by chickens and other farmed bird industries. The US slaughters around 29.3 land-based animals per person per year. This is the fifth highest of the countries surveyed and almost triple the global average of 10.1. The country’s dependence on farmed animals is also very high, with around 7.4 farmed animals per person, versus a global average of 4.1. Factory farming is widespread amongst, cattle, calves, pigs, chickens and other farmed birds such as turkeys.
The American diet contains the third highest proportion of land-based animal protein of all countries surveyed (after Argentina and Australia) at around 63.2%, compared with a global average of 35.2%. Each person consumes around 68.4g of land-based animal protein per day, versus a global average of 27.2g. Around 8% of the population is vegetarian – a relatively stable percentage that approximates the world average.
The United States is a marginal performer (“D”) under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved a poor performance rating (“E”) under the same index. The federal Animal Welfare Act is not applicable to farmed animals, and the Humane Slaughter Act does not cover the transport and slaughter of farmed birds. Furthermore, state level animal protection standards vary, and the quality of enforcement is mixed. Learn more about the quality of legislative protections for animals in the United States on the API here.