Across the globe, beef production and consumption are dwindling. If the meat market used to grow at a record pace in the past six decades, it is now showing the worst decline since 1961, even in places like Brazil, which is famous for its beef steaks. At the same time, demand for chicken and pork is growing. According to the UN Agriculture Organisation, meat consumption depends on two factors: population and wealth. Although the decline in revenue and expenditure due to the COVID is cited as one of the reasons for the trend, it is to be noted that the decline has been there for almost a year. That too worse than it was during the global recession.
Global consumption of beef, pork and chicken in 2018 was 30 crore tonnes. From 39% in 1961, the percentage of beef production in total meat production reduced to 20% in 2018. Whereas chicken production increased from 11% to 34%. The peak of beef production and consumption was in the 1970s. Then, it gradually fell.
There is another reason for the decline. Beef production poses bigger environmental impacts than any other meat production. Not only farms and slaughterhouses but land usage also contribute to environmental hazards. Hence, beef production and consumption are being regulated in different parts of the world. Popular brand Burger King tries to reduce this problem by adding grass to the fodder in their farms. Attempts to produce 3D bio-printed meat replacing meat are also being executed in places including Europe. This lab-produced meat can be made without killing chickens and cattle. Meanwhile, the number of vegan and extreme vegetarians who skip meat, eggs and milk and depend on other food for protein is also slowly increasing. In short, beef is being removed from the menu of non-vegetarians. Even in China, vegan and vegetarianism are trending after the COVID.