How many animals does everyone have

Germans eat over 12 billion animals a year

Press release on World Vegetarian Day on October 1st, 2010

The average German eats around 150 animals per year. The Albert Schweitzer Foundation for Our Environment calls for this number to be drastically reduced.

According to current calculations by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation for our environment, twelve billion animals are eaten every year in Germany. This corresponds to around 150 animals per German citizen annually.

"Everyone can contribute to ending the mass slaughter by eating more consciously," explains Wolfgang Schindler, President of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation for Our Environment.

The foundation is committed to the introduction of a voluntary vegetarian weekday that can help save 1.7 billion animals per year. She also works successfully with the operators of canteens and staff canteens to improve the vegetarian and vegan options in order to provide tasty alternatives to meat and fish.

So far there have only been figures on the land animals eaten annually. Now, for the first time, the number of fish consumed has been calculated through the www.fishcount.org.uk project. According to this, the number of fish caught worldwide (excluding bycatch) is around one trillion. According to the World Food Organization, Germany has a share of 1.11% in global fish consumption, which corresponds to around eleven billion fish per year.

For calculating

The approximately 12 billion animals per year are made up of:

  • 5.5 million cattle and calves
  • 48.1 million pigs
  • 3.8 million sheep / goats
  • 970.6 million chickens
  • 37.9 million ducks
  • 12.8 million geese
  • 47.4 million turkeys
  • 11.1 billion fish

The VEBU calculated the number of terrestrial animals last year. He mainly refers to sources from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. We have checked the calculation and found it to be good.

We estimated the number of fish through the www.fishcount.org.uk project. Here the official catches and the average weight of the individual fish species were used to calculate the number of fish caught annually. Result: between 0.97 and 2.7 billion fish. The range is so large because there are often no precise figures on the average weight of the individual fish species. Fishcount conservatively assumes a trillion. We have joined that. In the next step, we calculated, based on data from the World Food Organization, how high the German share of global fish consumption is. Result: 1.11% - i.e. 11.1 billion fish.

The number of fish caught worldwide does not include any illegally caught fish. It also does not contain any bycatch (!). On the other hand, it also contains fish that are processed into fish meal and oil and, for example, fed to other fish in aquaculture (i.e. consumed indirectly).

Both land animals and fish can only ever refrain from the best possible approximations. In the case of land animals, some animal species (e.g. quail, rabbits and wild animals) are missing because there are hardly any reliable figures. In the case of fish, it was assumed, for the sake of simplicity, that Germans eat the same type of fish as the global average.