2011 has not been a good year for the meat industry.
There were more reports of devastating health impacts. In May, The World Cancer Research Fund advises limiting meat consumption to reduce the risk of bowel cancer. The August issue of The Lancet projects that, on the current meat-based diet, half of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.
Last August, salmonella contamination forced the world's largest meat processor Cargill to recall 36 million pounds of ground turkey. University of Florida places the national financial burden of pathogens in meat products at $4 billion.
Then there were cruelty exposes. A March undercover investigation of the E6 Cattle Company in Texas showed workers bashing cows' heads with pickaxes and hammers. In November, ABC News publicized atrocious egg production conditions at Iowa's Sparboe Farms. Bills attempting to criminalize such investigations were defeated in Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, and New York.
Accordingly, USDA projects that Americans will consume 12.2 percent less meat in 2012 than in 2007.
Every one of us can welcome this trend by resolving to cut our meat consumption in 2012. Entering "live vegan" in our favorite search engine brings recipes and tons of other useful information.