If you are trying to cut back on eating animal products to help the billions of animals who suffer on factory farms around the United States, this post will help you figure out which foods to stop eating first.
The Reduction Journey
I stopped eating meat at age four, after reading The Story of Doctor Dolittle and hearing the main character refer to animals as his friends. “Animals are my friends, too,” I recall telling my bewildered mother, “And I don’t want to eat my friends.” Later, I became a vegan after learning about the animal welfare harms caused by eating dairy and eggs.
Like me, many vegetarians and vegans can recall a single “aha!” moment that convinced them to go meatless, while others make the switch more gradually. No matter where you are in your reduction journey, the most important thing is that you’re ready to remove animal products from your diet.
Here’s the catch: If this is your first time thinking about a plant-based diet, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed about where to start. In fact, research by Faunalytics found that 84% of people who try a vegetarian or vegan diet eventually abandon it. Depending on your motivation and experience, it usually takes a lot of planning, preparation, and practice to successfully stop eating animal products.
Where can you go from here?
Luckily, the Faunalytics team has some data to help you. As an animal advocacy research organization, we recently sought to answer an important question: If someone is trying to reduce animal products from their diet, which product(s) should they stop eating first to make the biggest impact for farmed animals?
In terms of their effect on farmed animals, some food items cause more harm than others. As such, we looked at 98 categories of products, revealing which ones cause the most animal suffering to feed the U.S. population per day. We then ranked these products in a handy set of tools called our Animal Product Impact Scales. As you continue your reduction journey, consider removing our top-ranked foods from your diet as you try to be as helpful as possible for animals.
Top 10 Animal Products To Stop Eating Now
Without further ado, here are the top 10 products that cause the most farmed animal suffering to feed the U.S. population every single day:
As you can see, scrambled eggs and omelets top the list. In fact, every day these items are eaten in the United States, it causes 201 million days of animal suffering! Think about that the next time you’re deciding between eggs or a delicious tofu scramble at the grocery store. And while eggs are often praised as a good source of protein, research shows plant-based proteins offer similar health benefits (minus the animal suffering).
Toward a More Compassionate Future
I won’t pretend these numbers aren’t distressing. To think that the U.S. population causes over one billion days of suffering by eating just ten products each day is tough to cope with (and if you want to learn how we got these numbers, read this blog). But there’s good news: You can make a difference, and our scales will help you as you do your part to make the world a better place for animals.
Once you’ve switched to a fully plant-based diet, these scales can still be a helpful resource for you as you talk to your friends and family about their meat intake. Remember to be patient with your loved ones, as no two vegan journeys are the same. Together we can achieve a future free of animal exploitation, but we can only get there with compassion and understanding — for both animals and one another.
To learn more about Faunalytics’ Animal Product Impact Scales and how we came up with our numbers, click here. You can also read more about Faunalytics research in Top Animal Products that Cause the Most Suffering and Top 10 Foods that Cause Most Animal Deaths.
Sign these petitions to help make a difference for farmed animals:
- Ban Factory Farming in the U.S.
- No More Bailouts for Factory Farms
- Tell IFC to Divest from Factory Farming
Learn How to Cook Meatless Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is not only good for animals but is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
Here are some delicious plant-based “meaty” recipes to get you started!
- 5 Tips to Make Meatless Food Taste Meaty
- 10 Ways to Make Meaty Recipes with Veggies!
- 15 Hearty and Meaty Mushroom Recipes
- 15 Bean-Based Meatballs that are Packed with Protein!
- 12 Delicious Recipes for Vegan Chicken Nuggets, Tenders, and Fingers!
- 20 Amazing ‘Fried Chicken’ Recipes That Are Totally Vegan
- 15 Smoky and Salty Vegan Bacon Recipes
- 15 Vegan Sausages For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- 15 High-Protein Savory Seitan “Wheat Meat” Recipes
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