Ahead of Super Bowl LVI, Compassion in World Farming has calculated over 160 million plant-based chicken wings will be eaten during the big game. More than ten million Americans are expected to pass on animal-based chicken wings this year, proving that meat alternatives represent the future of food.
“Every year we’re told how many animal-based chicken wings will be eaten during the Superbowl,” said Ben Williamson, US Executive Director, Compassion in World Farming. “But one of the fastest-growing food trends is the increasing popularity of healthy and humane plant-based versions of classic American foods, which taste identical to the animal variety. So, we decided to estimate how many football fans will be eating compassionately next Sunday.”
Compassion USA’s calculations are based on survey findings that roughly 6% of the U.S. population consider themselves vegetarian or vegan, and roughly one-third (33.5%) of Americans have adopted a flexitarian or reduced-meat diet. Data suggest that more than 100 million Americans watch the Superbowl each year.
“Plant-based meat products are now more widely available than ever before, online and in your local supermarket,” continues Williamson. “There’s never been a better time to replace your meat made from animals, with meat made from plants—for your health and for the sake of the planet.”
The number of chickens raised for meat—over 9 billion in the U.S. and 66 billion worldwide—is more than our earth can naturally support. Much of the soy and corn grown today—and the land, water, fossil fuels, and pesticides used to produce it—is used for livestock feed. For every 100 calories of human-edible crops fed to chickens, only 12 calories are returned as meat for human consumption. A 2021 report from the World Health Organization concluded that “considerable evidence supports shifting populations towards healthful plant-based diets that reduce or eliminate intake of animal products.”
Today, most chickens raised for meat are kept in overcrowded warehouses with little to no natural light and no opportunities for natural behavior. Bedding is changed so infrequently that it becomes saturated with urine and feces, causing the birds to suffer ammonia burns. The birds’ feed is also intentionally limited, causing chronic hunger and stress. Chickens can typically live for about six years, but chickens in factory farms are slaughtered at only six weeks old to produce as much product as possible.
Compassion USA helps drive change in the animal farming industry by working closely with food companies to foster a transition to a more compassionate, fair, and sustainable food and farming system. Compassion advises companies at every stage of their journey and focuses on solutions—providing scientific and technical guidance, market expertise, and collaborative problem-solving as companies set policies and implement change across their supply chains.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika A. McFall at Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.
For information behind the numbers, read more here.
Compassion in World Farming is a global farmed animal protection organization that campaigns peacefully to end factory farming and replace it with a food system that is compassionate, fair, and sustainable for all. The charity is dedicated to reforming a broken food and farming system and introducing a more humane, fair, and sustainable one. Compassion engages with the world’s leading food companies to create and adopt meaningful animal welfare policies while tracking progress against those commitments to ensure compliance. We work towards a better future for animals, people, and the planet by educating concerned consumers and supporting meaningful public policy. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, in the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming or join the movement, visit: ciwf.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.