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Brazil, the world's largest meat exporter, has more and more vegetarians

Brazil, one of the more carnivorous countries, is having a vegetarian explosion.

Cows in a stable

The number of vegetarians in Brazil is increasing more and more. / Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Brasil, el mayor exportador de carne del mundo, tiene cada vez más vegetarianos

Food awareness is spreading across Latin America, to the point where Brazil, one of the countries considered most carnivorous, is having more and more vegetarians .

The world is changing. Several years ago, it was unthinkable that there would be a community increasingly interested in animal care. However, awareness about climate change and knowing how food gets to our table has caused and is causing more and more people to choose a vegetarian or vegan diet, even in historically carnivorous countries.

Recently, a survey carried out by the research company Ibope determined that the number of people who declare themselves vegetarian in Brazil doubled in a period of 6 years. In other words, there would be approximately 30 million people, representing 14% of Brazilians, who declared that they practice diets against animal abuse.

The really funny thing is that this nation is famous for its meat, but this situation, where eating habits are changing, could lead to a plant-based industry, to the point where it would have the potential to become a major food exporter of other foods than meat. Let's see what the increase in vegetarians in Brazilian territory implies.

The rise of vegetarians in Brazil

The first thing to say is that this is a really interesting situation to comment on, since, according to data from the USDA of the United States, Brazil is the largest exporter of beef on the planet. It even surpasses India, which is the second nation to base its industry on beef.

Brazil has the second-largest herd of cattle in the world, with some 232 million head, resulting in productivity for the country. During the next decade, it could reach 2.9 million metric tons, which would represent 23 percent of the world's total exports in 2028.

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In other words, Brazil appears as one of the greatest forces on the planet in the treatment of livestock, although this could change with the eating habits of a sector of the Brazilian population. For example, the survey that noted the increase in vegetarians also indicated that people are increasingly moving away from these animal proteins due to the health problems they can cause.

Mainly, we saw it in the increase in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which affect the Brazilian population due to the proliferation of junk food. Precisely, The New York Times revealed that problems such as hypertension are related to the increase in the consumption of unhealthy food, as occurs with McDonald's or Coca-Cola.

At the same time, Brazil began to become aware in environmental terms, associating the livestock industry with the ecological problems that the region experienced. This nation of 212 million people seems to be increasingly committed to preventing deforestation and even fires in major places, like the Amazon, where livestock are often blamed as one of the main drivers of these problems.

So it is not surprising that new demands are emerging for plant-based foods, opening the door to interesting industries, such as New Butchers, a company dedicated to replicating animal foods with vegetarian ingredients. Not everyone wants to make a drastic change, but interesting social alternatives emerge, such as creating a Meatless Monday to reduce environmental impact.

Even the educational institutions themselves are committed to this challenge. Public schools in four cities in northeastern Brazil created partnerships with the Humane Society International, transitioning schools to becoming vegetarian, reducing meat, dairy and egg consumption by 25% per semester.

Then, for different reasons, there began to be a wave of awareness about the livestock industry and the effects on health and the environment in Brazil. This could cause a change in the economy of the country, because there would be a decrease in demand for one of the main sources of income of the nation. It remains to be seen, then, if this trend continues to increase over the next few years.