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World's Meat Consumption: Luxembourg Eats The Most Per Person, India The Least

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/03/2012 5:55 pm Updated: 05/04/2012 6:26 am

Of all the countries in the world, which consumes the most meat per person? The answer might surprise you.

"Nope, it's not the burger-loving U.S. (though we do consume the second most in the world) -- it's tiny European nation Luxembourg, which tipped the scales at 136.5 kg of meat per person a year, or roughly 300 pounds. Of the 177 countries included in the study, India consumed the least amount, at only seven pounds per person.

The information, gathered by the U.N. Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) and analyzed by The Economist, indicates that consumption of meat has been on the rise worldwide over the last 50 years.

Tastes have changed, too:

Cow (beef and veal) was top of the menu in the early 1960s, accounting for 40% of meat consumption, but by 2007 its share had fallen to 23%. Pig is now the animal of choice, with around 99m tonnes consumed.

Although Western countries still eat the most meat per person, The Economist notes that it's middle-income countries like China that drive worldwide demand for it.

In addition to being linked to health problems, meat consumption has environmental experts crying foul. In 2008, Time reported that FAO data indicates that 18 percent of the Earth's greenhouse gas emissions were linked to worldwide livestock farming. In contrast, emissions from cars, trains, planes and boats worldwide combined accounted for only 13 percent.

Check out which world citizens consume the most and least meat below.

THE MOST: 1. Luxembourg (300 Pounds/Year)
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