Special Report

12 States That Kill the Most Animals

12. Mississippi
> Total live weight slaughtered (lbs.):
4.35 billion
> Pct. of national production: 3.3%
>Most slaughtered animal (lbs): Chicken
> Animal slaughtering employment: 16,830 (12th highest)

About 4.35 billion pounds of livestock were slaughtered in Mississippi in 2013, the 12th highest weight nationwide. Poultry accounts for the largest share of the total pounds slaughtered nationwide. Similarly, nearly all of the meat produced in Mississippi came from chickens, and the state’s chicken production made up about 8.5% of all chicken meat slaughtered nationwide. Of the 22,570 workers in Mississippi employed in food manufacturing nearly 17,000 worked in animal slaughtering and processing, one of the higher nominal figures in the country.

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11. California
> Total live weight slaughtered (lbs.):
4.81 billion
> Pct. of national production: 3.7%
>Most slaughtered animal (lbs): Cattle
> Animal slaughtering employment: 21,950 (8th highest)

A cow bred for beef production consumes as much as 30 gallons of water per day. An abundant water source is therefore essential for raising livestock as it is for most other agricultural activities. While California’s severe drought conditions will likely hurt agricultural output in the near future, the state was among the top meat producers in 2013. California’s livestock slaughter totalled more than 4.8 billion pounds, nearly half of which came from cattle. Chickens accounted for about a third of animals slaughtered in the state.

10. Missouri
> Total live weight slaughtered (lbs.):
4.92 billion
> Pct. of national production: 3.7%
>Most slaughtered animal (lbs): Hog
> Animal slaughtering employment: 16,800 (13th highest)

Missouri produced about 2.4 billion live pounds of hog in 2013, the fifth largest amount in the country and up slightly from the year before. Hogs accounted for about half of all livestock slaughter in the state. Of the nearly 31 billion live pounds of hog slaughtered across the country, 7.7% came from Missouri. The state was also a top chicken producer, slaughtering about 443.7 million chickens, or 2.1 billion live pounds — both the seventh highest figures nationwide. Chicken production comprised about 43% of all livestock pounds slaughtered in Missouri. As in several other top meat-producing states, Missouri is a major source of corn, which supplies the bulk of feed for many types of livestock.