11 Most Consumed Meats in the World

most meats consumed in the world

The world’s carnivorous culture is incredibly diverse, from beef to pork and everything in between.

Keeping track of the most popular can be hard with a wide range of most meats consumed worldwide. 

Let’s explore the most consumed meats in the world and delve into the culture and cuisine associated with each.

So grab a snack and join us as we uncover the international meat-eating habits of the world!

1. Chicken

Photo by RitaE on Pixabay

Chicken is hands down one of the most consumed meats in the world, and it’s not even close.

The versatile and flavorful bird is a staple of almost every cuisine and is prized for its lean meat and versatility in dishes.

Whether grilled, roasted, fried, or stewed, chicken is the go-to meat for many home cooks and chefs worldwide.

One of the reasons why chicken is so popular is its affordability. Compared to other meats, chicken is often cheaper and more readily available. 

It is also low in fat and protein, making it a healthy option for health-conscious people.

It’s no wonder that chicken is a household name worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down its reign as the most popular meat consumed.

2. Beef

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Beef is also one of the most consumed meats in the world, with an estimated global consumption of over 66 million tons annually.

It is often regarded as a staple in Western cuisine and commonly found in burgers, steaks, and roasts.

Aside from being a great source of protein, beef is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.

However, high beef consumption has also been linked to negative environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

As a result, many people are turning to alternative protein sources, such as plant-based meats, to reduce their carbon footprint.

3. Goat/Sheep

goat meat
Photo by BlackWolfi on Pixabay

In many countries, goat and sheep meat is a diet staple. These meats consumed worldwide are often popular due to their affordability and because goats and sheep are easy to raise and maintain.

Additionally, goat and sheep meat are lean and have a rich, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with various spices and herbs. 

Goat meat is particularly popular in African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean cuisine, where it is often cooked slowly with fragrant spices and served with rice or bread.

In contrast, sheep meat is commonly consumed in the Mediterranean and Central Asian countries, often roasted or grilled and served with vegetables and yogurt-based sauces.

Despite being a less common choice in Western countries, goat and sheep meat are highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

4. Turkey

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Turkey is a bird that is native to North America, but it is now a popular source of meat all around the world.

Turkey meat is often consumed during special occasions, such as Thanksgiving in the United States.

It is a low-fat protein source high in vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and B vitamins. 

In addition to being delicious meat for roasting, turkey is commonly ground and used in dishes such as meatballs, burgers, and sausages.

It is a versatile protein seasoned with various spices and herbs to create flavor profiles.

Turkey is one of the healthy and most consumed meats in the world, an option that many cultures worldwide enjoy.

5. Duck

Duck meat
Photo by RitaE on Pixabay

Turkey may be most commonly associated with the holiday season in the United States, but it is one of the most consumed meats in the world.

It is the fourth most consumed meat in the world, following chicken, beef, and pork.

Turkey meat is a great source of lean protein and contains less fat than other popular meats like beef and pork.

Turkey meat is consumed in many different forms and preparations across various cultures.

In North America, it is often roasted whole for holiday meals, sliced for sandwiches, or ground for burgers.

In the Middle East, turkey meat is commonly used in stews and kebabs. In parts of Asia, it may be used in stir fry dishes or ground and formed into meatballs.

With its versatility and nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder turkey has become a staple protein source worldwide.

6. Buffalo

Buffalo Meat
by shankar s. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Buffalo, also known as bison meat, is a staple in the American Midwest and has gained popularity worldwide due to its unique taste and nutritional benefits.

Buffalo meat is a great protein, iron, and vitamin B12 source. It is also lower in fat and calories than beef, making it a healthier choice for those watching their diet. 

And the best part, Buffalo meat can be prepared in various ways, from burgers to steaks to stews.

It has a slightly sweeter and richer flavor than beef and a tender texture. Many also appreciate that buffalo is often raised more sustainably and humanely than other meats.

While still one of the most meats consumed in the world, buffalo is a delicious and healthy option that is definitely worth trying.

7. Rabbit

by astanleyjones is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Rabbit is a popular meat consumed in many countries, particularly in Europe and Asia.

The meat is known for being lean, low in calories, and high in protein. It is often prepared in stews, roasted, or grilled and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

In France, rabbit is a staple in traditional dishes such as “lapin à la moutarde” (rabbit in mustard sauce) and “civet de lapin” (rabbit stew).

In Spain, rabbit is commonly used in the popular dish “paella,” in Italy, it is served roasted with herbs and vegetables.

With its versatility and unique flavor, it’s no wonder rabbit has become a popular choice for meat lovers worldwide.

8. Venison

by tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Venison is a term used for meat that comes from deer. It has a distinctive, gamey taste that sets it apart from other meats.

Although it may not be as commonly consumed as beef or chicken, venison is popular for meat lovers who want to try something different. 

One of the benefits of consuming venison is that it is lean meat and high in protein.

It is also rich in iron and vitamin B12, making it a nutritious option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. 

Venison is often served in fine dining restaurants, but it can also be found in specialty meat markets and butcher shops for home cooks to experiment with.

Whether roasted, grilled, or stewed, venison is a flavorful meat that will impress.

9. Camel

by rebeccaselah is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Camels are also one of the most consumed meats in the world. It may not be meat that many people are familiar with, but it is widely consumed in many countries worldwide. 

It is red meat from camel with a taste and texture similar to beef. In countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Somalia, it is a staple in many traditional dishes.

One popular dish that features came is called “majboos,” a rice dish made with spices, vegetables, and tender chunks of came. 

It is also used in stews, curries, and grilled dishes. While it may not be as commonly consumed as other meats on this list, came is an important part of many cultural and culinary traditions and is definitely worth trying if you have the opportunity.

10. Pork

Photo by KG Baek on Unsplash

Coming in next on the most consumed meats in the world is pork. With a rich, juicy flavor, it’s no wonder this meat is a crowd-pleaser. 

Pork is known for being a versatile protein source, meaning it can be cooked in many different ways to achieve various textures and flavors.

The possibilities are endless with this beloved meat, from bacon to pulled pork, pork chops to ham.

Not only is pork delicious, but it’s also a great source of nutrients such as protein, iron, and vitamin B12. 

In many cultures, pork is a staple food in traditional dishes. In China, for example, pork is commonly used in dumplings and stir-fry dishes. Similarly, in the Philippines, Lechon (a whole roasted pig) is often served at celebratory events such as weddings and birthdays.

With its versatility and popularity, it’s clear why pork continues to be a favorite among meat lovers worldwide.

11. Horse

by Michiey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This is the last on our list of most consumed meats in the world. Horse meat may be a taboo food in some countries, but it is a popular delicacy in many parts of the world.

In countries like Belgium, Italy, and Kazakhstan, horse meat is commonly used in traditional dishes and consumed by locals.

It is often compared to beef in taste and texture and is considered a leaner and healthier alternative to other most meats consumed worldwide. 

However, in other parts of the world, like the United States, consuming horse meat is illegal and frowned upon for cultural and ethical reasons.

Despite being controversial, horse meat has been consumed by humans for centuries and remains a significant source of nutrition for some cultures.

Whether you agree with the practice or not, it is undeniable that horse meat has earned its place among the most meats consumed in the world.


As we explore many cultures, one commonality is the love of meat. Whether beef, chicken, pork, or seafood, meat consumption is a staple in nearly every culture. 

So without further delay, start cooking and trying these most consumed meats in the world listed above in our article. Enjoy!! 

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