Amid the tense and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, the plant-based movement has continued to catapult forward, with more and more consumers becoming vegan-curious, or flat-out ditching animal products completely. By some accounts, U.S. sales of plant-based meat grew 200% in the week ending April 18th, compared with the same and sales of meatless meat continue to be on the upswing.

Now, as we learned from a piece that flashed across our radar from Live Kindly, red meat production is down nearly 20% from last May. The news comes from the USDA’s livestock slaughter memo released on June 25th conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Meat Production Down Nearly 20% in the US

While we still have a long way to go in limiting—and we hope—ultimately eliminating red meat consumption, the findings are certainly encouraging. Overall, commercial red meat production (which includes beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton) for the United States totaled 3.76 billion pounds in May, which represents an 18% decrease from the 4.57 billion pounds produced in May 2019.

Beef production, at 1.87 billion pounds, was 20% below the previous year and pork production, which amounted to 1.88 billion pounds, showed a 15% decrease in production from the previous year. Less encouragingly, when the data only crunched numbers from January to May 2020, it was found that commercial red meat production was 22.0 billion pounds, only a 2% decrease from 2019.

Indeed, it will be a tough road ahead against the Big Meat industry. We hope with the awareness of veganism continuing to grow as meat plants struggle to contain the coronavirus outbreak rise among its workers and people turn to a plant-based diet to promote their health, it will lead to a silver lining of more non-animal meat on the dinner table. We’re looking forward to the day when the livestock slaughter memos read “0 pounds” year over year, month over month, day over day.

More From The Beet