The United States is the country producing the most beef in the world by some margin. This is according to forecasts for 2021 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization. The country is expected to produce 12.6 million tons of beef and veal this year. Second up is Brazil, forecast to produce 10.4 million tons. The country has in the past been heavily criticized for its large-scale cattle industry, which has caused deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and is contributing to extreme wildfire seasons the country, like the one experienced in 2019. Most of the fires in the Amazon were caused by agricultural plot burning, many in connection with illegal land use.
An unexpected country on the list is India in rank 5. The majority of Indians are Hindus, which consider cows holy and refrain from eating them. There are large fines for slaughtering cows in many Indian states and violence in connection with cow smuggling has been picking up recently. India legally slaughters a large number of water buffalo though, which are exported to countries like Vietnam, Egypt, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.