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A Tejarat News report quotes Ali Asghar Maleki, president of the union of lamb meat producers, stating that a severe drop in the consumption of meat by Iranian families has resulted in the closure of 10 percent of the butcher shops in Tehran.

A report published a month ago by Iran’s Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare noted the decline  in Iranian meat consumption, which it said had fallen by 50 percent in the 2010s. According to the report, the per capita monthly meat consumption of the lowest income decile fell from 2.6 kilograms in 2011 to 1.2 kilograms by 2019. 

The precipitous fall in red meat consumption is a clear consequence of Iranians’ waning household incomes, which declined more than 22 percent over the 2010s. While many families have been substituting eggs for red meat as a source of protein, ILNA reports that last summer the price of eggs went up tenfold, such that a single egg now costs 2,000 tomans—about .50 USD; by comparison, the average price in the United States as of August was less than .15 USD.

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