Hi John, thank you for the feedback. As my piece notes, the 7.3B figure is imprecise since, as you rightly point out, some of the data are unknowable at this point. As my piece notes, that number is drawn from a rigorous 2018 meta analysis of available information. The piece links to the study, which spends much time on the concerns you mention about a lack of good data. It’s considered the most authoritative number but, as my piece notes, is not by any means exact. But it isn’t fictional or even contrived, and my piece accounts for the context in which it’s cited.
As for vegans being violent and threatening, I’m very sorry to hear about those experiences, and I think they matter. I’m quite interested in investigating what happened - would you be able to help me? I can get you some contact information, if you want to chat with me.