A boycott on beef has been on the rise as of late, and for good reason. According to worldstopexports.com, Brazil exported the world’s third highest dollar value worth of beef. Home to the Amazon Jungle, the largest tropical rainforest in the world, the land of Brazil itself has been under attack. Many may ask what the connection is between these two circumstances, as they seem completely separate, however, there a correlation between tropical species extinction being at an all time high due to deforestation and the fact that the land is being “deforested” due to an increase in cattle ranching and beef production.
Therefore, it stands to reason that a reduction in cattle ranching and less beef consumption would lead to LESS deforestation thereby saving the environment. Mongabay, a non-profit organization, stated that in the last 12 years, more than 38,600 square miles have been cleared for cattle ranches, a size which, when combined with the total amount already cleared, is larger than the country of France (news.mongabay.com).
The Amazon rainforest’s sheer size may serve to mitigate slightly the effects of deforestation solely for cattle ranches, but Yale’s school of Forestry and Environmental studies explains that there are more issues than that. Soy cultivation for the purpose of feeding animals also contributes to deforestation. Up to 80% of Amazonian soy is used directly as animal feed (globalforestatlas.yale.edu). This means that the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed not only for space for the cattle to live, but also to make room for the scores of soy they consume.
All of that takes a huge toll on the most biodiverse space on the planet. Mongabay also reported that, “On average, 137 species become extinct everyday; or 50,000 each year.” That’s a lot of species permanently eliminated due to deforestation, the majority of it caused by a drive for animal agriculture.
By lessening the demand for cattle products, companies would be less inclined to destroy miles of beautiful landscape for profit. Hence, the increased boycotting of beef and the uptick in veganism. People want to stop funding the big businesses responsible for the deaths of a multitude of species across the largest forest in the world.
Vegans argue that the power is in your hands. The choice could save the rainforest, the lungs of our Earth–don’t eat beef.