Meat consumption drives rainforest destruction and global warming - 14 Jan 2010  
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A report recently issued by the Earth Policy Institute provides an in-depth look at global trends relating to soybean yields as well as revealing the link to destruction of tropical rainforests. First grown by farmers in China some 3,000 years ago, soy is now one of the world’s dominant crops, going from 17 million tons to 250 million tons in just 50 years, representing a 14-fold increased in yields.

However, the report states that only about 30% of soybeans are consumed directly by humans with some 70% being processed for consumption by livestock and poultry.

And as new acreage is carved out of the Amazon and other countries like Honduras and Paraguay, vast amounts of carbon are released from both the areas cleared for soybeans and the livestock that consumes them.

Currently, Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of soybeans, with countries like China importing 75% of the 55 million tons consumed primarily by livestock in that country.

The Earth Policy Institute report concludes that saving the rainforests depends on reducing demand for soybeans and thus eating more plant-based foods.

Our heartfelt thanks Earth Policy Institute for calling our attention to the connection between meat consumption and the demise of our irreplaceable rainforests.

May we all act now to save both the trees and the planet by adopting the sustainable vegan diet. In an interview published in the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine, Supreme Master Ching Hai again addressed such tolls of the livestock industry along with the most direct way to protect the rainforest and our ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: On land, meat consumption is responsible for vast regions being cleared for grazing crops that are fed to livestock. One example is seen in the deforested Amazon areas that have gone from lush forest to bare fields used for cattle grazing or primarily animal feed crops.

With these activities essentially robbing our biodiversity, there has been an alarming rise in the disappearance of plants and animals. And one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted in the field is now forecasting that over a million species will be lost in the coming 50 years.

The answer to all of this is quite clear. Stop the meat consumption. Stop it yesterday. This will eliminate the so-called need for livestock raising, which will immediately return immense amounts of land to natural sustainability or to natural growing methods that allow biodiversity to be replenished. This is the way we need to go, and fast.