Updated: Oct 10, 2019
“Home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people - the Amazon basin is crucial to regulating global warming, with its forests absorbing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year. But when trees are cut or burned, the carbon they are storing is released into the atmosphere and the rainforest's capacity to absorb carbon emissions is reduced” (BBC, News).
No matter where you are in the world, if you are reading this, chances are, just like me, you have had your meal or will probably be gulping one very soon and just like me, you will probably not bother to recognise that every little decision we take in choosing what our next meal is going to have a magnanimous impact on how those demands are met. Despite our often self proclaimed compassionate-self, living thousands of miles away from the fogs, and clouds of Amazonian fire, due to the remoteness of it all sometimes it can be hard to connect the dots between our food choices and its direct correlation to the arson of Amazon.
Before we go on ranting about the farmers setting fire on the Earth's Lung and comparing the poor Brazilian farmers with pure evil or whatever... let us take a step back from ranting about it and think of how we might be the one to blame. Some are blaming the Brazilian politicians and incumbent government for its aspiration to ride on the global demand for Brazilian Soy & agro produces. Actually, the blame is on us rather than the Brazilian politicians who are trying to push its GDP. It is well known that earning foreign trades and bringing more money into the country can win you the vote. But ultimately it is our food preference that creates the incentives to set the Earth Lung on fire.
Shame that we can’t keep our hands off the low priced mass-produced meat and dairy. If Vegan, you probably love your tofu and soy-based produce. However, remember that behind beef, soy is the second-largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide.
According to the WWF, Since the 1950s, global soybean production has increased 15 times over. Brazil, Argentina & USA together produce about 80% of the world’s soy. Although 27% of vegetable oils used for the cooking comes from Soy, a much larger portion of the crops is fed to the livestock. For instance, Europe’s intensive livestock sector massively relies on soy and most of it imported from South America, to meet the demand for meat and dairy products. Large industrial-scale pig and chicken production throughout the EU and in the USA relies heavily on global Soy production.
WWF also claims that, if we consider the existing demand of Soy by the EU meat produces from the Amazon and South American region then that requires a whopping 32 million acres of land which is roughly equivalent to 90% the size of Germany’s entire agricultural area. China is now set to become the highest importer of the Amazonian Soy to mainly feed its growing demand for the meat, dairy and poultry industry.
There is no denying that the Amazonian deforestation is caused by the ignorant global hunger for meat, dairy and soy.
The Amazonian farmers are simply trying to serve you the meal you crave for.Our demand for the stakes, poultry and dairy or our over-excitement about the tofu and soy-based foods and oils are one of the main causes of the human led deforestration. Besides, alongside stretching fragile ecosystems of the rain-forests, our demand also has direct human sufferings, a recent report by Survival International notes that expansion of agricultural and grazing land threatens 650,000 Brazilian Indians in more than 200 tribes.
Perhaps, if we could reduce our demand for the meat and dairy and reduce our Soy consumption by switching to other more eco-friendly legumes then perhaps we could stop the incentives to set fire on Amazon which is choking our biosphere and squeezing out the life of our planet in the process... 💚🌎💚🌱🙏🏼
Author Nazmus Tareque is an Oxford Law Graduate. He is the CEO of Legume Express Limited & ex-president of Anglo-Eastern Commodity Ltd.