People all around the world are alarmed at the site of the Amazon rainforest burning. A larger concern is the rapid deforestation. The rain forest is full of countless rare species of animals and is home to a great amount of bio diversity. Further, it is a massive reservoir of carbon. This has monumental effects on climate stability and preventing the climate change we are seeing.
Unfortunately there are great financial incentives to deforestation. One of the biggest is cattle ranching. Brazil, which is the country that where most of the rainforest is located has become the worlds largest beef exporter. If you want to know what you can do to help save the rainforest, and by extension, the planet, eat less beef!
This past year, while at a medical convention, I went to a Brazilian steakhouse. After leaving there, I actually felt dirty, like I had done something immoral. They would walk around the restaurant with literally dozens of pieces of meat scured onto several feet long spears which they would slide on your plate. It was beyond gluttony. I can appreciate a good steak every once a while but this was over the top.
Total meat production in the US is projected to reach 103,000,000,000 pounds. With per capita meat consumption of an average of 217.3 pounds. This is more than four times what Americans used to eat 50 years ago. At that time, people would only eat much meat once or twice a week and not every day.
It is not a stretch to say that Amazon is burning because the world eat so much meat. Beef is responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions and livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions. If you want to save the world, “eat less meat”.