Cattle Ranching In The Amazon Rainforest
I’ve been thinking a lot about cattle ranching in the Amazon Rainforest this week, but nothing quite prepared me for this 44 second time-lapse video clip.
The Norwegian-sponsored Planet organization used satellite footage to document how between May 2017 and September 2020, a stretch of the Amazonian jungle was converted to farmland.
Seeing my mother’s childhood home being turned into farmland is personally devastating to me. And my Mom, who still returns to South America almost every year, tells me of a constant anger among her people.
They’re simply outraged at seeing their jungles turned into pasture for cattle or farmland to grow livestock feed, only to see the meat from those animals shipped to the U.S, and other wealthier countries.
This past June the Global Forest Watch group’s World Mikaela Weisse and Elizabeth Dow Goldman posted We Lost a Football [Field] of Primary Rainforest Every 6 Seconds in 2019 to the World Resource Institute’s blog.
They point out that, “Large-scale agriculture is a major driver of deforestation – particularly for soy and cattle ranching.”
Although much of the world’s soybean crop is processed for human consumption, the Global Forest Atlas reports that “ 80% of Amazon soy is destined for animal feed.”
They explain that our rising demand for beef has “… created a soy-cattle pasture-deforestation dynamic where soy replaced existing cattle pasture, spurring new deforestation for cattle ranching further into the Amazon.”
Although many South American governments don’t endorse this activity, the situation is only getting worse. As the Financial Times observed in August, “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, forest loss alerts have increased by 77 percent compared to the average from 2017-2019.”
In what has become a humanitarian crisis, we’re robbing indigenous people of their ancestral homes and countless jungle wildlife of their habitats. All for the sake of our taste buds!
Please support my Mom’s Amazonian homeland, stop eating beef