Why Are Rainforests Being Destroyed
My mom, who was born next to the Amazon River in the jungles of Peru, returns to South America to visit family about once a year. The last time I went with her was to bury my grandfather in Colombia.
So the rainforests hold a special place in my heart.
Watching Netflix’ David Attenborough documentary yesterday, I was especially keen to hear his thoughts on the increasing biodiversity loss the rainforests are suffering. And he had a lot to say!
Showing incredible video footage of their lush greenery and vibrant colors, he explained how the rainforests affect our atmosphere and climate:
“A thick belt of jungles around the equator has piled plant on plant to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible, adding moisture and oxygen to the global air currents.”
The jungles teem with so much life, in fact, that they’re home to “more than half of the species on land.”
Many of those species, however, live in small numbers. On a single patch of land, for example, “there could be 700 different species of tree, as many as there are in the whole of North America.”
More than half the tropical forests have now disappeared, taking with them entire habitats which once supported a breathtaking array of wildlife.
How many species have gone extinct because of habitat loss? Nobody knows, yet we continue cutting or burning down the jungles at an unprecedented rate!
As the Financial Times reported recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic global deforestation has increased more than 50 percent. And for the year ending July 1, 2020, forest clearing in Brazil rose almost 35 percent.
David warns of the farmland now covering half the Earth:
“We can’t cut down rainforests forever, and anything we can’t do forever is by definition unsustainable…We’re replacing the wild with the tame.”
What drives of our insatiable need for more land?
Most farmland grows food for animals – not human – consumption. The crops that bulk up our cows, pigs, and chickens could feed all humanity many times over. Instead, they go to providing the wealthiest nations with an unreasonable amount of meat.
Stop eating meat, and our need for more farmland would immediately end. On only a fraction of what already exists, we could grow enough plants to feed the world. And the rest could return to jungle!
Each and every one of us can make a difference: We can follow Attenborough’s advice to stop eating meat and switch to a mostly plant-based diet.
Now is the time for change!
Read This Article : Cattle Ranching In The Amazon Rainforest