Amazon Rainforest: How Beef production is linked to deforestation and climate change?
Brasalia, Aug 29: There is a pattern of violence against nature that's broad, deep, ruthless and mostly remains unspoken. The biggest example stands here is with the Brazil's dense Amazon rainforest. Its been more than three weeks and the Amazon rainforest is still burning at a record rate. The Amazon, which covers 2.1 million square miles, which is often referred to as the 'lungs of the planet' is slowing turning to ash every minute. The scene is apocalyptic as thousands of square miles of forest have been destroyed.
In 2019 alone, the area has seen a record number of fires, with the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), detecting 72,843 fires between January and August. This represents an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018.
So who is to be blamed? Conservation experts and scientists say that while a number of factors are contributing to the current crisis, out-of-control deforestation is the biggest driver.
It can be directly linked to the sudden shift to the global market which is caused by population growth and increased affluence in many other developing countries, particularly in Asia, where there is a growing demand for beef than it is domestically .
It has been reported that the cattle ranchers in order to aggressively expand their herds are clearing land for cattle production.
Known for world's largest exporter of beef, Brazil with a record of 1.64 million tons of beef was sent to its top markets China, Egypt and the European Union in 2018, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association. China, the most populous country in the world alone consumes around 43.8%, Hong Kong and the EU (Germany +338.4% demand) among others.
So, here the production of beef is without question the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon. The recent figures from 2014 show that overall deforestation is down, also shows that beef is still the primary reason for cutting down the forest. However these numbers account only for the areas cleared for the creation of pastures.
However, Subsequent research has shown that a severe, mandated reduction in beef production, as some European leaders have already suggested, would go a long way toward curtailing further destruction of the Amazon.
A slight change in your lifestyle habits like meat consumption is necessary but pointless without a commitment to changing the political and economic structures that currently prioritize unsustainable economic growth.
Of course cutting down on beef consumption alone won't end rainforest deforestation, but seeing as more than three fourths of the Amazon rainforests are being cut down almost exclusively for something that everyone could easily eat, it seems like now its our responsibility to the world to do so.