Want To Save Our Forests? Go Vegan!

Beets Carrots

More Forests, Less Meat

According to this study, researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology stated that we need to reduce meat to save and bring back our forests. They said that because forests protect our climate, reforestation can help combat climate change. The researchers quoted the Paris Agreement that global temperature increase must be limited to 2 degrees C and, if possible 1.5 degrees C. They also said that reforestation would reduce climate change as trees absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to produce biomass, thus reducing emissions.

Reforestation Competes With Clearing Land For Agriculture

However, the study pointed out that if we were to bring back our forests, we need to change our food system because a lot of farmers clear forests so they can raise cattle for food or grow crops for those same animals. As our global population grows and our demand for food increases, the more forests the farmers will clear to raise livestock and grow food to feed that livestock. Particularly, as meat consumption increases, more land will be required and more forests will have to be cleared.

The Fires in the Amazon Rainforest Have Exposed This Land Use

The fires in the Amazon rainforests have exposed this agricultural practice. The fires have been started by ranchers and farmers. The ranchers and farmers were setting parts of the forests on fire to clear land for cattle and feed for livestock. At least one of these fires went out of control, resulting in the Amazon rainforest burning. I have observed a lot of people talk about the Amazon rainforest burning, yet only few know that the rainforest is burning because of our demands for meat. As I have explained in some of my previous posts, we import meat from Brazil, especially red meat. I talked to a 16-year-old girl at my local Filipino organization’s fiesta. She told me that she cares about the Amazon rainforest. When I asked her if she knows it is caused by beef farmers, she told me she knows and that she is trying to reduce her meat consumption. This anecdote shows that our meat-based diet is contributing to the fires of the Amazon rainforest and it could get worse as our demand for meat increases more.

Final Thoughts

This study shows how our food consumption affects our environment. Particularly, it shows how our meat consumption affects it even more. Furthermore, the fires in the Amazon rainforest have exposed this food system. This is the reason I am a vegan. I hope that a lot of people reduce their meat intake. They do not have to go vegan if they want, although it will help a lot in saving our forests. Changing our food system and adopting a plant-based diet will help expand our forests and protect our climate. A vegan diet will be more effective.

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