Back in the early days of the human race, we lived as hunter-gatherers. It took at least a couple thousand years for agriculture to come into the picture. Fast forward to modern times, and agriculture has become the primary source of food for humans. But not without grave consequences. The ranching and livestock industry is a part of modern agricultural practices. Several studies have found that cattle ranches and livestock farming are among the primary reasons behind deforestation in the Amazon tropical forests. To put a clear picture, agrarian activities are responsible for up to 80% of the deforestation in Amazon forests. And that’s just the start. Our team decided to look into the impact of cattle ranches, beef consumption, and other agrarian activities on the Amazon.
Impact of cattle ranching on Amazon beef consumption
Research from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies found that approximately 450,000 square kilometers of forests have been cut down for cattle ranching, grazing, or turned into cattle pastures in the Brazilian Amazon alone. The rate of exploitation of Amazon differs in different countries, with Brazil at the top. There are over 200 million cattle heads in Brazil. It is also the biggest supplier of beef in the world, accounting for roughly 25% of global production. Some other leading producers of beef include Paraguay, Mexico, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Ranch owners turn hundreds of hectares of land into cattle pasture. In order to maintain the protein level in these pastures, the grass must resprout. But instead of using proper measures, farmers set these fields on fire, preparing the land for the cultivation of cattle pastures or soy plantations. It is critical to understand that man-led activities are responsible for the increasing instances of fire in Amazon.
Several countries, including Brazil and Paraguay, have passed regulations to prevent the exploitation of Amazon. But lacking proper enforcement of these rules, ranch owners continue exploiting rainforests for their economic gains.
Spiking stored carbon loss in Amazon
The impact humans have on the Amazon rainforest is something that has been dramatically underestimated. Researchers found that forest logging, as well as cattle ranching, makes up for an annual loss of 54 billion tons of carbon from the Amazon. This loss is equivalent to 40% of the yearly loss of carbon due to deforestation in the whole world.
The study is one of the largest researches conducted when it comes to recording above and below ground carbon loss data as a result of deforestation and cattle ranching. This research is carefully based on data gathered from over 60,000 sample trees, along with the soil and dead wood samples collected from more than 225 sites in the Amazon.
Can we sustain beef consumption without hurting the planet?
Cowspiracy is a documentary made by an environmentalist seeking the primary reasons behind climate change. The documentary looks into the impact of cattle farming and beef consumption on our planet. Most of the experts agree that beef consumption isn’t sustainable. There is no way we could meet the growing demand of beef over the next couple of decades without harming the planet.
A study goes on to show that most western countries need their beef consumption levels to drop by at least 90% if we are to stand a chance against climate change. The research postulates that farmers need to change their farming practices to be able to save the planet. The current food-production practices are causing a change in the natural balance of the environment as greenhouse gases are released as a result of cattle farming and deforestation. If we don’t take any reasonable action now, there will be heavy consequences by 2050.
Is there any way we can justify the over-exploitation of natural resources?
The answer is simple: No. At TreeCoin, we believe that sustainable production, as well as the cultivation of natural resources, is the only way humans can maintain our planet’s natural ecological balance.
Who are we? TreeCoin is a green tech firm that intends to promote sustainable production and management of timber in Paraguay. Our goal is to develop a model that can be easily replicated by other timber manufacturers. We use scientific research, custom harvesting schedule, and blockchain technology to conduct our operations.