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Organic Consumers Association

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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

Destructive Farming Is the Issue — Not Whether You Eat Meat or Vegetables

Land degradation, biomass loss and climate change are intertwined, whether in the Amazon or a savannah

The ongoing destruction of the globe’s rainforests has been brought into devastating focus by the Amazonian blazes. One of the chief mainstream responses has been: “Stop eating meat.” 

On the face of it, that’s an understandable response. Much forest destruction is caused by agriculture, mostly livestock farming. About 80% of Amazonian soya grown is for cattle feed. About 60% of the cleared land is used for pasture. Horrendous. But “Stop eating meat” is a simplistic response that ignores the bigger problem: destructive agriculture.  

We’ve been increasingly dividing diets into plant vs animal. It’s a split that fits nicely into social media virtue-signalling and current (insanely misguided) nutritional advice. It’s an ideological division. Viewing this sort of compartmentalising through the prism of rainforest concerns highlights its unhelpfulness.

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