Is Soya Bad for the Planet?
Soya-bean farmers are suspected of starting fires in the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere to clear land to grow more crops – but tofu and soya milk aren’t the problem. The real culprit is animal agriculture.
Brazil is the world’s top exporter of soya beans, but only a fraction of those crops are consumed by humans. According to the Global Forest Atlas, 80% of all soya beans grown in the Amazon are turned into animal feed.
In 2017, Brazil produced 14.7 million tonnes of soya meal for its domestic market, and more than 90% of that became feed for animals in the meat and dairy industries.
Brazil is also the world’s top exporter of beef. The rainforest is being burned for pastureland to raise cows who are violently slaughtered, and we’re losing even more of it every day for soya-bean crops to feed cows and other animals on farms as well.
The UK Is Guilty, Too
Some of the UK’s largest fast-food and supermarket chains have been linked to meat from chickens, pigs, and cows fed on Brazilian soya beans. According to EU trade figures, around £240 million of Brazil’s soya exports were shipped to the UK in 2018.
A Greenpeace report also found that two international meat companies sold meat to the UK from animals raised on a protected Amazon reserve.
The affected area – the Serra Ricardo Franco State Park – was intended to be a safe haven for the animals who live there. Now, it’s been set ablaze to raise other animals for their flesh – cows who are fed Brazilian soya beans and whose meat is exported to the UK. It’s a cycle of misery for cows, native species, and our planet.
What Can We Do?
Many of us feel powerless in the face of environmental destruction – but there is hope. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that going vegan could reduce our carbon footprint from food by up to 73%, resulting in a significant drop in greenhouse-gas emissions. By eating vegan, we also reduce our water footprint by nearly 60%.
As we begin to witness the alarming impact of the climate crisis on our day-to-day lives, living a compassionate lifestyle has never been more vital.
Go vegan or watch the world burn – it’s that simple.
The United Nations is calling for urgent and unprecedented changes now, including to our diet, to limit the catastrophic damage caused by climate change. Be on the right side of history – go vegan today.