Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

How to Fight Deforestation With Your Fork

Food

Can going meatless once a week change the course of our rainforests?

Let's look at what, why and how. Today, the raising of livestock uses 30 percent of the Earth's total land surface. And every hour, rainforests the size of 4,000 football fields are being destroyed, most of it for beef production. Plus, the raising of cattle further damages the soil—about 20 percent of pastures (and even higher for dry lands) are degraded through overgrazing and erosion.

A deforested area is prepared for planting. During an overflight to monitor the northern state of Mato Grosso, Greenpeace identify farms with evidence of recent deforestation, caused by soy production and cattle raising. Photo credit: Paulo Pereira / Greenpeace

We simply can't afford to lose our rainforests. They produce our clean air, balance the climate and protect water cycles. Our rainforests are also home to thousands of valuable medicinal plants, many of which are used in modern medicine today. Truly priceless is the culture and wisdom of native peoples who have lived in the rainforests for thousands of years. Livestock displaces them.

Simple truth: As the world population explodes and the demand for meat grows, more and more rainforest will be destroyed. But it's not out of our hands. You can take one very important step. Just go meatless one day a week.

Why? Because for each hamburger you exchange for a delicious meat-free dish like our Pasta Primavera, you save 55 square feet of tropical rainforest.

Peggy Neu, president of the Monday campaigns, reminds us that Meatless Monday has its roots in World War I and II, when Americans were asked to help conserve key staples to aid the war effort. Today, our “cut out meat one day a week" program is active in 40 countries and growing. Activists like actor Mark Ruffalo, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Richard Branson and many international cooking stars like Giada De Laurentiis and Mario Batali have jumped on board.

Join with all of us on Meatless Monday and watch our food choices change the future.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Activists Scale NYC Landmark, Drop Banner: Pepsi Cola, Cut Conflict Palm Oil

Can Superfoods Help Boost the Planet's Health, Too?

The Role of the Worm in Recycling Wastewater

Watch Racing Extinction: It Will Change the Way You View the World

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

People visit Jacksonville Beach on July 4, 2020 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Public health experts have attributed Florida's growing coronavirus caseload to people gathering in crowds. Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

Florida broke the national record for the most new coronavirus cases reported in a single day on Sunday, with a total of 15,299.

Read More Show Less
Marco Bottigelli / Moment / Getty Images

By James Shulmeister

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

Read More Show Less
Luxy Images / Getty Images

By Jo Harper

Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.

Read More Show Less
Giacomo Berardi / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and limitations of globalization. The crisis has made people aware of how industrialized food production can be, and just how far food can travel to get to the local supermarket. There are many benefits to this system, including low prices for consumers and larger, even global, markets for producers. But there are also costs — to the environment, workers, small farmers and to a region or individual nation's food security.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less