It’s not often that Torii Labs gets political, but we simply cannot stand by and watch the planet's lungs burn.
This year, over 76,000 fires have been recorded across the Brazilian Amazon, which according to National Geographic is an increase of over 80% from the same time period last year.
The Amazon produces 20% of the world’s oxygen, which is essential to life on earth as we know it. This dense arboreal ecosystem also absorbs huge amounts of CO2, helping mitigate the greenhouse effects of human-induced climate change.
According to EarthSky, an area the size of Texas has already gone since the fires started.
What’s the primary cause of this you may ask? Deforestation.
Yes, most fires observed are indeed caused by humans.
To put this as simple as possible. The main reason for cutting down trees is:
1. To convert the area into cropland to grow soy or to graze cattle
According to the US Department of Agriculture, Brazil is the world’s top exporter of beef.
To put it bluntly, we are basically getting rid of the Amazon forest, to make way for agricultural land for people to eat meat and soy.
Since Bolsonaro took office, deforestation has risen significantly following his election pledge to exploit the Amazon for profit. There is data to prove this, released by The National Institute for Space Research. Read Verge’s article to know more about this matter.
Of course, there are other reasons too. Such as infrastructure development plans like converting the Amazon’s waterways into electricity generators. Road-crossings in the Amazon are also impacting waterways and hurting fish.
So often these catastrophic events seem too great for us to address. How can we help protect these essential ecosystems from being destroyed?
Collectively, we have far more power than we think. We can facilitate the change we need by being conscious of what we buy. By reducing our meat and soy consumption and checking the source of where our beef comes from (i.e don’t buy beef from Brazil!) we can make a powerful statement to those responsible for the devastation of one of our planet's treasures. If there is no market for Brazilian beef then there will be no need to slash and burn more land for grazing.
Time is running out, but together we can still help protect the Amazon. Here is a list of 5 things you can do to help save the Amazon:
1. Be a conscious consumer: Eat less meat and always ask where your beef and soy come from. Don’t eat beef or soy that comes from Brazil. If you don’t know where the beef comes from don’t eat it!
2. If you are going to eat beef, eat grass-fed organic beef which hasn’t been stuffed with soy and corn which in turn requires huge amounts of deforested land to be cultivated.
3. Eat local – cur out the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food by eating local. At the same time support your local community.
4. Make sure your local stores and restaurants do not buy their beef and soy from Brazil. Hold others to account.
5. Pass on this message to your community through social media.