It’s important to remember that the fires destroying the Amazon rainforest right now aren’t wildfires, and they weren’t the result of a natural disaster. They were set deliberately—many of them by ranchers in the meat, dairy, and leather industries. This shocking revelation has already inspired countless compassionate people around the world to at least ditch red meat or even go vegan. And now, artists are using their talent to paint a clear picture of the connection between the production of animal-derived foods and materials and deforestation.
Check out this art showing how animal agriculture fuels the Amazon rainforest fires and harms not only the environment but also other animal species:
Cows aren’t the only animals who die for beef, dairy, and leather. When huge swaths of rainforest are burned by farmers and ranchers, the animals who live there are burned up along with the trees and plants. The Amazon is home to one out of every 10 known species living on Earth today. This includes mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish—and countless species that aren’t found anywhere else.
If you buy a steak or burger here in the U.S., did you know that a scarlet macaw may have died in Brazil when space was cleared to grow feed for that steer? Just some food for thought.
More than 90% of the Amazon rainforest that’s been cleared since 1970 is now used for meat production or for growing food for cattle, including those raised here in the U.S. In addition, the United Nations states that animal agriculture is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions—and warns that a global shift to vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
What You Can Do
Going vegan is a great way to accomplish many goals at once: You’ll combat deforestation, decrease your carbon footprint, and spare the lives of nearly 200 animals per year. Each person who goes vegan also reduces their risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and other health conditions.
If you need help getting started, we’re here for you! Order PETA’s vegan starter kit today: