Page Summary: Quotes & links to ~30 science news reports on the Mass Deforestation & Land Clearing done for the Animal Agriculture Industry ie. Meat & Dairy businesses.
This site also has pages with scores of science news reports on the impact of our food choices on climate change, biodiversity loss and the dying oceans.
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Page Menu – to jump to sections below regards:
+ Deforestation to Plant Crops to Feed to Livestock Animals
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Some General Reports:
March 2018 news report: “Destruction of nature as dangerous as climate change, scientists warn. Unsustainable exploitation of the natural world threatens food and water security of billions of people, major UN-backed biodiversity study reveals…
The world has lost over 130m hectares of rainforests since 1990 and we lose dozens of species every day, pushing the Earth’s ecological system to its limit…
The rate of decline is moreover accelerating. In the Americas – which has about 40% of the world’s remaining biodiversity – the regional population is gobbling up resources at twice the rate of the global average…
The authors urged an end to subsidies for agriculture and energy that are encouraging unsustainable production…
Others have put the crisis in starker terms. Biologist Paul Ehrlich, has warned that civilisational collapse is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to the destruction of the natural world…”
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The Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS), 2018: “Tropical deforestation is responsible for 10 percent of global warming emissions as well as the destruction of critical habitat for many endangered species. And UCS analysis shows that just four commodities—beef, soybeans, palm oil and wood products—are responsible for the majority of tropical deforestation.
In the countries that produce the majority of these four commodities, they are causing deforestation at a rate of about 15,000 square miles per year …
But these commodities can be produced without destroying or degrading forests.”
Source, with infographic at: https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/stop-deforestation/infographic-whats-driving-deforestation
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“Most Deforestation Occurs in 11 Places… Up to 170 million hectares of forest could be lost between 2010 and 2030 in these “deforestation fronts” if current trends continue, according to findings in the latest chapter of WWF’s Living Forests Report series.
The fronts are located in the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest and Gran Chaco, Borneo, the Cerrado, Choco-Darien, the Congo Basin, East Africa, Eastern Australia, Greater Mekong, New Guinea and Sumatra.
These places contain some of the richest wildlife in the world, including endangered species…
“Imagine a forest stretching across Germany, France, Spain and Portugal wiped out in just 20 years,”…
forest loss must be reduced to near zero by 2020 to avoid dangerous climate change and economic losses…”
Article & map at https://financialtribune.com/articles/environment/16112/most-deforestation-occurs-in-11-places
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“Rivers in the Sky: How Deforestation Is Affecting Global Water Cycles. A growing body of evidence indicates that the continuing destruction of tropical forests is disrupting the movement of water in the atmosphere, causing major shifts in precipitation that could lead to drought in key agricultural areas …
They warned that large-scale deforestation in any of the three major tropical forest zones of the world … could disrupt the water cycle sufficiently to “pose a substantial risk to agriculture in key breadbaskets halfway round the world …”
The impact of deforestation on rainfall is one of the most important non-carbon effects. But there are others. For instance, healthy forests release a range of volatile organic compounds that “have an overall cooling effect on our climate,” mostly by blocking incoming solar energy, says Dominick Spracklen of Leeds University in England. Removing forests eliminates this cooling effect and adds to warming, he and an international team concluded in a study published earlier this year.
Meanwhile, lost forests are usually replaced by agriculture, which produces its own emissions. Add in these impacts and the real contribution of deforestation to global climate warming since 1850 is as much as 40 percent …”
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2019 report: “The most effective way to tackle climate change? Plant 1 trillion trees” excerpt:
“Tom Crowther is a climate change ecologist at Swiss university ETH Zurich … his team of researchers has calculated there is enough room on the planet for an additional 1.2 trillion [trees] — and that planting them would have huge benefits in terms of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.
“The amount of carbon that we can restore if we plant 1.2 trillion trees, or at least allow those trees to grow, would be way higher than the next best climate change solution,” Crowther told CNN …
Tree planting is no quick climate fix. It can take 30 to 40 years of growth for the carbon storage to reach its full potential. A more immediate benefit can come from halting deforestation, says Crowther, which costs our planet around 15 billion trees each year.”
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A 2015 article in The Atlantic: “The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change? Trees.” Excerpts: “Oxford University researchers say that our best hopes … are two things we already know how to do: plant trees and improve the soil … Specifically, the two techniques it recommends are afforestation—planting trees where there were none before—and biochar—improving the soil by burying a layer of dense charcoal … these so-called “Negative Emissions Technologies” or NETs should only be seen as a way to stave off the worst of climate change …”
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2019 news report: “Global climate targets will be missed as deforestation rises, study says” at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/18/americas/land-use-climate-study-scli-gbr-intl/index.html
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2019 news report: “Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study.
Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet …”
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2019 report: “New research from Harvard University demonstrates that the UK would be able to sustain itself and help meet the Paris Agreement by returning a portion of land used for animal agriculture back to forest …
Returning pasture land back to forest and converting the areas used for growing animal feed to grow health-promoting crops for human consumption could make a fair national contribution to tackling the global climate crisis and provide enough protein for the British population …
Almost half of all land in the UK is currently used for farming animals and repurposing it represents a good opportunity in meeting climate goals, as it provides very little nutrition compared to the resource inputs involved.
Beans and other pulses are very efficient crops to grow in Britain – as they have nutritional and environmental benefits – and could be grown in place of animal feed, in addition to a range of fruit and vegetables.
Co-author Dr Matthew Hayek from Harvard University said: “The UK is well suited to growing forest as a natural climate solution. Hundreds of years ago, forests covered the UK as its natural land cover.
“Most grazing occurs on pastures that would return to forests if left untouched by humans and farm animals.” …
“The new habitats would also create opportunities to tackle the wildlife crisis by reintroducing wildlife” …
“Forests not only pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also provide a range of co-benefits such as water filtration, flood defense and greater soil carbon capture – which will all become even more important as the impacts of climate change increase …”
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A 2019 report titled: “Eating away at climate change with negative emissions: Repurposing UK agricultural land to meet climate goals.”
Summary notes: “This report from the Animal Law and Policy Programme at Harvard Law School estimates the carbon sequestration potential of converting UK land currently used for animal agriculture into native forest. The remaining cropland is enough to provide more than the recommended calories and protein for all UK residents, according to the authors …
The report argues that reforesting these areas of farmland would also produce benefits for wildlife.”
Source: https://www.fcrn.org.uk/research-library/repurposing-uk-agricultural-land-meet-climate-goals and PDF at
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Deforestation of the Amazon Forests:
The World Bank’s publication “Causes of Deforestation of the Amazon Brazilian Rainforest” (2004) states: “Land-use data on Amazonia demonstrates that the main cause of deforestation in the region is cattle ranching…” (p.59) “Cattle ranching enterprises now occupy nearly 75 percent of the deforested areas of Amazonia…” (p.XVIII)
Access the report via https://tinyurl.com/amazondeforest
and directly at http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/02/02/000090341_20040202130625/Rendered/PDF/277150PAPER0wbwp0no1022.pdf
From a 2019 report in the Washington Post: “How beef demand is accelerating the Amazon’s deforestation and climate peril … There are approximately 1.5 billion cows in the world, a population second only to humans among large mammals … Cattle ranchers in the Brazilian Amazon — the storied rainforest that produces oxygen for the world and modulates climate — are aggressively expanding their herds and willing to clear-cut the forest and burn what’s left to make way for pastures. As a result, they’ve become the single biggest driver of the Amazon’s deforestation, causing about 80 percent of it, according to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
The ecological devastation is done in the service of the surging demand for beef … ”
 Refers to https://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching
CBS 2019: “global outcry over fires ravaging parts of the Amazon rainforest, most set by farmers and ranchers … about 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon has been to make way for cattle ranches.”
New York Times 2019: “Many of the thousands of fires burning in Brazil’s Amazon are set by ranchers.” – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/world/americas/amazon-fires-brazil-cattle.html
“The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the “Lungs of our Planet” because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest …” – http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm#.W_NKbtxuaos
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2019 CNN report: “The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat … The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle. The practice is on the rise, encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s populist pro-business president, who is backed by the country’s so-called “beef caucus.”
While this may be business as usual for Brazil’s beef farmers, the rest of the world is looking on in horror …
Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, providing close to 20% of the total global exports …
Brazil’s space research center (INPE) said this week that the number of fires in Brazil is 80% higher than last year. More than half are in the Amazon region, spelling disaster for the local environment and ecology …
this year’s destruction has been described as unprecedented. Environmental campaigners blame this uptick on Bolsonaro, who they say has encouraged ranchers, farmers, and loggers to exploit and burn the rainforest like never before with a sense of impunity …
And if saving the rainforest isn’t enough to convince carnivores to stop eating Brazilian beef — the greenhouse gas emissions the cattle create may be.
Beef is responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions, and that livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions. And methane — the greenhouse gas cattle produce from both ends — is 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide.
An alarming report released last year by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, said changing our diets could contribute 20% of the effort needed to keep global temperatures from rising 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Namely, eating less meat.”
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A 2018 article in The Atlantic: “Trees Could Change the Climate More Than Scientists Thought.” Excerpts: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that a large fraction of humanity’s diet is owing, at least in part, to forest-driven rainfall … Based on severe droughts that occurred in 2005, 2010, and 2015, some scientists believe the Amazon may be nearing a tipping point that would cause much of its rainforest to turn to savanna, with potentially devastating consequences for carbon storage, biodiversity, and local climate …”
2018 report: “The Amazon Might Be Past the Point of Saving. Only 3% more destruction would render the Amazon unsalvageable … If deforestation goes beyond 20 percent of its original spread, the Amazon Rainforest will have reached the “point of no return” … If the climate changes – by deforestation or global warming – there’s a risk that more than 50% of the Amazon forest becomes a degraded savannah … in the last 50 years, deforestation has made its way to about 17 percent of the Amazon’s vegetation …”
– https://futurism.com/amazon-rainforest-deforestation-crisis-point and related report at https://phys.org/news/2018-03-amazon-deforestation.html
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2019 news report: “Revealed: rampant deforestation of Amazon driven by global greed for meat.”
Excerpts: “The latest data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been on the rise since 2012. Between August 2017 and July 2018, about 7,900 sq km was destroyed …
An investigation by Trase has uncovered how up to 5,800 sq km of forest is being felled in the Amazon and other areas annually to be converted into pasture used for cattle farming, with livestock from deforested areas found to be supplying abattoirs producing beef for global markets.
Companies in JBS’s supply chain are potentially responsible for the destruction of between 28,000 and 32,000 hectares (280-320 sq km) of forest each year for exported beef, according to data assembled by Trase …
In the most comprehensive study of its kind ever produced …
Because of the high volume of Brazilian beef shipped to China and Hong Kong, these markets are associated with the highest amount of deforestation in total …”
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2019 BBC report: “UK fast food ‘linked to Brazilian forest fires’ – Some of the UK’s largest fast-food chains have been selling meat from animals fed on soya beans linked to Brazil’s forest fires, campaigners say …
Some 2.5 million tonnes of soya is imported into the UK each year, with a large proportion used to feed farm animals.
In 2018, about a third of these – 761,739 tonnes – came from Brazil, BBC News analysis of the EU figures showed.
And just 14% of total soya imports are certified “deforestation free,” according to the Sustainable Trade Initiative – one of the lowest rates in the EU …
Environmental campaigners claim ongoing fires in both the Amazon and Cerrado regions of Brazil are being lit deliberately to clear land for raising animals and growing crops …
Burger King has been particularly criticised after pledging to end deforestation in its supply chains by 2030, a target criticised as “embarrassingly weak” …
The Vegan Society said: “The use of Amazonian soya in vegan food manufacturing is fairly insignificant, given that most brands source from Europe, and up to 91% of deforestation in the rainforest comes directly from animal agriculture. Farmed animals eat far more soya than we would if we ate it directly, therefore wasting resources and harming the environment.” …”
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2005 report: “Fewer trees, less rain: study uncovers deforestation equation.”
Excerpts: ” … the study showed that since the 1970s the ratio of the heavy molecules found in rain over the Amazon and the Andes had declined significantly.
The only possible explanation was that they were no longer being returned to the atmosphere to fall again as rain because the vegetation was disappearing.
“With many trees now gone and the forest degraded, the moisture that reaches the Andes has clearly lost the heavy isotopes that used to be recycled so effectively,” Professor Henderson-Sellers said.
Tom Lyons, professor of environmental sciences at Perth’s Murdoch University, said there was now “certainly very strong evidence that changes in surface conditions have an impact on the climate. In some parts of the world the impact is very marked”.”
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The Clearing of Wilderness including Forests to Plant Crops to Feed to Livestock Animals:
2017 news report titled “Vast animal-feed crops to satisfy our meat needs are destroying planet.” Excerpts: “WWF report finds 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to meat-based diets which put huge strain on Earth’s resources…
The vast scale of growing crops such as soy to rear chickens, pigs and other animals puts an enormous strain on natural resources leading to the wide-scale loss of land and species, according to the study…”
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Union of Concerned Scientists, 2018: “What’s Driving Deforestation? … Just four commodities—beef, soy, palm oil, and wood products—drive the majority of tropical deforestation …”
1. Beef cattle: “beef has by far the largest impact. Converting forest to pasture for beef cattle, largely in Latin America, is responsible for destroying 2.71 million hectares of tropical forest each year … in just four countries. This is more than half of tropical deforestation in South America, and more than five times as much as any other commodity in the region …”
2. Soybeans: “Growing global demand for meat and dairy products has contributed to the doubling of soybean production in the last 20 years. Soy is primarily used to feed pork, poultry, and dairy cows, though significant amounts are also used to produce vegetable oil and biodiesel. Large soybean fields in the tropics, particularly in Latin America, are often planted on newly deforested land …”
3. Palm oil: “Produced largely in Southeast Asia, palm oil packs a powerful climate punch, not only because of the amount of land deforested annually (270,000 hectares in three leading countries), but also because much of this area includes the carbon-rich soils known as peatlands. Peatlands contain up to 28 times as much carbon as the forests above them—carbon that’s released to the atmosphere when peatlands are drained for oil palm plantations. As a result, palm oil contributes the most global warming emissions of any commodity besides beef …”
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2017 report: “Burger King Linked to a Whopping Million-Plus Acres of Deforestation. Half of Brazil’s savanna is already gone, and big soy has taken over … Using satellite and supply-chain mapping tools, Mighty Earth connected the fast-food giant to a whopping million-plus acres of forest-clearing … the global campaign organization identified two of Burger King’s biggest soy suppliers as the culprits: Cargill, the largest privately owned company in the United States, and Bunge, one of the biggest players in South America.
“The destruction of tropical forests causes something around one-fifth of the world’s total climate pollution, and deforestation also threatens some of the most endangered species in the world,” says Hurowitz.
Ground zero for deforested land is the Cerrado, a 500-million-acre savanna in Brazil. Home to 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity …”
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2015 report: “Livestock farming incurs large and varied environmental burdens, dominated by beef… Here we show that protein-equivalent plant based alternatives to the beef portion of the mean American diet are readily devisable… We then show that replacement diets require on average only 10% of land, 4% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 6% of reactive nitrogen (Nr) compared to what the the replaced beef diet requires. Applied to 320 million Americans, the beef-to-plant shift can save 91 million cropland acres (and 770 million rangeland acres), 278 million metric ton CO2e, and 3.7 million metric ton Nr annually. These nationwide savings are 27%, 4% and 32% of the respective national environmental burdens.”
Reference: “Environmentally Optimal, Nutritionally Aware Beef Replacement Plant-Based Diets”, Environmental Science and Technology 50(15), July 2016; at
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“How changing your diet could save animals from extinction” – excerpts: “The inefficiency of feeding livestock grain to turn them into meals for humans makes a diet heavy in animals particularly harsh on the Earth’s resources. For example, in the United States, it takes 25 kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef… To make matters worse, the grain we feed animals is the leading driver of deforestation in the tropics. And it’s a hungry beast: our cows, pigs, and poultry devour over one-third of all crops we grow. Indeed, the grain we feed to animals in the U.S. alone could feed an additional 800 million people if it were eaten by us directly – more than the number of people currently living in hunger…”
Article at https://theconversation.com/how-changing-your-diet-could-save-animals-from-extinction-81061
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United States Department of Agriculture states: “The major [animal livestock] feed grains are corn, sorghum, barley, and oats. Corn is the primary U.S. feed grain… More than 90 million acres of land are planted to corn, with the majority of the crop grown in the Heartland region. Most of the crop is used as the main energy ingredient in livestock feed…” – https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn/background.aspx
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From a 2016 article titled “The Story of Soy” – “Behind beef, soy is the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide... Around 75% of soy worldwide is used for livestock feed. While many people imagine soy is eaten mainly by vegetarians, most of it is consumed indirectly in the form of chicken, pork, beef and farmed fish as well as eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt…”
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The Guardian 2018: “Why what we eat is crucial to the climate change question… Consider deforestation and soil. A narrow view of agriculture alone would neglect the fact that a full 80% of the forests that are clear cut or destroyed are done so to create farmland. Forests are massive carbon sinks. So is soil, locking away two to three times as much carbon as there is present in the atmosphere… Young people are increasingly keen to protect the environment by shifting to animal-product-free diets…”
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2017 article: “The hamburger chain Burger King has been buying animal feed produced in soy plantations carved out by the burning of tropical forests…
Jaguars, giant anteaters and sloths have all been affected by the disappearance of around 700,000 hectares (1,729,738 acres) of forest land between 2011 and 2015…
evidence gathered from aerial drones, satellite imaging, supply-chain mapping and field research shows a systematic pattern of forest-burning…”
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“About 70% of the harvested mass of the 250 Mt soybean crop is mixed with grain for animal feedstock. In Brazil, where more land is planted to soybeans than all cereals combined, the Amazon forest is being cleared to expand production – and also for grazing the 74 million beef cattle in Amazonia. Nor is land-clearing for beef only occurring in the Amazon… An increasing share of Australia’s grain crop goes to produce meat. In 2007, nearly 12 Mt of grain was so used, with 3.5 Mt being fed to beef cattle and sheep, 1.9 Mt to pigs, and 2.3 Mt for broiler poultry…”
Patrick Moriarty, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University
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“In this study we establish the link between Brazilian deforestation and production of cattle and soybeans, and allocate emissions between 1990 and 2010 along the global supply chain to the countries that consume products dependent on Brazilian deforestation. We find that 30% of the carbon emissions associated with deforestation were exported from Brazil in the last decade, of which 29% were due to soybean production and 71% cattle ranching…”
“Global demand for soybean oil and soybean meal, which are mainly used in high-protein animal feed and as refined cooking oil, has increased the demand for Brazilian soybean, particularly from China (FAO 2009, Ash 2000). In response, soybean cultivation has increased significantly in Brazil, making this crop the most important in terms of harvested area since the 1990s…”
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World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF): “the expansion of soy to feed the world’s growing demand for meat often contributes to deforestation and the loss of other valuable ecosystems… In South America, almost 4 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year, 2.6 million of them in Brazil alone. Although this is lower than in the 1990s, it is still far too high and can largely be blamed on heavily soy-dependent livestock farming.
Limiting consumption of animal-based food products, particularly meat, is one thing people can do to help end this devastating trend…”
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Click this link for more reports on this site about how most soy is fed to livestock animals.
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2017 New Scientist report: “Grass-fed Beef is Bad for the Planet and Causes Climate Change.” Excerpts: “New calculations suggest cattle pastures contribute to climate change… The truth is, we cannot eat as much meat as we like and save the planet…
Meanwhile, feeding the beasts destroys forests by taking land for pasture or to grow feed – and this deforestation also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions…
Many cattle, especially in the tropics, graze on former forest land. In places such as the Brazilian Amazon, clearing trees for cattle causes massive greenhouse gas emissions…
Garnett’s conclusion is supported by a study published on 29 September, which found that methane emissions from cattle are 11 per cent larger than older methods would suggest, and thus a bigger contributor to global warming…
“We need to reduce emissions from livestock,” says Benton. “That needs to come from dietary change.”
From article at https://www.newscientist.com/article/2149220-grass-fed-beef-is-bad-for-the-planet-and-causes-climate-change/
A related 2017 article by Tara Garnett of Oxford University’s Food Climate Research Network “Why eating grass-fed beef isn’t going to help fight climate change” – some excerpts: “Grazing ruminants have historically driven deforestation and the carbon dioxide emissions associated with it. But today, demand for soy and grains to feed pigs, poultry, and intensively reared cattle poses a new threat. This drives the conversion of grassland to grow such grains and the release of carbon stored in it…
Forests are still cut down while grasslands are being intensified to support more livestock farming… whatever the system and animal type, rising animal production and consumption is driving damaging changes in land use and associated release of greenhouse gases…”
Full article at https://theconversation.com/why-eating-grass-fed-beef-isnt-going-to-help-fight-climate-change-84237 and also at http://www.fcrn.org.uk/fcrn-blogs/tara-garnett/blog-post-tara-garnett-why-eating-grass-fed-beef-isn%E2%80%99t-going-help-fight
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Collection of Reports on the Land Clearing, Deforestation & the Mass Destruction of Wildlife in Australia to make Pasture Grazing Land for the Livestock Industry:
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports: “Eastern Australia deforestation pressures: Pasture creation for livestock is the dominant driver, accounting for 88 per cent of clearing of both primary and secondary forests and woodlands.”
Source: “WWF Living Forests Report: Chapter 5”, Page 34, 2015; http://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/living_forests_report_chapter_5_1.pdf
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From a 2017 Queensland Government publication: “In Queensland, 91% of the clearing of woody vegetation in 2014-15 was to increase pasture for livestock grazing, while forestry (5.4%), cropping (1.7%), mining (1.1%), infrastructure (0.3%) and settlement (0.7%) accounted for a small proportion of the total 296,000 hectares cleared in that year” at https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/90272/land-clearing-impacts-threatened-species.pdf
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2018 report: “How Australia became one of the worst deforesters in the world. Australia is the only nation in the developed world to make the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) global list of deforestation hotspots. The biennial Living Planet Report, published this week, puts Australia alongside New Guinea, Indonesia, Congo and Brazil for deforestation.
The main cause of this is land clearing for livestock, according to WWF conservation scientist Dr Martin Taylor.
“Most deforestation in Australia is just for livestock pasture,” he told Hack …”
From an Australian Government report: “approximately 30 per cent of Australia’s land area was covered in forest before European colonisation; today, only about 16 per cent of the land area is forest… The main cause of clearing is for pasture…” 
A definition of pasture is “land covered with grass and other low plants suitable for grazing animals, especially cattle or sheep.” 
In other words the main cause of deforestation in Australia was to benefit the profits of the animal agriculture livestock industries.
References:  “Australia: State of the Environment 2016”, the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy; at https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/land/topic/2016/vegetation-0  google search.
A 2017 government report states that 93% of the land clearing (deforestation) in Queensland (the large north-eastern state of Australia) is being done to make pasture for livestock; for eventual human consumption. The report states: “The dominant replacement land cover class for 2015–16 was pasture (93% of total statewide woody vegetation clearing). This was consistent with results since 2012–13.”
Reference: “Land cover change in Queensland 2015–16: Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) report”, page 23 (31 of the PDF), Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, 2017; http://apo.org.au/system/files/113241/apo-nid113241-445951.pdf
2019 report about the north-east state of Queensland in Australia: “Beef industry linked to 94% of land clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments. ‘Beef is number one’ driver of deforestation crisis, spatial data analysis by The Wilderness Society shows … The report analysed the more than 1.6m hectares cleared in Queensland between 2013 and 2018 and found that 73% of clearing across the state occurred for beef production …”
“The livestock sector is the leading cause of reduction of biodiversity… A study from Australia demonstrates that the beef industry has the largest relative potential contribution to the impact on terrestrial biodiversity in Australia, by both the area covered and the nature of the impacts.
This includes the area of native vegetation cleared for grazing, the impacts of overgrazing and trampling, the amount of grain used in high-density feedlots, and the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted…”
Reference: “The Sustainability Challenges of Our Meat and Dairy Diets”, Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, Volume 57, 2015 – Issue 3; at
“Land clearing is an important contributor to Australia’s total net greenhouse emissions… Today, most land cleared in Australia is used for cattle grazing.” From the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change & Energy Efficiency; PDF titled “Drivers of Land Clearing in Australia” at
“Nor is land-clearing for beef only occurring in the Amazon. In Australia… in recent decades in [just one state] Queensland, 3000-7000 sq km of native woodland were cleared every year, largely for improved cattle pastures. Much of the meat produced is exported…”
Patrick Moriarty, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University.
Regards animal extinctions: “Australia is losing its mammals at a quicker rate than most regions in the world.” – http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2015-02-10/losing-australian-native-mammals/6082624
March 2018: “Australia Leads in Extinction Rates Worldwide” at
June 2019: “Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions in the world and is the fourth worst for animal extinctions globally. There are more than 1,800 plants and animals on Australia’s threatened species list, including more than 500 animals …
Scientists say Australian governments are spending one tenth of what is needed on threatened species …” at
Guardian newspaper 2017: “‘Alarming’ rise in Queensland tree clearing as 400,000 hectares stripped… meaning Queensland now has two-thirds the annual rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon…
Australia has become one of the deforestation hotspots in the world – the only advanced economy to be named in the 12 deforestation hotspots in the world.
“[It’s] because Queensland has returned to the bad old days of bulldozing hundreds of thousands of hectares of woody and remnant vegetations in order to make way particularly for pasture for cows” …
clearing statewide was the “single biggest threat” to koala populations…
According to deputy premier Trad, most land cleared statewide was for pastoral land…”
Article at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/05/alarming-rise-in-queensland-tree-clearing-as-400000-hectares-stripped
New Matilda: “Unsurprisingly, all this destruction has had a devastating impact on our wildlife. The CSIRO has estimated that deforestation kills about 50 million mammals, birds and reptiles each year in Queensland and New South Wales [about 1/3 of the land mass]…” at https://newmatilda.com/2017/10/10/its-the-habitat-destruction-stupid/
2018 news report titled “10 million animals a year die from tree clearing in NSW, report finds.” Source: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/10-million-animals-a-year-die-from-tree-clearing-in-nsw-report-finds-20181107-p50eij.html
“Land clearing for beef production in the two states is the reason the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) nominated eastern Australia as one of eleven global deforestation fronts for the twenty years to 2030…
In Queensland alone, from 1988 to 2015, an area equivalent to nearly 11 million rugby fields was cleared for pasture. [Footnote] That’s a rate of three-quarters of a rugby field per minute, and represents 91 per cent of total land clearing in the state.”
The footnote explains: “At 8,400 square metres, the area of a rugby field”
Article at https://terrastendo.net/2017/03/26/beef-the-reef-and-rugby-we-have-a-problem/
The Conversation 2017: “Australia is a global top-ten deforester – and Queensland is leading the way” at https://theconversation.com/australia-is-a-global-top-ten-deforester-and-queensland-is-leading-the-way-87259
From the Journal of Plant Ecology (2012), some quotes on the deforestation of Australia in large part due to the animal agriculture livestock industry: “since European settlement in the late 18th century… Australia has lost nearly 40% of its forests, but much of the remaining native vegetation is highly fragmented…
Since the 1970s, the greatest rates of forest clearance have been in southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales, although Victoria is the most cleared state…
Today, ∼15% of the continent is now considered to have been severely modified by intensive land use, with agricultural areas dominated by cattle grazing zones covering around 43% of the country and ‘improved’ pastures [for livestock] covering around 10%…
Queensland’s history of vegetation clearance is remarkable in that most of it occurred in the last 50 years… largely due to the expansion of the cattle industry…
In the tropical regions of Queensland, it is estimated that ∼50% of its primary tropical forest (6700 km2 of around 13000 km2 originally) has been destroyed since European colonization… much of it for sugarcane, banana and livestock production… About 52% of the northeast wet tropics region is now under pasture [for livestock animals like cattle]… many extinctions are likely to occur over the coming decades unless efforts to restore vast areas (especially in north Queensland) are implemented…
According to the Victorian Government, ∼66% of the state’s native vegetation has been cleared since European colonization… as the wheat and livestock industries expanded with European colonization…”
Reference: “Little left to lose: deforestation and forest degradation in Australia since European colonization”, Journal of Plant Ecology, Volume 5, Issue 1, 1 March 2012, Pages 109–120; at https://academic.oup.com/jpe/article/5/1/109/1294916
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2018 Guardian news report: ‘Global Deforestation Hotspot’: 3 million hectares of Australian forest to be lost in 15 years. Threatened species, pressure on Great Barrier Reef and climate change all worsened by full-blown land-clearing crisis.”
Some excerpts: “Australia is in the midst of a full-blown land-clearing crisis… The crisis is driven primarily by a booming livestock industry but is ushered in by governments that fail to introduce restrictions and refuse to apply existing restrictions…
WWF analysis estimated that 45 million animals are killed each year in Queensland, just from the bulldozing of their habitat… Both in Australia and around the world, habitat loss is by far the biggest threat to animals facing extinction…
Australia has a rich biodiversity, with nearly 8% of all Earth’s plant and animal species finding a home on the continent. About 85% of the country’s plants, 84% of its mammals and 45% of its birds are found nowhere else.
But land clearing is putting that at risk. About three-quarters of Australia’s 1,640 plants and animals listed by the government as threatened have habitat loss listed as one of their main threats…
And of course land clearing is exacerbating climate change…
Queensland clears more land each year than the rest of Australia put together, and the rate at which it is destroying its vegetation is comparable with the infamous deforestation that occurs in the Brazilian Amazon. Brazil bulldozes about 0.25% of its part of the Amazon each year; Queensland clears about 0.45% of its remaining wooded areas…
other states have begun to follow Queensland’s lead… There are some really extreme elements in the NSW laws… Analysis by WWF shows that could allow clearing of 8m hectares, or 38% of the remaining trees in the state, under that rule alone…
“Only 9% of NSW is in a healthy or near-natural condition,” Barham says. “We simply don’t have much left to lose. That is why every bit of clearing in NSW is so important.”
Meanwhile, further north, vast tracts of land are being earmarked for clearing. In the relatively lawless Northern Territory, approvals for land clearing have jumped more than tenfold in the past two years… major land-clearing proposals that occur on pastoral leases are assessed by a body called the Pastoral Lands Board… It is made up of four pastoralists and one rangelands scientist… Having a board full of agricultural business people as the ultimate decision maker is mind-boggling…
Some of Australia’s richest graziers are establishing cattle stations in Western Australia, and making claims for greater access to resources in the pristine Kimberley…
some of Australia’s most majestic and oldest trees are being cut down for timber by a state-owned company in Victoria, which has even less left to lose than NSW. And Tasmania has just signed up to allow more logging in its national parks…”
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2018 report: “Australia is failing to meet international targets to protect nature in parts of the country where land clearing and habitat destruction are widespread, according to data in a major new United Nations report.”
2018 report: “Clearing of native vegetation in NSW jumps 800% in three years” at
2018 report: “A new WWF-Australia report has found tree-clearing killed more than 87 million animals in New South Wales between 1998 and 2015 …
the report found more than 517,000 hectares of native bushland were destroyed over the 17 years – an area almost twice the size of the Blue Mountains National Park.
This destruction led to the deaths of about 5 million animals each year, totalling 9.1 million mammals, 10.7 million birds, and 67.1 million reptiles.
But this number may have doubled to over 10 million per year after the Native Vegetation Act was repealed to make it easier to legally bulldoze forests …
“After NSW laws were axed, forest destruction rates nearly tripled in just one part of the state alone. This data shows that the number of animals killed by bulldozing is likely to have risen dramatically under the current government,” said Mr Grover.”
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Forests and Rainfall Vs Drought
Regards land clearing and reduced rainfall, from a 2016 report: “Stopping land clearing and replanting trees could help keep Australia cool in a warmer future … Land clearing releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but the effect of land clearing on climate goes well beyond carbon emissions. It causes warming locally, regionally and even globally, and it changes rainfall by altering the circulation of heat and moisture …
The increased evaporation and rough surface of trees creates moist, turbulent layers in the lower atmosphere. This reduces temperatures and contributes to cloud formation and increased rainfall. The increased rainfall then provides more moisture to soils and vegetation.
The clearing of deep-rooted native vegetation for shallow-rooted crops and pastures diminishes this process, resulting in a warmer and drier climate …
Studies in Amazonia also indicate that as deforestation expands rainfall declines. A tipping point may be reached when deforestation reaches 30-50%, after which rainfall is substantially reduced. Complete deforestation results in the greatest decline in rainfall …”
The authors’ study regards Australia found that: “Replanting trees could increase summer rainfall by 10% overall and by up to 15.2% in the southwest. We found soil moisture would increase by around 20% in replanted regions.
Our study doesn’t mean replanting all farmed land with trees, just areas that are less productive and less cost-effective to farm intensively …
Balancing farming with managing climate change would give land owners on marginal land new options for income generation …
Remnant vegetation needs to be conserved and extensive areas of regrowth must be allowed to regenerate. And where regeneration is not possible, we’ll have to plant large numbers of trees.”
Article by Professor Clive McApline et al at https://theconversation.com/stopping-land-clearing-and-replanting-trees-could-help-keep-australia-cool-in-a-warmer-future-63654
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2018 report: “When trees make rain: Could restoring forests help ease drought in Australia?” Excerpts:
“An expanding body of evidence supports the idea that forests, in the right conditions, not only make rain locally but also hundreds of kilometres away.
In Australia, we’ve cut down nearly 40 per cent of our forests in the past 200 years, leaving a fragmented landscape in their place.
In Queensland, more than one million hectares have been cleared since 2012, and New South Wales and the Northern Territory have also recently increased logging …
A 2013 International Journal of Sustainable Development paper argued that a significant portion of rainfall disruption in Western Australia had wrongly been attributed to climate change.
Around 50 per cent of native forests in the state’s south-west were cleared between the 1960s and 1980s, which coincided with a decrease of around 16 per cent in inland rainfall compared to coastal rain, according to University of Western Australia researcher Mark Andrich.
“Around half of the rainfall decline, at least up until the year 2000, is a result of land clearing,” Dr Andrich told the ABC at the time.
Historic clearing on the east coast has had a comparable impact, according to Clive McAlpine from the University of Queensland.
“Especially in southeast Australia around the Murray-Darlin Basin area,” he said.
While there are differing views on whether Australian forests produce enough water vapour to also produce rain, there is less division over forests reducing temperature …
Professor McAlpine’s research has also shown this.
“Trees are a micro-climate, they cool the land surface. We’ve done a little bit of work with satellites which shows that temperatures are 2 to 3 degrees hotter in areas that have got no trees,” …
A 2012 paper in Nature found that air that had passed over large tropical forests produced around double the rainfall of air that hadn’t, and fell up to one thousand kilometres away …
But in Australia, recycling of rainfall is more localised, according to Professor McAlpine’s research …”
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This site contains pages with hundreds of science reports on the higher rates of disease & death associated with eating red meat, dairy, chicken/poultry, eggs, fish/seafood & of the lower rates associated with eating healthy plant-based diets high in fruits & vegetables & nuts.
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2018 report: “Why forests are the best ‘technology’ to stop climate change. Expanding forests is a much more effective solution to climate change than bioenergy.”
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Dr Laura Kehoe: “since the dawn of human ‘civilisation’, we have cut down half of all trees on Earth. Just let that sink in for a second… it may seem like a lot (and it is), but if we divide it by how many people are alive today it turns out that we are each missing only 400 trees… At 10 cents a tree, it would only take a $40 contribution to plant your 400 trees with our fantastic field partners, Trees for the Future… By working in this way, planting trees benefits not only the environment, but also transforms the lives of those who are struggling to feed their families.” http://400trees.org
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2019 report: “Reforesting an area the size of the US needed to help avert climate breakdown, say researchers …
Restoring the world’s forests on an unprecedented scale is “the best climate change solution available”, according to a new study. The researchers claim that covering 900m hectares of land – roughly the size of the continental US – with trees could store up to 205 billion tonnes of carbon, about two thirds of the carbon that humans have already put into the atmosphere.
While the best solution to climate change remains leaving fossil fuels in the ground, we will still need to suck carbon dioxide (CO₂) out of the atmosphere this century if we are to keep global warming below 1.5˚C. So the idea of reforesting much of the world isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds …
Massive reforestation only works if the world’s current forest cover is maintained and increasing. Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest – the world’s largest – has increased since Brazil’s new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, came to power. Current estimates suggest areas of rainforest the size of a football pitch are being cleared every single minute.
It won’t be easy, but society needs to protect the forests we’ve got, and protect new forests in perpetuity to permanently keep carbon sequestered in trees and out of the atmosphere.”
Reference:  “The global tree restoration potential”, Science, 05 Jul 2019: Vol. 365, Issue 6448, pp. 76-79; https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76
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More to Come
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This set of articles were compiled for
Pages on this Site:
Eating Meat & Dairy Increases Climate Change, Pollution & Damage to Our Environment
Quotes from news reports & science journals on how the Western omnivore diet with meat and dairy products accelerates climate-change through: i) increasing our carbon footprint of greenhouse gases; ii) deforesting & destroying wilderness that absorbs carbon and protects biodiversity; iii) creating massive pollution; and iv) wasting resources like grains, water, fuels and agricultural lands.
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Eating Meat linked to Higher Rates & Risk of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease & Early Death
Excerpts & links to medical studies, articles & reports on the links between meat consumption and increased incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and early mortality (a shorter lifespan); also to reports on how cancers are increasing in young people.
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Scientific Studies on Health Advantages of Vegans & Vegetarians
Quotes & links to articles in science, medical & health journals that report great benefits vegetarians and vegans generally have including longer lives with less of the chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity as well as lower blood pressure, hypertension and blood cholesterol levels.
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Mass Extinction Loss of Biodiversity caused by Humans
Excerpts & links to articles in news media science journals about the current ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ known also as the ‘Holocene Extinction’ or ‘Anthropocene Extinction’ as it is largely caused by human activities.
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Dairy Milk Health Problems – Issues & Risks for Related Disease & Illness
This page contains quotes & links for studies & articles in science journals, news media & by medical doctors; on the association of drinking milk to higher rates of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
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Risk of Infectious Disease Epidemics from Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria due to Animal Agriculture
This page features quotes & links to articles in news media and science journals about the rise of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics; posing a grave threat to all of us; from 50% to 80% of antibiotics are (mis-)used in animal agriculture industries.
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How the Meat & Dairy Industry Influences Politics, Government, Education, News & Media
This page features quotes & links to reports that expose how the animal agriculture industries (meat, dairy, poultry) influence government, politics, the education schooling system and news media in order to promote their interests.
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Eating Seafood & Overfishing is Destroying Oceans, Rivers & Wildlife
Excerpts from articles about the marine ecosystem collapse that is happening now in oceans, seas & rivers due to over-fishing and the toxic pollution in waterways from land-based animal agriculture meat-farming; worsening climate change; threatening the entire food chain.
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Studies Find Eating Fish Seafood Not So Healthy With Raised Risks of Disease
Articles from science journals & news reports that dispute the health claims made regards eating fish; some even find higher rates of heart disease and cancer among seafood consumers.
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Are Soy Foods Healthy or Not? Doctors & Nutrition Experts Refute Some Myths
A collection of quotes & links for articles by doctors, dietitians & nutrition experts who refute & rebut the negative claims made regards “the soy food debate”
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For Archives of Related Memes see:
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