But meat consumptions has its drawbacks also. It rots in your body, it makes you fat, and it may cause cancer. But, this isn’t an article on why eating meat is bad for you. This is an article about why eating meat is bad for Paraguay, as recent evidence has shown that meat consumption is causing the destruction of Paraguay’s rainforest.
Lately, Brazilian ranchers have been pouring into Paraguay and large amounts of Paraguay’s Chaco Forest have been felled to make way for cattle ranches. The reason is simple, global demand for beef is growing, Brazilians are already bulldozing their own virgin forest, and Paraguay’s rainforest provides new opportunities for growth. If there is a demand for beef, find more locations to raise beef.
The problems that come from wiping out large tracts of virgin rainforest are numerous. First, we all know from second grade that forests provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Also, the rainforests of South America contain many rare and endangered species that will go extinct once their habitat becomes the domain of cattle herds.
Finally, the rainforest destruction has forever changed the lives of Paraguayan Indians. With the growth of cattle ranches comes the loss of the source of homeland and hunting grounds of people like the Ayoreo. With their ways and their forest destroyed, many of Indians have resorted to day laboring.
While the beef exported out of Paraguay isn’t going to the United States, the cattle ranches’ existence is dependent upon the increasing global demand for beef. This is especially true in the developing world, which has seen “sharp increases” in meat consumption.
This isn’t something that can be solved by some writer on a social media site; but this is something to raise awareness of. Stop eating so much meat. I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not telling to you to be one. As global citizens we should be aware of the impact our decisions have on the world. Our food and resources don’t magically appear in the supermarket. They are dug up, raised on cleared land, or slaughtered.
Somewhere today an animal that we may soon eat is grazing on land that once was a forest.