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How animal agriculture is accelerating global deforestation

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Forests, covering 30% of the Earth's surface and crucial for climate mitigation, are rapidly disappearing due to the increasing demand for animal agriculture
• The Amazon, known as the "Lungs of the Earth," is significantly affected, with agricultural activities, especially beef production, leading to widespread deforestation

🔭 The context: Annually, the world loses about 5 million hectares of forest, with agriculture accounting for 75% of this loss
• Beef production is the primary driver, responsible for 41% of global deforestation, translating to over 16.4 million trees lost daily
• This demand for meat, particularly beef, is inefficient and unsustainable, requiring vast amounts of water, grain, and land, contributing significantly to environmental degradation

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The relentless expansion of animal agriculture exacerbates greenhouse gas emissions, species extinction, and habitat destruction
• The conversion of forests to pastures is often irreversible, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable practices and dietary shifts towards less impactful foods

⏭️ What's next: Encouragingly, initiatives like Brazil's soy moratorium show progress in combating deforestation
• Expanding similar agreements and leveraging international collaborations can further mitigate deforestation 
• Technological advancements in meat substitutes also present opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint of our diets

💬 One quote: "Deforestation and land degradation, together with biodiversity loss, are devastating our ecosystems," (Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General) 

📈 One stat: "Global meat production has more than tripled from 1961 to 2021," illustrating the growing demand that drives deforestation and environmental stress

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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