The Amazon is a major sink for storing carbon dioxide and crucial in combating climate change. Deforestation of the Amazon directly speeds up global warming and severely damages an important refuge for biodiversity.
The 2.2 million-square mile rainforest is nearing a tipping point, at which large portions of the land could transform into an entirely different, drier ecosystem. This shift would lead to the acceleration of climate change, the loss of species, and disaster for indigenous populations.
Why is the Amazon on fire?
Large fires are not at all typical in the Amazon, as the region is not prone to lightning strikes or other natural causes of wildfires. Most fires in the Amazon are caused by humans.
The current fires were primarily set by cattle grazers and soybean growers, who have a strong economic interest to clear the land and convert it to pasture. Whether the land is being used to produce cattle or produce feed (soybeans) for cattle, these fires have a direct link to the animal agriculture industry.
What can we do to help?
To avoid the catastrophic effects of future fires, it's crucial that we shift our diets away from animal products. Livestock and livestock feed occupy 1/3 of the earth’s total ice-free land, which leads to desertification, habitat loss, and species extinction. It requires 18 times more land to feed a meat-eater than it does to feed a vegan.
Not only that, but animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions -- more than the combined exhaust from the entire transportation industry.
Can my dog really help the Amazon?
According to a 2017 study by Gregory Okin, U.S. dogs and cats constitute about 25–30% of the environmental impacts from animal production. This is hugely significant, as it means that if U.S. dogs and cats were their own country, they'd rank fifth in global meat consumption.
Your pup can help prevent Amazon deforestation by switching to a plant-based diet. As omnivores, dogs can thrive on a complete and balanced meatless diet without missing out on any nutrients.
Plant-based protein sources use a small fraction of the energy, land, and water required to produce meat, all while offering many health benefits to dogs. Compared to animal-based food, which can contain carcinogens, growth hormones, and antibiotics, plant-based dog food is clean and sustainable.
Learn more about the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet for dogs: Climate Change, Sustainability and Vegan Dogs
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