Even broccoli farms can endanger the Amazon forest

I agree with Scott Smith [Nov. 4 Letters] that the frequency of pro-vegetarian diet letters can be annoying, but I also found both Mark Noble's and Mark Strazzer's replies [Nov. 18 Letters] to contain solid points and to be well thought out and well written.

I do have to counter one of Mr. Strazzer's points: "When was the last time you heard about the Amazon forest being torn down to plant more broccoli for the locals? This doesn't happen." Yeah, it does. Millions of acres of the Amazon are being devastated to grow soybeans. Google it and you'll see.

I'm not suggesting that vegetable farms have near the environmental impact as cattle farms. But if the worldwide demand for broccoli equaled that for meat, or even soybeans, a lot more forest would disappear.

— Jean Stryker
Asheville

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5 thoughts on “Even broccoli farms can endanger the Amazon forest

  1. Stewart

    The writer misses the point. 80 percent of the world soy crop is fed to animals. From page 5 of Greenpeace’s report,”Eating up the Amazon,”
    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/eating-up-the-amazon.pdf

    “80% of the world’s soya production is fed to the livestock industry. Spiralling demand for soya animal feed from European agribusiness is driving the expansion of the agricultural frontier into the Amazon rainforest. Europe buys half the soya exported from the Amazon state of Mato Grosso, where 90% of rainforest soya is grown. Meat reared on rainforest soya finds its way onto supermarket shelves and fast food counters across Europe.”

    It takes as much as 15 pounds of plant food to create a pound of animal flesh. Most of the calories fed to animals come back to us in the form of feces. It’s this terribly inefficient process that drives rainforest destruction. If we stopped feeding crops to animals and humans ate plant food directly, we wouldn’t need to keep clearing rainforests.

  2. mtndow

    Why does Stewart David seem to have pre-emptive access to opinion/letters columns of the MX? He and his pack of PETA-pals are clogging the arteries of mountain expression. Last week I had to switch off 88.1FM as he started bleeding onto the airways. I can understand his fear of animals. I’ve been kicked by a horse, stepped on by by cattle and pecked by poultry. Frigg’n plants just stand there before the slaughter/harvest. I like food that can fight back. Back to the point. Let’s give Dave “meatless” Stew-art his very own MX PETA page every week. Then, we that choose to can, skip his manure and read about our neighbors other concerns.

  3. Stewart David

    RE: “Stewart has a ‘fact’ for whatever point he needs to prove.”

    If I didn’t have facts, then you’d say I was making it up. I’m sorry you hate science.

  4. Bud

    Let your every day be full of joy, love the child that holds your hand, let your wife delight in your embrace, for these alone are the concerns of humanity. Oh, and enjoy as much steak as you can shove down your throat in the meantime and NEVER feel guilty about it

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