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The Amazon Is Burning Because the World Eats So Much Meat

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Author 90876
Message Common Dreams

In June, before the furor over the rainforest began, the Irish Farmers Association called on Ireland not to ratify the deal, arguing its terms would disadvantage European beef farmers.

Deal or no deal, Brazil's beef industry is projected to continue expanding, buoyed by natural resources, grassland availability and global demand, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

And, with that growth, comes steep environmental costs.

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.

Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at INPE, told CNN that the burning can range from a small-scale agricultural practice, to new deforestation for mechanized and modern agribusiness projects.

Farmers wait until the dry season to start burning and clearing areas so their cattle can graze, but 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.

Bolsonaro has dismissed accusations of responsibility for the fires, but a clear shift seems to be underway.

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.

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