I call bullshit. We have a serious problem with fake news and fake numbers to support our own wishful thinking these days. We buy into it because it just feels right. Whether it has anything to do with reality is irrelevant. We live in the post-truth era.
False numbers like the one above claiming that "going without beef for one year saves 3,432 trees" take the wind out of credible arguments why we really do need to reduce meat consumption and stop industrial animal husbandry.
For now, let me take apart that claim above.
Switzerland produces 90% of its own beef. And yet we have a problem of over-foreststion in this country. Less farmers send their animals to the alps, so the forest is growing by hundreds of hectares every year. As a result the beautiful meadows with all their bio-diversity are continually disappearing. The problem is so serious that the government now pays farmers s subsidy to send their animals to the alps in the summer.
In the US, less than 1% of beef and less than 0.3% of soy-for-cattle comes from Brazil. In the US itself no trees are being cut down to make space for cattle. The opposite is the case. Similar to the problem in Switzerland, less grazing by cattle leads to a loss of bio diversity. According to a WWF report America’s Great Plains Lost More Habitat in 2014 than the Brazilian Amazon. And in Brazil de-foreststion is down 75% in the past 15 years.
The main area of de-foreststion of primal rainforest today is Indonesia. Not for beef, but for palm oil.
I urge everyone who cares about the health of our planet and the suffering of animals in industrial animal husbandry to stop spreading fake numbers like this (or this) and instead become aware about the difference between sustainable and necessary animal husbandry and the unsustainable, unnecessary and unethical industrial animal husbandry.
If we want real, sustainable change, we need to have facts, truth on our side.
For more information, I suggest you check out my TEDx: Cows will feed the world and save the Planet
For further reading, please check out:
The Ecologically Optimal Amount of Animal Products is not Zero. Far from it.
1 kg of Beef takes 100'000 Liters of Water! - no it does not!!
The moral case for eating meat
Cattle vs. the Climate
A Vegan couple eats Meat again for the first time in 40 years after operating their own farm. Here is why:
Eating Meat - The ecological and Moral Arguments: My conversation with two Vegans
The Greatest Ecological Cock-up of recent History
Your organic vegetables are all meat eaters!