Food News

Main Reason For Amazon Deforestation Is Meat | Thousands of Chicks Arrive Dead to US Farmers

Welp. Double terrible news today. Might also wanna cut down on meat for a while after today’s news.

Human Consumption of Cattle Main Reason for Amazon 

Alright, technically this is old news from exactly one year ago. But it wouldn’t hurt as a reminder. 

A new documentary, Takeout, by filmmaker Michal Siewierski shows us why the Amazon rainforest is burning and how human consumption habits are the cause of this. 

90% of fires started in Amazon are to clear space for raising cattle. Then cattle ranchers sell them to large global corporations like JBS, which will goto fast-food restaurants around the world. 

About 40% of Brazil’s entire cattle population (86 million animals) are illegally raised and this number is expected to go up because of a lack of enforcement by the government. 

Also, one problem about the Amazon is that it’s not suitable for grazing cows in the first place, since the soil in the Amazon lacks nutrients necessary to grow things like soy. This results in excessive use of pesticides, then the pesticide runoffs go into local rivers or into human food supply. 

In the documentary, Vivian Mocellin, a Brazilian journalist and activist, says that for every million reais (US$185,000) that Big Ag in Brazil takes in as profit, approximately 22 million reais ($4 million) of cost is absorbed by taxpayers, for the external costs like treating the water supply that is left poisoned by large corporations.

Small indigenous communities can’t do much against illegal logging since protesting might sometimes even result in getting shot by illegal loggers.

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Of course, the reason why this is on my site is cause this isn’t just Brazil’s problem. The Amazon rainforest is worth more to the world as a source of carbon than it is to local farmers. The “simple” solution is to pay poorer countries, which had been requested… let’s see… last year… and further back in 2005. But under our current political and economical systems, this isn’t feasible or possible since nobody is willing to buy the rainforests. (Keep in mind this is oversimplified.)

So voting with our wallets to boycott meat is useful, but it isn’t exactly a long term solution. 

But buckle up, we still got one more bad news to go through. Unlike the above, this is one is smaller scale and mostly only affects the US.

United States Postal Service Withheld Funding Resulted in Thousands of Dead Chicks To Farmers

On 13 Aug 2020 POTUS Donald Trump admitted to undermining the US Postal Service (USPS) by withholding US$25b in aid. The funds were approved in the House in a coronavirus aid package but were stalled in the Senate. 

Reports of delay to mail have surfaced, and now farmers are reporting at least 4,800 chicks arriving dead instead of alive. 

Pauline Henderson, who owns Pine Tree Poultry, a family farm and chicken meat processing facility, told the PressHerald all of the 800 chicks sent to her from a hatchery in Pennsylvania were dead. In her five years of operation, this is a first. They usually arrive every three weeks, and out of a 100, you may have one or two that die in shipping. 

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She says this affected birds that moved through processing centres in Shrewsbury and Massachusetts, affecting farms in Maine and New Hampshire. 

The USPS is the only entity that ships live chicks and other small animals since 1918. But the previously reliable method of transporting chicks is now affected by the widespread overhaul of operations such as cutbacks in sorting equipment, ending extra trips by carriers and ending all overtime. 

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