Using satellite data from the United Nations researchers at Stanford University in California, USA have found that more than 80% of agricultural land expansion in the tropics between 1980 and 2000 did not come from use of existing land but instead resulted from deforestation of primarily rainforests.
What has also been documented is that the forests are being cleared to create pastureland for livestock as well as to grow crops such as soya and palm oil products used for animal feed.
Stanford researcher and study author Dr. Holly Gibbs stated, “This has huge implications for global warming, if we continue to expand our farmland into tropical forests at that rate.” An earlier study, “Climate Benefits of Changing Diet,” from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, found that a global shift to a vegan diet would result in significant reforestation, along with an 80% reduction in climate change mitigation costs.
Thank you, Dr. Gibbs, Stanford colleagues and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for highlighting the link between tropical deforestation and livestock raising.
May we all realize the importance of a dietary shift away from animal products to save the tropical rainforests and reverse global warming. As on many other occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded of the detrimental tolls of livestock raising and the need to halt it for the sake of our planet during an October 2009 videoconference in Germany.