The Amazon Rainforest supplies 20% of the Earth's oxygen we breathe in. We read about this earthly wonder in children's books when we were younger, we learned about the diverse ecosystem within the rainforest from Planet Earth films, and we are alive because of this precious forest. The number of humans on this planet could simply not exist without the Amazon. We are dependent on her. Without her, we would simply die.
The Amazon Rainforest also acts as a cooling system for the Earth. Vast amounts of water are exchanged throughout the forest and into the atmosphere, which helps cool down local and regional climates. The Amazon Rainforest has incredibly dense biodiversity filled with numerous plant and tree species. These contribute to evapotranspiration, which goes into the oceans by rivers. This forest not only helps us humans stay alive and pumps the oxygen we need, but also houses thousands of species of animals, insects, plants, and aquatic life that reside within the soil, branches, rivers and trees of the forest. There are also over 1.6 million indigenous people living amongst the animals surrounding them.
The burning of the Amazon Rainforest is an international crisis. The Earth's lungs are burning, and they have been for the past three weeks. The amount of media coverage and attention this emergency has received is quite shameful. Notre Dame, a medieval spectacle and extraordinary piece of architecture, received media attention like never before seen. However, when one of the world's most precious and diverse ecosystems that helps us live burns away, the media attention is very limited. How angry this makes me-- and how angry it should be making you.
Since January of this year, 72,000 man-made fires have occurred throughout the forest, both legally and illegally. The single largest cause: cattle farming and animal agriculture.
This is a situation we as consumers directly affect, meaning it is also a situation we can change.
The market only makes money when the consumers are wanting that one thing, such as coffee or sugar packets, or hamburgers and other beef products.
What the market needs is change. And in order to change the market, you as the consumer also need to change. It is your job as the consumer to take part in this change.
Our world simply cannot up with diets that are so heavily weighed by animal products. Changing your diet is the single and biggest solution to the state of our world. The world is literally burning, and if it goes we go to.
To be a part of the change for a better and healthier world and planet eat less meat, and eat more veggies! Even better, cut out meat entirely. There are plenty of vegetable options that provide the same nutritional value that meat products contain. Finally, demand that companies reduce the meat and dairy they use in their products! Write letters, vote with your wallet, and vote for representatives that are in support of environmental change.
Let this not be the beginning of the end. Do your part and help the planet.