In my last blog about the impact cows and the livestock industry in general has an the ecological community, I mentioned the growing problem  of Brazilian rain forest deforestation. As soon as i  read about this problem, i was instantly intrigued. How bad is it? Whose being affect? What are the Up sides? Does it really need to stop? I began my search.

      To truly understand how big of a problem this specific deforestation case actually is, I thought I would research the Brazilian/Amazon Rainforest itself. It turns out that the Amazon rainforest spans over nine South American countries and a baffling 1.7 billion acres of land. Thats about 1,545,454,545.454 foot ball fields ( yeah I actually took the time out look up

that useless, but mildly interesting fact.) 60% of which is in the country if Brazil. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rain-forests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rain-forests  in the world. Two-and-a-half acres of Amazon Rain forest contain over 750 types of trees, more than all of North America. Another interesting fact i discovered about the amazonian rain forest was that 1 in 10 species alive today live there, to me that’s insane. Also, about a fifth of the planet’s fresh water flows down the Amazon river and according to estimates, 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rain forest. Through this research, it’s easy to see how very important the amazon rain forest is to the Earth.




                Whose being affect? Actually, to date, at least 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region. They are being affected. Not to mention the 28,843invertebrate species in Brazil alone. These once abundant species are, many a case, being faced with the largest battle of their lives. The Battle for existence. As bleak as it sounds, its a sad reality for a good number of the species of in this area. They are being faced with the ever looming threat of habitat destruction. This problem leaves little to no chance for the species of the amazon to survive. As the habitat is cut down or burning, the animals loose their homes and food supply, leaving them to find refuge in new areas in the forest. However, these species are becoming so compacted that there is simply not enough food to feed all the hungry mouths. 


          The animals are not the only ones being affected, the whole globe is as well. Deforestation in the Amazon is actually partly responsible for global warming. Between losing oxygen producing plants, the release of CO2 into the air in the process of cutting tress down and green house gases being produced in the are that was once forest, the deforestation of the amazon is responsible with a sizable chunk of global warming.

        So you may be asking yourself, if this is such a giant problem, why the heck are will continuing to cut down the beautiful rainforest that make our world so unique? Along with all the problems that come with deforestation there is also plenty of upsides such as: cattle ranches, agriculture, logging and commercial and residential living areas. All of which, we depend on heavily around the globe.

         What’s the future going to look like? If we depend on it’s benefits and we can’t deal with the downfalls, what exactly is going to happen? Obviously, no one know what the future has in store for the organisms of the world, but we do have a rough idea. Due to the vast amount of economically needy people in Brazil, most of the brazilian governments money must go to help the economy of it’s country. This is understandable. However, the future is sill looking good if we have will to do anything to change it. According to  The World Wild Fund, “$547.2 million US dollars would be required from international sources to compensate the forest developers and establish a highly organized framework to fully implement forest governance and monitoring  and the foundation of new protected forest areas in the Amazon for future sustainability.”  Thought his number seems daunting, with the help of everyone across the globe we might actually be able to save the habit, the animal species and our selves as well!




Wait… did you just saw cow? Yes, Yes i did and I will say it again.  Today, everyone around the globe is putting all the weight of global warming on the shoulders of the big wigs of oil, the gas guzzlers and  the factories that just ooze tones of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere per year. However, they are not the only culprits at hand for the tragedy that is Global warming. Another such culprit is the cow, or livestock in general for that matter. Cows give off methane when they chew their cud and belch, and nitrous oxide and ammonia when they leave manure all over the barnyard.  “Methane, while less prevalent in the air than carbon dioxide, is 23 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas” the FAO report says. This means that though there is more CO2 in the air than Methane, Methane cause more damage. In fact,  livestock is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas problem.  To me its outrageous that this major problem is just going by unnoticed or at least it seems that way.


         Unfortunately, the problem with live stock does not end there. The FAO says, “grazing takes up 26 percent of the land on Earth that is not covered by ice — 30 percent if you count the land used to grow feed for the animals.”  The raising of live stock also causes many problems with water quality around the globe. Farm waste, washed downhill by rain, carries all the cow dung which contains methane and ammonia. Then these properties are evaporated and come down as acid rain all around the globe. Then the acid rain mixes with the water necessary to support marine life and that marine life begins to fail. Ahh, the problems that couple with the cow.

        Another major problem that the need for livestock posses is that livestock needs land. A lot of land. In fact, 60-70 percent of deforestation in the Amazon results from cattle ranches. This number, to me, is truly frightening and Brazil is not the only country that is being plagued by this monstrosity.  “With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tons in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tons”, states  a UN report.

         However the UN report also goes on to show beneficial livestock can be as well, “The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. It provides livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40 per cent to global agricultural output. For many poor farmers in developing countries livestock are also a source of renewable energy for draft and an essential source of organic fertilizer for their crops.” You can see here that at this point in history we are very dependent on the benefits that livestock provides. Just as we are dependent on oil, we depend on meat. How curious!


Overfishing is a main threat to marine biodiversity. Though vastly ignored, overfishing can have a terrible effect on the world today. With other major environmental problems such as oil depletion and deforestation taking center stage, overfishing is almost entirely put to the side. This problem effects the environment and the human race as well. With 200 million people in the world, especially in developing countries, depending on the nutrients and minerals from fish, over fishing is a problem not to be overseen. Not only does this major problem affect humans it also throws the biological community in a state of need. Fish are food source for many different animals and if no fish are left to fit these animal’s appetites there will be a mass depletion of this world’s wildlife. For example, the herring is a bird that mainly feeds on fish, in particular cod, and with the number of cod drastically falling, the number of herring would drastically fall as well. Overfishing is another example of humans disrupting the homeostasis of the environment but it is not too late to stop this major problem. With fish and other aquatic animals, such as King Crab, Atlantic Cod and Bluefin Tuna, nearly depleted, it is time to stop this growing problem before it becomes too big to stop.

 Some people have noticed this major problem and have begun to act against it such as Nitin Desai, the Secretary General of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Nitin said Overfishing can not continue. The depletion of fisheries poses a major threat to the food supply of millions of people.” which was exactly my point. Nitin also believes that the only way to overcome this problem is to ban together and end it that way. He also suggests having government add funding to help make the project of destroying over fishing even more possible.
            There are various different ways to end the horrible catastrophe that is over fishing. First of all, I believe many laws should be placed to help regulate the quantity of fish taken in by each fisherman. Also many fish that are in danger of over fishing are not supposed to be. Many fish are captured in the fishermen’s nets that are not even used for food or any other product that could be used by people. A solution to this problem is to make it illegal to not use the fish taken in, and if a fisherman does take in a fish that is unneeded the should be legally obligated to release the fish back where it was caught. Another thing that should be instated to save the marine environment should be a more proficient way to track the numbers of fishes so it is easy to see when and where a certain species of fish is in danger of being extinct. Also, the government should invest more money into the research of fighting this major problem.


One organization that is a key component in fighting overfishing is the World Wildlife Fund or the WWF. The WWF if is an organization that has about 5 million supporters and they make money and invest it in world problems such as overfishing. The WWF is currently improving fisheries management, fighting to set regulations on the intake of fishes and are fighting against illegal intake of fishes. Also the WWF is promoting and investing money into the improvement of selective fishing mechanisms that sort fish and are fighting to eliminate destructive fishing practices such as the destruction of deep sea habitats. Another easy way the WFF is trying to stop overfishing is promoting the use of seafood that is caught under good regulations.

            Overfishing is a major problem in our world today and should never be taken as a minor threat. There are several different ways everyone could get involved to stop this growing problem. It is time not only think about humans but the entire environment as well.