The Biggest Threat to Rainforests? Cattle Ranching

While many people like to point the finger at lumber companies as the sole contributor to deforestation, there is a sobering fact that most people are unaware of:

Cattle ranching accounts for roughly 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

The market for beef, leather, and other goods has led to the rapid and systemic depletion of the rainforest in ways that the lumber industry can’t even touch. Another thing to consider is that with organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council and many other environmental groups diligently watching the practices of lumber companies, there is a sustained effort to put back what is used. Basically, many lumber mills will replant tress that were cut down.

However, once acres of forest have been cut down for cattle ranching, that land is pretty much used for one thing and one thing only; cattle.

Yes, lumber companies need to be more responsible and diligent. However, the fact that the cattle industry and large corporations go unscathed for the most part in the public eye needs to change.

Advantage Trim & Lumber prides itself on the many ways we actually boost the forest’s production of trees. Our sustainable forestry practices include:

  • Harvesting fallen and dead trees so that new trees can grow
  • Havesting trees that no longer produce seeds
  • Planting five new trees for every one that has been cut
  • Selective logging

I recently came across a great article that discusses the impact that cattle ranching has had on the  Amazon. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to demonize the lumber industry as the sole perpetrator of deforestation.

At Advantage, we are the leader in promoting eco-friendly forestry practices and have a full inventory of certified FSC wood. We are members of the Forest Stewardship Council and the United States Green Building Council because we realize the importance of having a viable and sustainable forest. Below is an interactive video we created that shows the negative impact that cattle have had on the Amazon.

Cattle Ranching in the Brazilian Amazon

This photo was taken by Rob Pelc on a recent trip to Brazil.

Visit our environmental policy page to learn more.

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