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Here at the Rainforest Foundation some of us are vegan, some vegetarian and some committed omnivores. But on World Vegan Day we can all agree: reducing your consumption of animal products–especially beef–can go a long way to helping the rainforest.

Why change your eating habits?
1. Energy Efficiency– Eating beef is not energy efficient.  Very little of the energy used to raise a cow ends up on your plate.  Eating lentils, beans and nuts tends to be far more efficient.
2. Water Pollution– Cattle ranches and pork farms pour their refuse and excess fertilizers into the waterways throughout the Amazon killing fish causing unhealthy algae blooms and often contaminating the water indigenous communities depend on for  drinking, fishing and bathing.  
3. Methane- Yes it’s true! The methane cows produce is one of the drivers of climate change.
4. Deforestation– Perhaps the most crucial reason to cut back on your meat consumption. Today, cattle ranching continues to be the biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon; by some estimates it accounts for 4/5 of the rainforest lost in South America.  As of 2015 the embargo against Brazilian beef was lifted making it more and more likely that the meat you buy comes from deforested land! 
So what can you do?
  1. Meatless Monday- Consider skipping animal products once a week; if you do it on Monday you will be part of global community of people committed to helping the environment (and your health)
  2. Buy locally raised grass fed beef (Unless, of course, you live in a tropical rainforest!)
  3. Advocate for change. The US government could insist beef imports come only from cattle certified deforestation free.
Eager to make a change?  Consider trying out a few rainforest friendly, low carbon recipes.