The Amazon covers about 40% of the South American territory, it is the largest tropical forest in the world and one of the ecoregions with the greatest biodiversity on the planet. Furthermore, it is key to regional and global climate stability and used to be a major carbon store. Unfortunately, this is changing due to the devastating industries that feed on it.

According to the RAISG study “Deforestation in the Amazon by 2025“, between 2001 and 2020, the Amazon lost more than 54.2 million hectares, equivalent to the size of France. One of the main causes of this is agricultural activity, which accounted for 84% of deforestation in the first two decades of the century. In turn, a MapBiomas report indicates that, until 2019, 14% of the Amazon rainforest had been replaced by agricultural activities: 89% for pastures and 11% for crops.

According to research by the Bruno and Dom project, with Forbidden Stories and The Guardian, more than 800 million trees were felled in just six years to meet the global demand for Brazilian beef. Another big driver of indiscriminate logging and the spread of human-caused fires in the Amazon is soybean production, which is used largely to feed farmed animals not only in South America but throughout the world.

Mining, the timber trade, oil palm cultivation and other industries are also contributing to the devastation of the Amazon, but, as the data shows, the demand for animal products is the most important cause of a process of destruction without precedents, where the number of lives lost, both wild animals and exploited animals, continues to add up at an increasingly accelerated rate. Meanwhile, scientific studies warn that the Amazon has begun to savannize. We are killing the forest we need to survive, to exploit and kill animals unnecessarily.

Matilde Nuñez del Prado Alanes is from La Paz, Bolivia. She made her thesis in Sociology on cockfighting, as a result of an undercover investigation in the field for 4 years, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Critical Theory. Her topics of interest are the relationships between humans and other sentient animals from the perspective of Critical Animal Studies, the socio-ecological issues, and the intersectionality between different forms of oppression, domination and exploitation.