Is Soy Bad for the Planet?

Soybean farmers are suspected of starting fires in the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere to clear land in order to grow more crops – but tofu and soy milk aren’t the problem. The real culprit is animal agriculture.

Brazil is the world’s top exporter of soybeans, but only a fraction of that crop is consumed by humans. According to the Global Forest Atlas, 80% of all soybeans grown in the Amazon are turned into animal feed.

In 2017, Brazil produced 14.7 million tonnes of soy meal for its domestic market, and more than 90% of that became feed for animals in the meat and dairy industries.

Brazil is also the world’s top exporter of beef. The rainforest is being burned for pastureland to raise cows who are violently slaughtered, and we’re losing more of it every day for soybean crops grown to feed cows and other animals on farms as well.


Australia Is Guilty, Too

Agriculture is the main driver of land clearing in Australia, too, mainly to create pastureland for farmed animals but also to grow the crops that feed them. Around two-thirds of Australia’s domestic market grains – including wheat, barley, and sorghum – are commandeered by animal feed producers.

Australia also imports more than 500,000 tonnes per annum of soybean meal from countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and the United States to supply intensive livestock industries.

It’s a cycle of misery for the animals eaten by humans, native species, and our entire planet.

Image of a poster that says "Wake Up" at a Climate Strike protest.

What Can We Do?

Many of us feel powerless in the face of environmental destruction – but there is hope. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that going vegan can reduce our carbon footprint from food by up to 73%, resulting in a significant drop in greenhouse-gas emissions. By eating vegan, we also reduce our water footprint by nearly 60%.

As we continue to witness the alarming impact of the climate crisis on our day-to-day lives, following a compassionate lifestyle has never been more vital.

Go vegan or keep watching the world burn – it’s that simple.

The United Nations is calling for urgent and unprecedented changes now, including to our diet, to limit the catastrophic damage caused by climate change. Be on the right side of history – go vegan today.