Australian deforestation driven by livestock grazing - 15 Jul 2010  
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A recent report on a 20-year study commissioned by the Queensland government has revealed that 91% of all tree clearing has been done for livestock grazing. Leading the research team was Mr. Gerald Bisshop, retired principal scientist of the Queensland Department of Environment and Resources Management, and our Association member.

The study’s data collection through satellite imagery and field research has yielded a picture of forest devastation in which trees were torn from a vast 270-square-kilometer area in a state that once boasted the largest forested region in the country.

Gerald Bisshop – Retired principal scientist – Queensland Department of Environment and Resources Management, Australia, Vegan, Our Association member (M): None of these trees have been used for timber, it’s purely for grazing livestock. They might use the bulldozers to break them and burn them in a pile.
Or they might inject the trees with poison, they call that stem injection, to kill the trees, or they might use aerial poison to poison the trees from an aircraft. All of these kill the trees so that grass can grow to feed the livestock.

VOICE: A new paper by Mr. Bisshop includes a comprehensive evaluation of environmental risks across all of Australia, finding that livestock raising was the major factor in every area of impact.

Gerald Bisshop (M): We looked at what was driving deforestation; what was driving loss of biodiversity; what was driving soil degradation; what was driving soil loss in Australia; what was driving water quality loss in Australia and we found that there is a common cause. The common cause is land clearing for raising livestock.

VOICE: According to Mr. Bisshop, in Queensland, despite local tree planting efforts, 100 trees continue to be cleared for every tree planted. Thus, the solution to many of the environmental problems, as well as global warming, would be to stop clearing the land for livestock.

Gerald Bisshop (M): The re-growth in Queensland would quickly reverse the tree clearing. In other words, if the trees aren’t re-cleared then nature bounces back very quickly. So, we would see not only the emissions from the tree clearing stop, but we would see a reversal of that because the growing trees take up more carbon dioxide themselves.

VOICE: Our appreciation Mr. Bisshop and Queensland state for informing of this alarming link from deforestation to livestock raising. May governments and co-citizens quickly opt for the alternative of vegan food production and consumption to protect our Earth.

In an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized as in previous times the need to safeguard the planet’s trees from clearing for livestock-related activities, especially to help stop global warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Forests also play a tremendous role in absorbing CO2. For example, the forests in the Pacific Northwest region of the US are able to absorb half of all the emissions of the state of Oregon, USA.

So we should protect our forests as well, especially from clearing for cattle grazing and for animal feed growing, because these activities even add back many times more greenhouse gases.
Most of the deforestation in our world is due to animal raising, taking up a staggering one-third of the entire land area on the globe!

So to be veg is a way to not only eliminate significant emissions, but to absorb even more carbon from the atmosphere.It is a true solution, yes, and it is the most effective way to save the planet.