At 2.124 million square miles, the Amazon is the world’s biggest rainforest. Despite the Amazon’s significance, it is suffering from deforestation. Since 1978, over 289,000 square miles of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Amazon’s indigenous people used the basin for small scale cultivation. Today, cattle ranching is the biggest driver of land destruction in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of deforestation rates.
Let’s take a closer look into why the Amazon is being destroyed and what the beef industry has to do with its rapid deforestation.