The global food crisis and climate change have cast the spotlight on negative
aspects of the cattle industry, such as the high consumption of vegetable
protein to generate relatively little meat, and the sector’s role in global
Because of its cattle, Brazil is among the world's leading emitters of
greenhouse gases. The livestock industry has encroached on the Amazon rainforest
and is a leading cause of deforestation. According to its first national
inventory, in 1994, logging represented 75 percent of Brazil's greenhouse gases.
The destruction of forests, which has accelerated since the 1980s, coincides
with the expansion of cattle-raising. From 1994 to 2006, the national herd grew
from 158 million to 205 million head, and 82 percent of that increase took place
in the Amazon region, according to the study "The Cattle Kingdom" by the
environmental group Friends of the Earth-Brazilian Amazon, released in ...