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Soy is the main reason for rainforest deforestation

Soy destroys rainforest - About animal feed and vegan soy products

Soy destroys the rainforest - most of us know that! But only a few people are aware that it is not soy products such as milk or sausages that contribute to this. And so it always happens that meat eaters discover the reflex argument "Rainforests are destroyed for soy - and only vegans and vegetarians eat it anyway". But that's scoring an own goal.

In this article, I would now like to show you why it is not vegans and vegetarians, but mainly meat eaters and the general consumption of animal products who are responsible for the Deforestation of the forests wear.

"Soy destroys rainforests? Only vegans and vegetarians eat soy products anyway!

I often hear this argument - but it can be refuted and reversed within a few seconds with the following words:

You're right: soy is indeed one of the plants that often ends up on vegans' plates - mainly because it is so rich in protein. However, the harvest of the world's soybean crop ends up About 80 percent as ground animal feed in industrial animal feed production₁, as cows, pigs or chickens grow particularly quickly due to the high protein content. Around 18% of the harvest is also processed₂ so that the product can be used as biodiesel or frying oil, for example. Only about 2 percent are actually made into soy patties or other meat-free delicacies.₃ As a rule, this is European organic soy from GMO-free agriculture. Genetically modified soy is not even approved as food for end consumers in Germany - but it is approved as animal feed.

So soy cultivation destroys the rainforest, that's true. But the harvest doesn't end up as a meal for vegans - it ends up as animal feed for the farm animals you eat. If you eat the Protecting the rainforest you should therefore consume the soy products directly and help to avoid the resource-intensive "animal detour".

Tip: All Reasons for veganism can be found in the linked article.

Important statistics on soy and rainforest deforestation at a glance

Here I would like to give you an overview of important facts and figures about the link between soy cultivation and deforestation:

  • Usage: Around 80 percent of the global soy harvest is ultimately processed into animal feed. 18 percent into biodiesel and oils - and only 2 percent into soy milk, tofu flakes and other foods that we humans then consume directly.₄
  • Deforestation: 88 percent of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is caused by the animal industry.₅
  • Imports: More than 80 percent of the land-intensive soybean meal imported to Germany for animal feed comes from South America.₆
  • Taxation: Plant-based products such as soy milk are taxed at 19% in Germany, as they fall into the category of "processed foods". Meat, milk, eggs and butter, on the other hand, are only taxed at the reduced rate of 7%.

Tip: Further, meaningful Veganism statistics can be found in the linked article. And if you think of any important facts, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Soy as animal feed accelerates rainforest deforestation

For vegans rainforest is cut down because of soya

The need for soy would be drastically reduced if everyone went vegan. The "soy destroys rainforests" argument therefore makes no sense from a meat-eater's point of view. But those who make it seem to care about preserving the rainforest. And if that wasn't just an empty phrase to somehow justify their own meat consumption, then they should use the new information to slowly but steadily to start into vegan life.

Do you have questions or comments about soy and rainforest deforestation? Then feel free to write me a comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: If you still need some motivation for the vegan lifestyle, be sure to check out this Documentaries for vegans an.

₁,₂,₃,₄ Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt: Why soy sausage does not harm the rainforest (as of 01.06.2018). [09.08.2019].

₅ DEUTSCHER TIERSCHUTZBUND e.V.: du und das tier, Rinter als Klimasünder (offprint), available at [07.05.2020].

₆ Umwelthelden e.V.: Meat and soy: Why factory farming threatens the rainforest, available at [07.05.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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