1 – The Amazon is being burnt mostly by farmers – not ranchers.
2 – They’ve been burning the Amazon around this time of year every year for 50 years. It’s not new.
3 – Yes, the new leadership in the area has made it easier for them to do this.
4 – The main reason it is being burned is to clear land for growing crops – specifically Soybean. Argentina is ranked 3rd, and Brazil ranked 2nd, in Soybean production (USA is ranked 1st).
5 – Rainforests are not nutrient rich and do not make good land for growing crops or raising cattle. Soybean is a crop that grows well there for a short time, then the soil is no longer useful to grow anything.
6 – The cattle that graze this cleared land helps to add nutrients back into the soil. Without the cattle more of the Amazon would need to be burned to grow crops. It’s a type of symbiotic relationship. If ranchers stopped raising cattle in the Amazon area, farmers would have to burn larger portions of the Amazon for their crops as the land they used the year before would not be re-fertilized by livestock.
7 – South America is one of the leading producers of beef, but the majority of the beef is sold to China. The USA gets very little beef from South America.
8 – Yes, burning the Amazon adds carbon to the atmosphere and speeds up warming. It’s not good. Unfortunatly, going vegan will not stop this practice of burning the Amazon for crop land (see above points).