A lot has been said about the Amazon burning. More than the consequent problems derived from that disaster, the main aspect pointed out was the Government’s responsibility and what the Government was (not) doing. As I listened to people’s rage and indignation, I reflected a bit on this subject. Since I know that words have a deeper power than we imagine, it was easy to see that filling up the world with angry words was not solving the problem, in fact, it might have been adding to the issue, since that anger vibe stays within us and emanates to the places and people around us. (1) Anger is an emotional state, even though further low on the scale, it is followed by pride and then courage. If we actively surrender anger and pride, we find ourselves in a frequency that allows us to take responsibility and consequent action! (2,3)
I decided to do some research about the topic and find out what people can actually do to help the Amazon instead of tirelessly complaining about the fire. Yes: people should speak and manifest their disagreement, indignation and sadness with the problem, but actions speak louder than words, so if we transform those emotions into empowering states of being, we discover we can have a further impact than we think.
Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is known as the lungs of the planet providing 20% of the Earth’s oxygen, because it is the largest rainforest in the world, representing half of the planet’s rainforests. It includes territory in nine nations: Brazil (60%), Peru (13%), Colombia (10%), Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. (4)
From late 70s to mid 2000s, vast areas of the rainforest were killed for cattle pasture, soy farms, dams, minerals and colonisation projects. (5) As the roads increased, it became more common to see deforestation occurring. Since 2004 the deforestation in Brazil decreased by 80%, due to law enforcement, satellite monitoring, protected indigenous territories, international pressure from environmentalists and nations worldwide and macroeconomic trends. In other Amazon countries the deforestation has increased since 2000. However, the example Brazil was leading suffered a turn around since 2012 and in 2019 deforestation has reached unprecedented levels. According to 2018 satellite data, deforestation has hit its highest in a decade, pointing out that the forest may be reaching a point where it will no longer be able to produce enough rainfall to sustain itself. (5)
The main causes of deforestation are: cattle ranching, logging, mining, farming and construction. Any Governmental incentives for building roads and dams are destroying and drowning the forest. The surging demands for products such as beef, soy, sugar and palm oil have a huge responsibility on deforestation. The cattle industry incentivised by beef and leather trade is responsible for about 80% of the total deforestation. (4,5,6) The pesticides used in farming in the Amazon end up in the rivers and in the land, killing several species. Note: there are more fish species in the Amazon than in the entire Atlantic Ocean. (6)
What We Can Do
1 — Stop eating meat
The main thing any of us can do is to stop eating meat. The number one reason for Amazon deforestation is the production of cattle for eating purposes. So eating beef meat causes severe damages to the forest. This is something that anyone can do: saying no to eating meat is making a statement to the meat production industry and its consequences. It is a stepping stone for saving the Amazon. (7,8,9)
Since we’ve been eating meat all our lives, it is normal that we think it is indispensable for our survival. It is not! It is possible (and healthier) to live with other alternatives as several sources and examples have been showing. (10,11,12) You can start gradually: instead of making it a portion of your daily menu, you can cut it back to a few times a week and then once a week and so on, and see how you feel! Human beings don’t need to eat a steak per day to be healthy. In fact, the high consumption of meat is pointed out as one of the main reasons for so many health issues in the Western World.(10,11,12)
If you choose to reduce it gradually, check where the meat you are consuming comes from and choose local. Support your local farmers and eat meat that is produced within the region you live. This is one of the main things we can do about any product we own: check its origin and analyse its production process. When we buy something we have the choice and the responsibility to choose local and support fair traders whose business is based on respect towards every single piece of the chain.
2 — Stop buying leather goods
The second thing we can do is to avoid buying leather goods. If you want to buy leather why not get a second hand item? You can get amazing jackets or handbags that are vintage and (so) fashionable. Investing in such a timeless piece doesn’t need to cause the environment any damage. Perhaps you can find some precious item in your parent’s wardrobe. Give it a new life by wearing it now! If you want to buy good leather shoes, make sure you check the provenience of the material and where the product was produced.
Overall reuse leather as much as possible, think thoroughly before purchasing, verify its origin and choose quality, invest in something “environmental responsible” and that will last you a lifetime.
3 — Pay attention to where the wood comes from
There is a wood business that is contributing to kill the Amazon (and other rainforests). Analyse where your wood comes from and make sure you buy something that is not originated from a threatened place. In fact, why not renew old furniture and turn it into a beautiful new item? Good old furniture lasts several generations and with some retouch here and there, it can have a complete makeover turning it into a modern beautiful appliance.
Just like the blood diamond story, so is the wood a blood wood case, but instead of People’s Rights, the issue here is also related with Earth’s Rights. So let us be more aware about it and make decisions about the items that surround us that support the Universal Home we live in. Just like we wouldn’t want to have a piece of blood diamond in our fingers, we wouldn’t want to have a piece of blood wood in our table.
4 — Elect Politicians who Protect the Environment
The Environment belongs to everyone. We belong to the Environment. We are the Earth’s people, the “Earth is peopling”.(13) If a disaster happens at a given place, it’s not just the people or the species or the ecosystem of that region that are affected. It’s like us! Think about it: if you get injured on your foot, it’s not just your foot that is complaining, it’s like your whole body is aching! The Earth is a living organism, so everything is affected.
Now, more than ever, we can see the impact on a global scale. Therefore, we have the social and moral responsibility to choose politicians with a wider vision. We can choose who will represent us, for the actions that those leaders take may define our future. If we choose people with a high focus on environmental policies and sustainability, we are choosing people who think globally and who defend the rights of everyone, not just of a minority. It means that we are investing in education and teaching from a very young age the cycle of life, the global ecosystem and the importance of the balance between giving and taking. It means we are choosing peace, not just among our fellow human beings, but also with the delicate balance of the Earth. It means we are investing in the air we breath, the food we eat and the things we surround ourselves with, something that transcends any physical or diplomatic border.
Take a Stand for Life
Most of the world’s complaints and rage about the Amazon represent a cry for help, a dissatisfaction that the human race is facing about the paths we have chosen to follow in the past. We are here now to undo those policies and create new paths where we see the whole picture, take responsibility and act from a place of awareness. We can choose to take a daily role for the world we want to live in, through the choices we make about the way we spend our money, the food we eat or the objects that surround us. Politicians follow the trend, so if we have daily choices that reflect these values, politicians will tend to act more and more in alignment with the vision that Mankind is stating. Think global in everything that you do!
There are no borders when it comes to the air quality we inhale, the soil’s conditions we ingest or the water’s characteristics we drink. So let us honor our species and the planet that gives us home and unite in ensuring that our ecosystem is able to provide for us. For our ecosystem to give to us, we have to give to the ecosystem. Balance, as in everything, is key. Many imbalances have lead us to the natural disasters we see in nature, the natural disasters we see in our health, so let us find balance again through an active daily choice we can make here and now. Let’s take a stand for life!
1 — The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
2 — Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins
3 — Letting Go: the Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins
4 — Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations by Henning Steinfeld; Pierre Gerber, T.D. Wassenaar and Vincent Castel.
5 — Amazon Destruction by Rhett A. Butler to Mongabay https://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/amazon_destruction.html
7 — Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret by Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn
8 — Before the Flood by Fisher Stevens & Leonardo DiCaprio
9 — Slaughtering the Amazon, Greenpeace
10 — Cosmic Nutrition: the Taoist Approach to Health and Longevity by Master Mantak Chia & William U. Wei
11 — The Five-Elements Wellness Plan: A Chinese System for Perfect Health by Barbara Temelie
12 — The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss by Raphael Kellman
13 — The Book: on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Really Are by Alan Watts