We’ve got a little beef to pick with Burger King that extends well beyond farm animal rights, and after hearing this, you will, too.
You see, there’s an amazing forested savanna called the Cerrado in Brazil that is home to a rich array of animal and plant life, including many threatened species such as the magnificent jaguar, the giant anteater, and the maned wolf. This area is also prized as the source of half of Brazil’s watersheds, and it is a vital fountain of life for the Pentanal, the world’s largest wetland, as well as the millions of people who reside in this region. But recently, vast stretches of this tropical paradise have been burned to the ground and replanted as unsustainable soybean plantations.
“Today, deforestation is much higher in the Cerrado than the Amazon. Increasingly, with the climate crisis, we need the forest standing, providing environmental benefits and keeping the water safe. We can see how much this path achieved in the Amazon, and plan its evolution,” Brazil’s Environment Minister, José Sarney Filho, says.
The same is happening to puma, three-toed sloth, and macaw habitat in Bolivia – at a rate of 289,000 lost hectares per year, according to a 2015 Food and Agriculture Organization report.
A recent study conducted by Mighty Earth found that companies in Burger King’s supply chain, which include the likes of Cargill, Bunge, and ADM, are largely responsible for this destruction. These suppliers purchase this soy to feed the cows that ultimately become burgers, while also financing new road construction in the region and funding widespread use of fertilizers that wreak havoc on these ecosystems.
Burger King, the world’s second-largest burger chain, has scored below McDonald’s on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2016 scorecard of major beef sellers’ deforestation profiles. On the scorecard, Burger King scored a big, fat zero for their efforts to prevent deforestation in their supply chain. The company not only doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that it has a major hand in destroying these environments, it has outright turned down requests from civil society organizations to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain. Even McDonald’s has supported actions to better preserve these forests, and it’s time for Burger King to do the same, at the very least. Considering Cargill supplies about 22 percent of the U.S. domestic meat market and American livestock alone consume over 30 million tons of soybean meal every year, you can see how deep the ties to deforestation run.
The good news is we can help put a stop to this senseless destruction. Sign this petition and tell Burger King to clean up its act and demand that all of its suppliers, including Cargill and Bunge, immediately stop destroying our world’s precious forests.
In addition, get the word out about who’s funding this mess, do your part to stop supporting these companies. You can also help personally bring an end to deforestation caused by meat production by lowering or eliminating your personal consumption of beef. Did you know by simply leaving meat off your plate for a year, you can halve your carbon footprint? To learn more about how you can use your food choices to bring about positive environmental change, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.
Click on the graphic below for more information.
All image source: Mighty Earth