View Full Version : Soya causes environmental damage

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Aug 17th, 2005, 01:58 AM
to anyone who has ever had ANY question of soybean growing killion the rainforest...

please put it out of your mind...

i studied environmental sciences for a year and half... i knew these facts in the back of my head, but wanted to find a hard copy for you all to look at...

its in pdf (adobe).... heres the link
(page 6 starts the very relevent info)


this is what it says to all of you who dont have adobe...
Meat, Water And Forests
• The production of a typical pound of beef in the United States requires 2,500 gallons of water.58
• More than half of all the water consumed in the United States is being poured on the land growing food for
• Two hundred sixty million acres of forested US land has been cleared to create land for animal
agriculture.60 That's more than an acre for every US citizen.
Meat And Global Warming
• When US News & World Report featured our endangered planet Earth on its cover, their report stated:
"Grazing land of tropical rain forest needed for 1/4 lb. of beef — 55 sq. ft.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) emitted by clearing 55 square feet of tropical rain forest — 500 lb."
• The report also said that we can save more CO2 from entering our atmosphere by not eating 5 pounds of
rain forest beef than by not driving a car for a year.61
• A meat based diet is responsible for using up at least 20 times more energy than a vegetarian diet.62

that last bit is the most important for those who worry about soybeans killing the rainforest...
i cant find exact numbers, but 15 acres of soybeans feeds like one hundred times more people per year than the animals who grazed on 15 acres could feed (if one were to eat animals)

Aug 17th, 2005, 02:15 AM
I knew all those facts about global warming and everything, but I had forgotten. The thing that upsets me is that I have a teacher, whom I love dearly, who always talks about sustainability and such, but then when I asked her if she was even a vegetarian her response was "No, I think that I should work on a more system based level, I don't feel that I can do much as an individual making a change. I was like WAHT?! I have to bring in those numbers just to show her that even her alone making the change helps tremendously. Thanx for all the facts! :D

Aug 17th, 2005, 11:54 AM
it's also worth considering how much more polluting meat production is in terms of the excrement etc, which can be really damaging to waterways. the best type of soya to buy is organic if you can as the environmental impact of this is so much less than crops where pesticides and fertilisers are used.

Aug 17th, 2005, 02:18 PM
"No, I think that I should work on a more system based level, I don't feel that I can do much as an individual making a change. I was like WAHT?!

If you want to change the system, begin by changing yourself :)

Vested interests are so ingrained that 'the system' isn't likely to change spontaneously, only individuals can really begin to make a difference.

Aug 18th, 2005, 03:51 AM
I agree so completely with u! I think that we are a part of that system, and by us changing, the system will eventually change too, once all the individuals are set in motion to changing, or at least enough of them. :)

Aug 19th, 2005, 02:32 PM
I hate when people don't change because they believe one person can't makea difference. One person can, but even if they couldn't would you still want to contribute to the problem? My husband and I discussed osmething similiar when I got mad at him for littering, even though there was tons of litter around. He said there was no point of not littering when there was so much, and I said I wouldn't litter because I didn't want to contribute to it even if my litter wasn't even noticed.

Aug 19th, 2005, 03:38 PM
I think we've all done it in our time, sat there and thought 'What can I do?'. I'm 35 now, and it's only recently that I finally realised that I can do EVERYTHING! All I have to do is make the change myself, that's all I can do, so that's what I do. There was a time when I thought it was my job to change everybody else. I'm glad those days are over :)

Aug 20th, 2005, 12:34 AM
It just seems funny to me when people say they want to "Change the system". I always think...well rn't u a part of the system, and until u make the change, how do u expect anything else to? Oh well, such is life, some just don't think that way I suppose, but I think maybe she'll change her mind...if I have anything to say about it at least lol :D

Sep 2nd, 2005, 07:57 AM
The people I work with are always trying to say that I am killing animals by eating soy because animals habitats are cut down to plant it. They say that they rain forest is being cut down and that I'm better off eating meat because I'm killing animals anyways. I don't believe this, but I'm not very educated in the process of producing soy - anyone care to enlighten me, or give me a response to shut my boss up.

Ask your friends WHO they think all that soy is feeding! Soy is planted and cultivated on a large scale for food animals! So most of the soy in the world ends up in animal feed, for the animals that eventually end up on people's dinner tables! So if THEY stopped eating meat, forests wouldn't need to be cleared to provide land for soy crops

Jul 26th, 2006, 07:47 PM
The truth!

Where is the Ministry for Consumer Freedom to criticise this article?

'Soya has established itself as a profitable link in the processed food chain and Brazil has emerged as Europe's main supplier of soy, most of which is fed to livestock, helping to deliver cheaper meat products to supermarket shelves and fast-food counters.'


Aug 31st, 2006, 12:23 PM
mmm...just called Alpro to ask about the sourcing of their soya beans and was told that all their beans come from South Brazil "well away from the rainforests" and that they have "nothing to do with" the destruction of the rainforests. i'm afraid i'm feeling cynical and wondering what exactly 'south of the rainsforests' means...mmm. oh, it's such a tricky subject. i don't want to be supporting the destruction of the rainforests and i'm not sure how i feel about supporting such a major company as alpro but i certainly don't want to support the dairy industry. i know there are other milks (grains and cereals) but they're more expensive and not so readily available. well, i suppose we can but do our best!

Dec 16th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Sorry if this is going over what other people have already said, but I think the point is this;

An individual vegan's impact on land required to grow their food is tiny in comparison with a meat-eater's. I know that the UK is fully self sustainable if you turned a switch that made everyone vegan. We are a tiny country, yet we still have the agricultural land to grow enough crops for everyone without importing crops. Therefore, regardless of where you're soy is sourced, you are still reducing the net effect of food comsumption, and if it weren't for all the meat eaters then there probably would be no need for any importing (of course the effect on third world farmers would be felt here....just to complicate matters...but this is not the time or place to get into debates over the World Trade Organisation and such like). As things go, all the reported claims of 'soy destroying the rain forests' (or at least the majority) are cases where huge amounts of plant are grown to feed tiny amounts of animals.

I think the takehome message is that the only reason rainforests are destroyed is because of the greedy coroporate producers of in-efficient meat produce so much meat in your country that there is no room for vegetables/legumes anywhere. Therefore vegans should all hold their heads up high and know that they are not the reason for this atrocity!

I think this is an interesting link, and shows the thought the vegan community puts into their food choices (unlike so many others)

Dec 29th, 2006, 05:54 PM
A vegan on another web forum I use told me 90% of soya that is grown by cutting down areas of rainforest is used as animal feed. He's a smart and well read guy so I see no reason why it wouldn't be true.

Dec 30th, 2006, 10:19 AM
Alpro state on their soya milk cartons that their soya doesn't come from the rainforest. But anyway even if it did, and i don't know of any alpro/tofutti/plamil/sogood/redwoods products that i might very occasionally buy that source their soya from rainforests. They don't because generally they are aware that it's an issue customers are concerned about, and even if you took all the soya for soya milk it's not going to destroy vast swathes of the rainforests.

But when you look at cow feed, that's another matter, a whole lot of soya needs to go into that, and the response from meat eaters (whose meat also oft comes from the rainforest) is that cow feed is a by product. In my opinion it could be a by product of the processed foods industry that's ramming soya (like palm oil) into just about everything (but it's not, cow feed has been driving the market 'since' BSE). Anyone who comes out with an argument like that hasn't done their research, of which you can find a lot of info in any mainstream (half decent) newpaper in the UK and from centrist groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

Dec 30th, 2006, 10:33 AM
A little story from Greenpeace.........


Jun 20th, 2007, 12:03 PM
Alpro soya stuff says on the packaging that their soya is from sustainable sources and not from the rainforest.

Jun 20th, 2007, 01:08 PM
Thanks HerbivoreHelen, I had not noticed this.

Jul 4th, 2007, 03:28 PM
I keep having the environmental discussion about how eating meat is totally unsustainable and it always comes down to the same: soya is also very damaging... to which I reply: cows eat more soya than humans...

I know the UN livestock report (http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm (http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm) (chapter 2: 2.3.3))
says that 97% of soya meal is used for animals, does that mean that we use the oil and other soya by products ourselves? what I am trying to get to is whether we would still need to plant all that soya anyway even if the animals did not eat the soya meal (i.e. what happens to the actual soya by products? the soya meal is just the waste that we seem to "convenently" be feeding the animals...)

Jul 4th, 2007, 03:45 PM
I think the vast majority of the total soy crop is fed to animals - 90% according to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism - with footnote.

I don't know anyone that intentially buys soya oil - maybe that's a by product of the meal rather than vv? The Wikipedia article on soy looks as if it might be helpful but I don't have time to read it at the moment.

Jul 4th, 2007, 05:36 PM
Thanks Harpy. I also read this one and it actually says that animals only eat 90% of the Soya meal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean) but it says nothing about how much soya they actually consume.

Jul 4th, 2007, 06:09 PM
You could also have a look at this referenced Greenpeace paper (which takes a long time to download unfortunately):


It says "80% of the world’s soya production is fed to the livestock industry."

Aug 12th, 2007, 06:32 PM
I found this very interesting report in 2002. It's written by the Center for International Forestry Research and called: "Hamburger connection Fuels Amazon Destruction - cattle Ranching and deforestation in Brazil's Amazon" Basically it links beef production with the destruction of the rain forest. It's unique reference material (and a great reason to go vegan by itself)!

You'll find it here:

Aug 16th, 2007, 07:44 PM
That is interesting and the maps showing how the more deforested areas are the same as the areas with more cattle are good evidence, but how is the environmental damage associated with one form of meat "a great reason to go vegan by itself?" :confused:

Aug 26th, 2007, 01:04 PM
Meat production leads to rain forest destruction. Not eating meat will help because less meat sold means less cattle, and less cattle means more rainforest.

Apr 21st, 2008, 06:21 PM
:bigsmile:hey just agirrl
well it does concern me this whole business of soya production, since i know that in Brazil theyre uprooting native peoples from their land to plant soya.Check out the survival international website for more on this matter.
And yet, the people goading you, probably eat meat..its ok, just be cool and let them laugh, let them ridicule you. they are in ignorance, not you.
Last week at work i was called "a freak" by a woman who was angry that her 14 yr old girl went veggie lately."all vegans are freaks"..oh what a pitiful..and laughable..situation..good wishes:rolleyes: