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Thread: Soya causes environmental damage

  1. #1
    just_a_grrrl's Avatar
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    Default Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.
    A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.
    - Proverbs 12:10

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Story about RainForests.


    I hope that helps. But, that's also in Brazil. Animals are becoming extinct because of the rainforests being torn down, which is horrible, but, as for the rainforests themselves, I would never want to see them torn down, they're such an import part of life, especially for offering oxygen and what have you, but I rather see new plants grown where the rainforests are being demolished rather than cattle pastures in the vacant land. Although, that still doesn't justify that animals are dying because they're losing their homes.

    In the U.S., as of 2004, soy comes from mostly the central states, if I'm correct. (ND SD NE KS MN IA MD AR MS IL WI IN MI OH) I think the U.S. would use their supplies, (which don't come from areas of torn down rainforests) rather than import from Brazil and other areas where soy farms are replacing rainforests.
    Alicia

    "As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together."

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    You could write to the manufacturers of the soy products you buy expressing concern and asking where they source theirs from.

    Last year I wrote to Cauldron, who make a lot of the tofu products sold in the UK, and they said that while their soya does come from South America they have a written guarantee from the suppliers that it comes from areas not affecting the Amazonian Forests. Hmm. Someone else checked with Clearspring, another popular brand, and they said theirs were grown in France.

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    A huge amount of soy is used as animal feed, in America about 95% of all non-exported soy protein ends up as livestock feed. Of this, 77% to 95% is irretrievably lost in the process of animal metabolism. (figures from 'The Book of Tofu' by Akiko Aoyagi and William Shurtleff...possibly the percentages have changed, but probably not much)

    So eating farmed animals is contributing even more to rainforest destruction. If people ate soy directly themselves, instead of feeding it to animals, a very much smaller area of land would have to be cultivated. Your workmates presumably don't eat wild-ranging animals, but the farmed kind which are consuming vast amounts of crops which could have been fed directly to humans, without the waste of protein and animal suffering, so they're even more responsible for rainforest destruction than you are.
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote harpy
    You could write to the manufacturers of the soy products you buy expressing concern and asking where they source theirs from.

    Last year I wrote to Cauldron, who make a lot of the tofu products sold in the UK, and they said that while their soya does come from South America they have a written guarantee from the suppliers that it comes from areas not affecting the Amazonian Forests. Hmm. Someone else checked with Clearspring, another popular brand, and they said theirs were grown in France.
    I bought some soya beans which were organically grown in Kent from 'ethical juicers' website...I've planted some here in Wales and they're doing OK so far. Global warming probably means it'll be possible to grow all sorts of stuff in the UK that wouldn't grow here before.

    just a grrrl, I would've thought in Canada your beans would most likely be home-grown, anyway
    once in a while you can get shown the light
    in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    just_a_grrrl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    oh wow guys, thanks so much! You've been tons of help!
    A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.
    - Proverbs 12:10

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Thanks so much for bringing up this topic. It's something I never really thought about before this.

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    cross barer
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Mmmm, they never cut down forests to graze animals...

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote harpy
    they said that while their soya does come from South America they have a written guarantee from the suppliers that it comes from areas not affecting the Amazonian Forests.
    Yeah, it was rainforest once, but now it's a pretty meadow!

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Even if it comes from a bad location/supplier, we consume less soya than livestock. Not eating meat means we are possibly contributing less to this problem. Without mass farming, soya farming would be a non issue.

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    Unhappy Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    i read somewhere recently that thousands of acres of rainforest were being cut down each down to make into cattle ranches, since the demand for beef is sickingly rising.... but i recall reading that the Big Beef Industry is taking a big portion of our rainforest each day...pretty soon we'll be telling our children about the good ole' days when we actually had a rainforest.

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote adam antichrist
    Yeah, it was rainforest once, but now it's a pretty meadow!
    Hope you're wrong! I expect the French stuff is safer though; not too many rainforests there.

    Must admit I hadn't thought of growing my own tofu but it's a nice idea.

  13. #13
    defu
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    read about that too. it's a major problem in brasil where people can buy land from the government and decide what to do with it-well they cut the forests down of course and plant soy. brasil is one of the biggest 'soy factories' in the world

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    Thumbs up Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    I am so glad that someone posted this, cuz I've been really thinking about this problem a lot lately. Especially cuz I have a vegetarian friend who I was criticizing cuz she still eats gelatine and the likes and then she threw that at me. I told her that i thought all my soy came from American places and things, and now have found out that I am right. But at the time it was so hard to say anything back, I'm glad to know that not all soy produced comes from the rainforests. Now I can sleep at night again!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Well, lately, not all has come from America, if you're an American citizen. There has been a shortage in soy supply. I emailed a company about that lately, and this is the response I received:


    Dear Alicia:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Until recently all soybeans used in White Wave products were grown on organic farms within the United States. Currently the majority of our soybeans that we purchase remain US grown, however due to a recent organic soybean shortage we have begun purchasing organic soybeans from Brazil.

    The Brazilian soybeans purchased by White Wave are grown in an area of the country south of the rainforests. No rainforests are damaged in the growth or production of our soybeans.

    In addition, the company that White Wave contracts with to purchase Brazilian soybeans is constantly monitoring to make certain no slave labor is used on their farms. Three inspection methods are used to check for slave labor including a visit to each farm from a national certification agency, random visits to each farm by local labor authorities and an extensive inspection and interview process of the farm by the buyer certifying that the farm does not use slave labor.

    The Brazilian soybeans continue to meet White Wave's high quality standards. Just like our American-grown crop, the Brazilian beans are grown with traditional plant breeding and farming practices. To insure that the soybean stocks are pure, the plants are grown in a region isolated from non-organic and genetically modified soybean production. White Wave carefully and continuously monitors our soybean growers directly to ensure that the soybeans have not been genetically altered and are of the very best quality.

    Highly reputable independent laboratories specializing in genetic identification regularly test White Wave products. Silk® Soymilk has always tested negative for the presence of genetically modified material. We will continue to test Silk and White Wave products to maintain our high quality standards and our product integrity.

    We hope this information is helpful.

    Best regards from the folks at White Wave.
    Alicia

    "As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together."

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    cross barer
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Funny, there is more and more land "south of the rainforest" every year!

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    Lightbulb Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Thank u so much, that was really helpful cuz that's pretty much the brand that I eat, and hopefully the other ones I eat are ok too. I think I'm gonna check now, that was a really good idea too, thank u so much Crimsonskies!

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    cross barer
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    I emailed tofutti asking where theirs is grown since it wasn't clearly stated on their site. This is their reply:

    Thank you for your recent Tofutti email. Our soy is grown in the U.S and is non-GMO. Please feel free to contact us should you have any further questions.
    Sincerely yours,
    Steven Kass
    Tofutti Brands Inc
    Thumbs up!

  19. #19

    Unhappy Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    No problem. I don't want to be the cause of a destroyed rainforest.
    Alicia

    "As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together."

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    Smile Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Thanx for that reply too adam antichrist! i am going to check wholesoy and yves, i'll let you guys know what they say.

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote SurfNSun
    i read somewhere recently that thousands of acres of rainforest were being cut down each down to make into cattle ranches, since the demand for beef is sickingly rising.... but i recall reading that the Big Beef Industry is taking a big portion of our rainforest each day...pretty soon we'll be telling our children about the good ole' days when we actually had a rainforest.
    Heh, if there's no rainforest, you'll probably be struggling to find the breath to tell them the story

    This topic comes up all the time if you're a vegan. Non-vegans try to tell you that you're harming creatures whenever you eat soya, or carrots or whatever. The truth is, simply by existing you're harming all sorts of creatures - for example, your body is destroying bacteria constantly. That's not the point, the point is that you're doing LESS harm than a non-vegan, and you're doing your best to reduce the harm and suffering that you cause. Unlike them

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    Angry Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Farflame, that's so true! Even vegetarian people seem to be rude about the subject and environmental impact to vegans. What is up with that?!

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    I had learnt that the main soy productors country is Argentina, and Argentina doesn´t plant in Amazonas. Indeed, China is going to build a railway between Chile and Argentina to carry soy to Chilean ports in the Pacific Ocean, and from there, soy is going to be carried taken to China.

    Anyway meat-eaters are responsible of deforestation and directly of many animals killed, so they can´t say that a vegan is responsible of animals murdered.

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    And even if they do say something about vegans killing animals, it makes them hypocrits. It's good to know about the Argentina thing though because whether I am impacting animal's homes less or not, I really don't want to do it at all.

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    Thumbs up Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    So good news, Wholesoy gets all of their soybeans from the US. Here's what they said:

    Thank you for contacting WholeSoy. We buy our soybeans from a single organic supplier in the Midwestern United States. The beans are certified organic and 100% non-gmo.

    So that's good news!

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    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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)

    http://www.yesworld.org/info/facts.pdf

    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
    animals.59
    • 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)
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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    Thumbs up Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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!

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote moochbabe
    "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.
    once in a while you can get shown the light
    in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.
    A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.
    - Proverbs 12:10

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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

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    Wink Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Quote just_a_grrrl
    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

  35. #35
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.'

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle1197277.ece

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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!

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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)

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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.
    There’s a statue that the abattoir erected to remind us all of their contributions. To me it marks Potemkin City Limits, this Francis cast in bronze.

  39. #39
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    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.

  40. #40
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    A little story from Greenpeace.........

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/forests...TOKEN=34989656

  41. #41

    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Alpro soya stuff says on the packaging that their soya is from sustainable sources and not from the rainforest.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Soy killing the rainforest?

    Thanks HerbivoreHelen, I had not noticed this.

  43. #43
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Question Soya causes environmental damage

    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 (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...)
    Last edited by flutterby; Jul 5th, 2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: this was the 1st post in a similar thread

  44. #44
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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.

  45. #45
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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 but it says nothing about how much soya they actually consume.

  46. #46
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    You could also have a look at this referenced Greenpeace paper (which takes a long time to download unfortunately):

    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/conten...the-amazon.pdf

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

  47. #47
    boatsteem1
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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:
    http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/publicati...dia/Amazon.pdf

  48. #48
    steven1222
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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?"

  49. #49
    boatsteem1
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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.

  50. #50
    friendly fri
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    Default Re: Soya causes environmental damage

    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
    :D :)

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