A company called VeganNation has purchased 15,000 acres of Amazon rainforest for the purpose of preservation after gathering $10 million through fundraising efforts. VeganNation is also heavily involved in the blockchain industry and launched their own cryptocurrency, called VeganCoin, last year.
The company reportedly refers to themselves as a “global, vegan, decentralized nation, powered by the blockchain technology.”
In a statement announcing the purchase, VeganNation co-founder and CEO Isaac Thomas pointed to the connection between cattle ranching and the recent controversy about fires in the Amazon.
“VeganNation understands that promoting veganism is an important step towards fighting the global warming crisis and raising awareness through local environmental projects among the Brazilian community is key,” Thomas said, according to Live Kindly.
This is one of the reasons why many vegans are taking up the cause in the Amazon, because they see a clear link between the deforestation and the global beef industry.
Ane Alencar, the scientific director of Brazilian NGO IPAM (Institute of Environmental Research in Amazonia) identified the cattle ranchers as the culprits of the fires earlier this year.
“These are not wildfires, but rather fires set by people seeking to create cattle ranches, intentionally ignited during the dry season each year. They cut the trees, leave the wood to dry and later put fire to it so that the ashes can fertilize the soil,” Alencar said.
Alencar also said that they will be partnering with Brazilian sports teams to help promote rainforest preservation.
“Partnering with four Brazilian soccer teams further enables us toward our mission of working together to create a better world,” Alencar said.
Numerous studies have confirmed that fires in the Amazon were intentionally set to clear space for cattle ranches.
According to a Yale study, cattle ranching is responsible for roughly 80% of the Amazon’s deforestation. Another study estimates that nearly 50% of Brazilian livestock are raised in fields that were once rainforest.
Brazil is the world’s top exporter of beef, accounting for 20% of global beef exports. Brazil’s largest customer is China, but companies in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe also purchase from Brazil.
Many of the products consumed in the western world are actually harvested from the Amazon. This includes oil, beef, paper products and items like palm oil. These days it really isn’t too difficult to find out where the products you buy are being sourced from, and there are many environmentally conscious brands who advertise cruelty-free, locally-cultivated products.