Updated: Apr 6
I'm sure many of you have heard about the assumption that vegans hurt the planet with soy foods like tofu. While it is true that soybean plantations are responsible for an enormous amount of deforestation, tofu is not to blame. In fact, they’re actually a highly efficient protein source. So what's causing the damage? The damage is caused by growing an unreasonable and unsustainable amount of beans to feed and fatten up tens of billions of farmed animals.
Did you know that 85% of the world's soybean crop is used as animal feed ?
"Increasing meat consumption is the main driver behind soy’s continuing expansion. Around three-quarters of soy worldwide is used for animal feed, especially for poultry and pigs. "
— The Growth of Soy: Impacts and Solutions, 2014 WWF report
Why are we feeding soybeans to farm animals?
The simple answer: it is cheap and effective. Soy and corn are the two crops that are used to help farm animals reach their market weight in a short period of time. According to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the average cow will gain between two and four pounds a day, because of the special diet they are fed.
What can we do to stop deforestation?
The more you eat meat, the more the farm animals that eat soy. The easy answer is to reduce or to stop consumption of meat. If fewer people ate meat, more crops grown to feed livestock could be redirected to feed people. Therefore, our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future. By eating more plant-based foods, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies and be kinder to the environment!