How Americans' love of beef is helping destroy the Amazon rainforest

Terrence McCoy and Júlia Ledur
Washington Post

The pattern is clear: First, the forest is razed.

Then the cattle are moved in.

If the Amazon is to die, it will be beef that kills it.

And America will be an accomplice.

Cattle ranching, responsible for the great majority of deforestation in the Amazon, is pushing the forest to the edge of what scientists warn could be a vast and irreversible dieback that claims much of the biome. Despite agreement that change is necessary to avert disaster, despite attempts at reform, despite the resources of Brazil's federal government and powerful beef companies, the destruction continues.