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Why are we not reducing our emissions? Why are they in fact still increasing? Are we knowingly causing a mass extinction? Are we evil? No, of course not. People keep doing what they do because the vast majority doesn't have a clue about the actual consequences of our everyday life, and they don't know that rapid change is required. ~ Greta Thunberg, FridaysForFuture

August 24, 2019

Fire. Meat. Power.

You can take immediate action against this environmental $#%! show.

A Series on the Environment from the QL Duo

Did that get your attention? Good. We really want you to hear what we have to say about this.

Brazil is burning. It's a big deal. There is more rainforest on fire right now than ever, and the fires were set intentionally. By people. The burned land is then used for mining, logging or farming. And many of those farms are raising cattle for beef and beef products, and for soy. You can learn more here:

Amazon rainforest fires: Readers' questions answered [BBC]

The Amazon is burning: What you need to know. [Aljazeera]

We — meaning you — are not powerless. Have your moment to exclaim, "Aaaaa! The world is going to hell." Then take a dose of ETS if you need to, buck up and know this: You have the ultimate power to stop this.

It's about money. Our power is where we spend our money. We can choose NOT to spend it on products from farms in the Amazon.

How do you do this? Start here:

  1. Look at the country of origin label on your next purchase of beef. If it comes from Brazil, don't buy it.

  2. If there isn't a country of origin on the label, ask the purchaser at your grocery store where it came from. Just quietly go to the customer service desk and ask for a manager. Tell them it matters to you where the food you buy came from and you'd like to find out where the beef you'll be purchasing came from. In what country does it originate? Approach them with sincerity and curiosity, and you stand a good chance of a pleasant, effective conversation. Remember, the person you're talking with may never have considered the question. You're a regular customer who cares about this, and they will listen.

    It's the "purchasing manager" at a local grocery store who decides what to buy, from where and how much. They decide these things based on what sells.

  3. If they know the answer and tell you their beef comes from Brazil, let them know you will no longer be buying meat in that store because Brazil farmers are literally burning down the Amazon rainforest to raise cattle for that beef.

  4. If they don't know the answer, they will likely offer to find out and call you with the information.

This may slow down your shopping trip, but it's important. It's not just fretting about what's happening. It's doing something about it. That's worth a few extra minutes of our time.

It's easy to underestimate these things, but stores pay attention to dips and blips in what their customers purchase. They will wonder why and want to address what they learn.

If you and enough of your friends ask about this at your local shops, there will be a blip in their sales. Again — they do notice these things!

What if my local grocery stores only carry meat from the Amazon?
Well, it's clear that eating less beef means using less resources and contributing to a reduction in climate change factors. Consider not eating as much, but improving the quality of what you are eating. If you have one, try your local farmers market to learn of where to buy locally produced meats (and vegetables!). In the U.S. you can search LocalHarvest.Org.

I'm already a vegetarian/vegan, so what can I do?
We found it's more difficult to source where your soy products come from. That makes boycotting soy products that come from Amazon land being burned for farming is a challenge. We will post an update if we learn more about this. In the mean time, you can participate in a protest or help inform your non-vegan friends of what's happening and what they can do.

Add Your Presence

There's one other thing you can do, if you're up for it. There are protests about what's happening in Brazil and at Brazilian Embassies around the world.

Protesters besiege Brazilian embassies worldwide over Amazon fires [The Guardian US]

#ActforAmazonia [Twitter]

You know, even if there isn't an organized group protesting your nearest Brazilian Embassy, you can always take a page out of Greta Thunberg's book. Make a simple sign and plant yourself at the entrance each day so all entering and passing by will see you.

Join in. Give 'em hell. Think about what your personal and monetary resources are supporting, and what you want to support. Then act and spend accordingly. The Amazon depends on all of us. And our planet depends on the Amazon.

"At the end, we want to be able to say to ourselves and our children: We were on the right side of history. We took responsibility for changing our patterns and rhythms which resulted in a life that added balance to the larger picture rather than perpetuating the problem." Be A Change Maker with Nature, Your Partner in Life's Garden

The Environment Series