What is Ranching?
Ranching is an establishment maintained for raising livestock, like cattle, under range conditions.
What are Negative Effects of Ranching on the Environment?
- Ranching accounts for about 80% of deforestation rates.
- Ranching is the biggest cause for deforestation because the land is cleared for its conversion to pasture for livestock, mainly cattle.
- Ranchers use the slash and burn method to clear land which is harmful for the environment, as it involves burning and clearing land.
- FDA had banned meat coming in from Argentina and Brazil because of diseases that came to the US through the infected meat. Obama administration lifted the ban in 2015.
What are positive effects on the economy?
- Cattle ranching is a very important industry in Brazil and is very vital to the economy.
- Beef and milk that comes from the cattle are the two top livestock products in Brazil. This brings in more money for ranchers.
- In 2001, exports of Brazilian beef grew to about 1 billion dollars.
- The US and Europe are two main importers of the beef.
Ranching benefits citizens, but harms the environment. My solution to help the environment, but still continue to help citizens and the economy would be to section off areas in the forest where trees are dying/diseased for ranchers to clear the land for the pasture for their cattle. Another solution would be for ranchers to use Agroforestry. Agroforestry is the practice of mixing trees and shrubs into crops and animal production systems to create economic and environmental benefits. This can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If more ranchers start taking on this practice, then both the environment and the economy will prosper.