Wearing paper gas masks, holding signs, and pushing a 10-foot-long barbecue grill, Mercy For Animals activists in Brazil sent a powerful message: The Amazon is burning, and the world’s appetite for meat is fueling the fires.
The eye-opening demonstration took place Sunday, September 22, on the renowned Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, Brazil. A burning rainforest smoked under the grill’s bars, and on top of the grill sat a massive “steak.”
The demonstration urged people to look behind the terrible fires raging through the Amazon rainforest to the underlying cause: meat consumption.
Close to 50 volunteers walked Paulista Avenue. Some held signs that said, "Salve a Amazônia zônia em suas escolhas diárias" (Save the Amazon in your daily choices). Other signs said, "Ninguém vê #PortrásDoFogo" (No one sees #BehindTheFire).
Passersby stopped and stared. Some took photos. Others appeared to deeply contemplate the message.
The international community watches in horror as the Brazilian Amazon burns. But responsibility for the fires is global. Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of beef, providing close to 20 percent of all exports.
In Brazil cattle ranching accounts for 80 percent of the rainforest’s deforestation. This year has been particularly bad for the Brazilian Amazon, with more than 74,000 recorded fires—the largest number in a single year.
In response to the fires, lawmakers in Congress recently introduced federal legislation calling for an import ban on certain Brazilian products from industries linked to the fires. The bill, H.R. 4263, will have the greatest chance of success if more cosponsors sign on. Take action today by urging your representative to cosponsor this legislation.
Learn more and take action at BehindTheFires.com.