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  • Writer's picturePura Vida Connections

How You Can Save The Rainforest And Coral Reefs

I have lived in Costa Rica for 26 years and have been involved in conservation and am an interpretive naturalist. We can all make a difference to our planet if we are informed first.

So I would like to share this information with this wonderful group. You all seem so much more in touch with our world then so many others and this can only help you be more connected.

How YOU Can Save the Rainforest and Coral Reefs Over 97% of the pacific tropical rainforests from northern Costa Rica to Mexico have been cut down. Rainforests of this size and larger have been cut down throughout the world including the Amazon, Indonesia, the Congo and others.

The temperature after removing the rainforest has risen dramatically in these large tracts of land. The weather pattern also changes from this deforestation in each locality and they become drier. When these huge areas have their trees removed, erosion dumps millions of tons of sediment into the rivers that flow into the oceans.

This sediment slowly suffocates the polyps of the precious coral reefs in the tropics and kills the coral reefs. What is the main reason for cutting these rainforests down? The main reason is to make room to raise cattle, not logging as many people think. With logging they generally cut down large hardwoods. To raise beef they cut down everything.

Much of the beef in Central America is exported to the United States and Europe. What can the average person do? Stop eating cow flesh and eat soy, seeds, legumes (beans), tofu and nuts as a protein source. This is a better way to practice sustainability.

A person who eats cow meat (beef) as their main protein source requires about 20 acres of land in five years. Twenty times more precious water is needed to provide the water to produce a meat eaters protein. That is not sustainability. A person eating soy, seeds, legumes and nuts for their main source of protein requires only 3 1/2 of an acres of land every five years.

Also, these plants vegetarians eat for protein don't add millions of tons of methane gas each year to our atmosphere. Cows produce over 100 million tons of this global warming methane gas in the U.S. alone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial industries combined. It takes seven pounds of grain to make one pound of meat.

Please stop eating beef! Or if you absolutely can't stop eating beef, cut back to once a week or once a month. Besides, refraining from eating beef is healthier for you in the long run and the cows will love you for it. Here is another detrimental environmental disaster to our oceans.

Over ninety percent of the shrimp served in the U.S. and in other countries comes from the tropics. It is harvested in non-sustainable ways. I have witnessed in a one month period, over 190 sea turtles wash up on one beach, in the Osa Peninsula, with their fins cut off, dead from drowning because of shrimp boats caught them in their nets and killed them. Along with that, for every pound of shrimp harvested, about ten pounds of other baby fish and aquatic wildlife are killed and thrown overboard. Some of the shrimp is farmed.

The farms are generally constructed where, mangrove swamps another very important and fragile ecosystem, have been cut down for this purpose and ponds are made to raise the shrimp. After the shrimp are harvested from these ponds the water, in the ponds, is released into the mangroves. Unfortunately the nitrate level is so high that many of the mangrove fish and other aquatic animals are affected. So eating shrimp is not sustainable either for our planet.

If you want to take responsibility in helping save our planet from global warming, deforestation of the rainforests, dying coral reefs there are many other eating alternatives. The entire cattle industry, including grass fed cattle, on the planet causes more global warming, pollution than all of the exhaust from cars, trucks, trains and ships on this planet.

Please, eat to live, don't live to eat.

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