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We breathe this fire together.

What is the correlation between Norwegian cattle and the Amazon forest fires?


Herd of Cows - Kylee Alons

A great deal, actually.


The catastrophic fires currently unfolding in the lungs of Earth is not some distant event separated from our safe, everyday Norwegian life. These fires are partly caused by our own insatiable appetite for cheap meat.


Norwegian cattle does not graze in the Norwegian outback. They feed on imported soy from the Brazilian rainforest. But soy does not grow in the rainforest? That's right, it doesn't. Therefore, farmers burn vast areas of rainforest in order to grow soy for (our !) meat production.


As we know, everything in nature has it's turning point, and greed has led us to the turning point of the world's largest rainforest.


It's almost tragicomic. If we allow our own animals to graze in the Norwegian outback, we will naturally rehabilitate the soil and the carbon cycle. When the animals step on the ground and allow meadow areas to grow, the carbon is bound back in to the soil. This way we will bring nutrition in to the soil, and slow down global warming at the same time.


It is worth recalling the UN report from 2014 which concluded that we have around 60 harvests left worldwide. In other words, we are now down to 55 harvests. This is caused by modern agriculture with its heavy machinery and pesticides, draining the soil of nutrients so that it is no longer possible to grow food in it.


The problem of the Amazon fires is complex because the ecosystem is complex. But the ecosystem is also perfect - a balanced natural cycle where everything is recycled and all the elements have a role. Nature has a wonderful ability to rehabilitate itself, but not beyond the limits of reasonableness. The ecosystem has collapsed and resurfaced many times, and will do so again.


If we humans want to survive in nature, we must find our place in it. Economic growth and increased consumption is impossible.


It might be time for both national and international politics to focus a bit more on sustainable food production and global responsibility, and a little less on silly issues that will soon become completely insignificant for all of us.



River in Trinidade, Brazil - Eduardo Zmievski


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