NYC and LA Want to Ban Big Meat to Protect the Amazon

City Council Members in New York City and Los Angeles are calling for businesses to cut ties with companies responsible for the Amazon rainforest fires.

Fires burning in the Amazon have been linked to the beef industry; cattle ranchers often set fire to areas of the forest in order to clear land for their herds. There have been 41,000 recorded fire locations so far, according to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

The fires are devastating for indigenous people and wild animals, but they also have a wider impact; Amazonian trees absorb carbon dioxide and are an extremely helpful resource in the fight against the climate crisis.

NYC City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Justin Brannan are co-sponsors of the new resolution, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. On the west coast, LA City Council Members Paul Koretz and David Ryu have put forward a similar resolution.

Cattle ranchers start fires in the Amazon rainforest to clear land for their herds.

‘What We Eat Matters’

“We are facing a climate emergency,” said Adams in a statement. “We can’t continue business as usual while the planet burns.”

He continued, “today we urge both city agencies and local businesses to cut ties with any company linked to the multinational corporations responsible for the fires still raging throughout the Amazon rainforest.”

“Each individual consumer choice, each corporate decision, and each specific legislative policy must be geared toward making our planet more sustainable and habitable for generations to come,” he added.

NYC and LA are the two largest cities in the United States. City Council Members from both hope that they can lead by example. They want to inspire the other 35,000 cities in the country to join them and introduce similar resolutions.

Leaders also want city residents to consider reducing the number of animal products they consume. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, tackling meat consumption is the world’s most urgent environmental problem.

“What we eat matters,” said Adams, who follows a vegan diet. “Who we do business with matters. This resolution is a first step in opening a broader conversation about how we overcome one of the most significant challenges humanity has ever faced.”