Cattle Ranching in the Rainforest

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Cattle ranching is a major cause of rainforest destruction in Central and South America. Ranchers slash and burn rainforests to grow grass pasture for cattle. Once the cattle have grazed sufficiently, they are slaughtered and exported to industrialized countries, including the United States, to be made into fast food hamburgers and frozen meat products. It has been estimated that for every quarter pound hamburger made from rainforest cattle, fifty-five square feet of rainforest was cleared—an area equal to the size of a small kitchen.

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