If you aren’t aware of the extent to which meat and dairy farming is destroying the Amazon rainforest, then take two minutes to watch a new short animation that will put you in the picture.
The Greenpeace film – Monster – launches today and draws attention to the plight of one of the planet’s vital carbon sinks, South America’s vast and pristine jungle, which is being cleared by meat and livestock companies intent on profit. The environmental organisation says an area the size of the UK has been burnt so far this year.
The film begins with a boy creeping downstairs at night to snack on a chicken leg, only to be confronted by a terrifying jaguar. “There’s a monster in my kitchen, and I don’t know what to do,” says the narrator, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura, who played drug lord Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos.
But the animal itself is terrified. He tells the boy: “There’s a monster in my jungle, and I don’t know what to do.” Over images of bulldozers turning the rainforest into agricultural land, and livestock screaming, he explains the “the real cost of what they’re doing – if only the whole world knew.” The real monsters are the corporations destroying the world’s forests to farm industrial meat for their own gain.
The powerful film is part of Greenpeace’s new campaign against industrial meat. Last month it launched a petition to get Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Burger King, McDonald’s and KFC to cut ties with the Brazilian meat company JBS, one of the worst offenders when it comes to deforestation.
The film then switches to the two-pronged approach we can take to help: we can eat less meat and dairy and more plant-based foods, sending a message through our buying habits, but we can also call out and protest against the industry responsible for harming the natural world we rely on for our survival.
MFM’s own Paul McCartney even puts in an appearance – in cartoon form, of course – as the boy summons “every warrior” to help him protect the forests.
Lending Meat Free Monday’s support to the campaign, Paul said the world’s forests were “truly irreplaceable”, and were not only home to indigenous peoples and amazing wildlife, but also “vital in our fight against the climate crisis”.
He added: “These forests are being cleared at a shocking rate to farm more industrial meat and dairy. This is why reducing our meat is so important. But that alone isn’t enough. To solve this problem, we need supermarkets and fast food restaurants to clean up their supply chains and make the switch to less destructive, plant-based alternatives. Our forests – and all our futures – depend on it.”
Anna Jones, Greenpeace UK’s head of forests, said it was time to turn away from industrial meat. “Supermarkets and fast food companies who sell huge amounts of industrially produced meat must face up to their impact, drop forest destroyers, and commit to replacing half their meat with healthy plant-based options by 2025.”
Sign the petition and watch the film: