In 1985, RAN launched our very first campaign — a successful effort to pressure Burger King to cancel $35 million worth of Central American beef contracts that were driving the conversion of rainforests to grazing land.
As a corporate campaigning organization, RAN has been interested in the industrial meat sector since some of the biggest corporations in the world are investing in animal agriculture. It’s one of the most powerful, profitable sectors on the globe, controlled by five key industries that are responsible for some of the most destructive environmental impacts of our time — pharmaceutical, agrochemicals, animal feed, petroleum and meat.
So take action with RAN to demand that the biggest and most egregious culprits, starting with Tyson Foods, adopt comprehensive meat sector and palm oil policies that include compiling and making public data on the rainforest conversion, global greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and water impacts of its meat and feed businesses.
Forest Food Connection
The connection between deforestation-related emissions and agricultural expansion is well documented, with commercial agriculture driving 71% of tropical deforestation.
Understanding these connections, RAN has taken on various corporate sectors that connect agriculture, deforestation and climate change. RAN was one of the first US-based organizations to make the connection between the destruction of rainforests and grazing land for beef cattle in the early 1980s.
Racial & Gender Impacts
Farmers of color often lack financial support most acutely as they more commonly don't contract with big corporations in order to control the types of crops they grow. For example, over 1 in 3 white-owned farms receive financial support in the form of direct payments compared to 1 in 4 Black-owned farms, 1 in 6 Latino-owned and Native American-owned farms, and 1 in 8 Asian-owned farms.
Also, if the world’s female farmers had the same access to resources as men 150 million people could be lifted out of poverty, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Meat & Climate Change
Meat is now central to billions of people's daily meals. However, the environmental, climate, public health, ethical and human impacts of this consequence of globalization are enormous and remain largely undocumented. If left unchecked, worldwide meat consumption and production could lead to species loss, climate risks, poverty, and social breakdown as large meat-producing companies continue to displace small-scale farmers.
Given our current per capita consumption patterns, Americans are presented with a historic opportunity to shift the scale of climate change. If we responsibly reduce our own meat consumption we can make an impact on the various environmental and social ills associated with its consumption while also actively advocating systemic changes in the food system.