The recent Amazon fires have frightened us all. The Amazon fires resulting from deforestation destroyed half as much forest as Rhode Island in June alone. Along with the burning trees, many animals lost their lives and homes.

Why did these Amazon fires occur?

The fires that occurred weren’t caused by natural events, but by the influence of humans. Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at NPE, told CNN that 99 percent of fires are caused by human activity, “knowingly or accidentally.” The biggest cause of fires is people’s love of meat. Experts say reducing meat consumption can curb global warming.

So what’s the connection between the meat industry and global warming?

The main reason for the destruction of forests is to make room for the meat industry. The livestock industry contributes to global warming through the methane gas produced by animals. At the same time, the expansion of grazing land also contributes to deforestation.

These lands are also used to grow soybeans for animal feed. 80 percent of the world’s soy production is used as animal feed for the industry. As a result of the destroyed forests, the amount of rainfall decreases because the trees become fewer.

The meat industry is the biggest cause of deforestation at the same time. Most of the meat is wasted because more is produced than consumed.

ReutersBrazil exported 1.6 million tons of beef last year. China, the main export destination, is expected to increase by 1.8 million tons by the end of 2019. Other important importers of Brazilian beef are Hong Kong, Egypt, Russia and the European Union.

One person not eating beef for a year saves about 3,432 trees, so you’re doing the world a favor by giving up a hamburger. When you stop eating meat, you not only reduce the damage you’ve done to the world, but you’re also free from the destruction you could cause in the future, and you’re doing yourself and the animals a favor!

Read more: 7 reasons to be vegan today