Greenpeace -- after a year-long investigation -- is reporting how food giants Cargill, Bunge and Archer Daniels Midland and McDonald's eat up the Amazon Rain Forest so you can have your McNuggets. See also the article at The Guardian.
As a native of Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, and having grown up there, this is extremely saddening to me. Ever since Google Maps came around, every once in a while I look over the Amazon region to see how the devastation is proceeding. Take a look for yourself.
The pace of destruction is mind-boggling. The Brazilian government is for all practical purposes either completely powerless or complacent. The Amazon soil is poor and its ecosystem fragile. In a few decades -- as mentioned in a recent Nature article -- 40% of the Amazon could be gone in the next 50 years.
While it's true that we've been hearing these dire predictions about the Amazon Rain Forest for a while now, the evidence now available is overwhelming and the pace of destruction is quickening. The old villains are still there -- unescrupulous cattle ranchers and loggers -- but they've been joined by massive Soy farmers.
The "low prices" of the "low prices at any cost" philosophy wouldn't be so low if the environmental, humanitarian and social costs were taken into consideration. Slave labor and stolen land and forest are only "free" because they have been stolen.