Beef and the reef: A recipe for disaster

The demise of the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs means the loss of habitat for sea animals. Without a home, the animals suffer horribly and cannot survive. All environmental destruction should be of major concern to animal activists for that reason.

The fact that much of the destruction results from grossly and inherently inefficient attempts to satisfy our nutritional requirements by way of animal agriculture adds to the tragedy.

Much has been said about the impact on the Great Barrier Reef of two major bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. However, by going back to the 1960s, this video shows that more than half of the reef’s corals had been lost thirteen years before the first major bleaching event in 1998.

A major cause has been outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (with the destruction continuing), which in turn have been significantly contributed to by cattle grazing in the reef’s catchment. Yet most environmental groups say virtually nothing about the disastrous impacts of animal-based food consumption and production. What is going on?

The video notes some close links between certain environmental campaigners and the livestock sector, without speculating on the reasons for, or outcomes of, those links. For more on that subject, please see the article “The link that too many ignore“.

More on Great Barrier Reef impacts can be seen on our page dedicated to the issue.


Paul Mahony


Michael Smith ITWP, “A turtle diving back to the reef in a shallow lagoon on Lady Elliot Island”, Shutterstock


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