Your Chocolate Bar Kills More African Animals than Trophy Hunting

While checking out at your local grocery store you grab a candy bar off the rack and throw it on the belt. After you get in your car you eat it, and throw away the wrapper. This happen millions of times a day in America a nobody give it a second thought. And why should they? It’s a chocolate bar.

But it is not just a chocolate bar it is way bigger than that. That Chocolate bar is the end product of the Cocoa farming industry that is decimating forests in Africa. The Guardian did a huge write up on how the Chocolate industry is “driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa.”

“The Guardian travelled across Ivory Coast and documented rainforests cleared for cocoa plantation; villages and farmers occupying supposedly protected national parks; enforcement officials
taking kickbacks for turning a blind eye to infractions and trading middlemen who supply the big brands indifferent to the provenance of beans.”

Ivory Coast being deforested faster than any other African country. It was once 25{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435} covered by rainforest but now only 4{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435} of the country is covered. According to the environmentalist group Mighty Earth 2030 there will be no forest left.

The article goes into great depth about the chocolate industry and what companies like Mars and Hersey are doing about it, and I encourage you to read it. I found it very interesting. Now I suppose you are probably wondering, what in the world does this have to do with trophy hunting? One word, “Habitat.”

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the biggest threat that wildlife faces is habitat loss. It is true in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Wild Animal need wild places to live and trophy hunting helps preserve those places. As cocoa farmers destroy habitat, trophy hunters protect it.

Basically trophy hunting incentivizes locals to preserve wild lands. For the most part Africa is a poor continent and every piece of land that does not have an economic value is transformed into land that does. The rainforest of Ivory Coast are providing no economic value as rainforest, so they are being burned down so farmers can plant cocoa.

Trophy Hunting gives the land value through fees on tags, giving jobs to locals, and providing meat to villagers. Because hunting is regulated it ensures that there will be a sustainable population of
animals on that land and area will not be over hunted.

In the United States we have the luxury of being able to set aside large swaths of land with not having to worry about its economic value. We currently have millions of acers designated as Wilderness Areas. Africa does not have that luxury, even the lands that are supposedly protected are destroyed.

Cocoa production which leads to your candy bar clearly has a negative effect on habitat and wildlife populations, while trophy hunting has a positive effect. Just something to think about next time you are in line at the grocery store.

To Read the Guardians report on Chocolate production CLICK HERE