Most rural poor never have the options that we in Western countries take for granted. These people almost never have a choice to go to college or become a doctor, factory worker, or secretary. They must live off the land that surrounds them and make use of whatever resources they can find. Their poverty costs the entire world through the loss of tropical rainforests and wildlife. Without providing for these people, rainforests cannot be saved.
However, people in the wealthier world, such as the U.S. and Europe, also play a large role in the destruction of rainforests, even if the forests are very far away.
By Rhett Butler
Date published: June 24, 2004 | Last updated: December 5, 2015