Curriculum Vitae

name: Douglas R. Shane
occupation: Environmental Consultant
relevance: He has been involved with the issues pertaining to the development and conservation of the Earth's tropical rain forests since 1976, with particular emphasis on the humid tropics of Central and South America.

previous experience:

1/ Between August 1976 and April 1978 he conducted a study of Latin America's tropical rain forests on behalf of Canada's National Museum of Natural Sciences in Ottawa, Ontario. In addition to research conducted in North America (Ottawa and Washington D.C. ), ten months were spent in thirteen Central and South American countries with areas of tropical forests, conducting interviews with government officials, scientists and, and businessmen and inspecting project sites relevant to cattle ranching, agriculture, forestry, colonization, hydroelectric dams, and botanical and zoological research. The project report, "A Latin American Dilemma", was issued internationally by the United States Agency for International Development.

2/ He returned to Washington D.C. in December 1977 and worked as a consultant on tropical rain-forest issues for the following: the World Wildlife Fund U.S., the Humane Society of the Unites States, the United States Department of State, The Nature Conservancy, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN, the scientific branch of the World Wildlife Fund), the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the National Wildlife Federation.

3/ He began in 1978 to present a slide lecture on the ecology, development and conservation of rain forests to schools and universities, museums and nature centres, service organisations and U.S. government policy makers.

4/ In 1979-1980 he consulted both staff members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs which resulted in three meetings held throughout 1980. He testified at 2 of those sessions.

5/ In 1980 he was contracted by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Environmental affairs to conduct a study of the beef cattle industry in tropical Latin America.The scope of this study included the causes and consequences of cattle ranching on the tropical forest biomes of Central and South America; consideration of the policies and assistance programs of various governments, both indigenous and foreign; the activities of international funding institutions; the role of private sector interests; and the issue of beef exports and imports as they affect the countries involved. The report entitled: "Hoofprints on the Forest: Cattle Ranching and the Destruction of Latin America Tropical Forests", was accepted by the U.S. Department of State in March 1980 and was circulated internationally for decision makers and used widely by colleges and universities. In 1986 a revised and updated version of the report was published under the same title by the Institute for the Study of Human Issues, Philadelphia, PA.

6/ His other publications include "Edging Toward Extinction" (1980), published by the Humane Society of the United States, and "Assault on Eden", a chapter in "Advances in Animal Welfare Sciences", Martinus Hijhoff Publishers (1987.

7/ He served as the Principal Editor of Proceedings of the U.S. Strategy Conference on Tropical Deforestation, U.S. Department of State, 1978.

8/ He was a participant at the founding meeting of the Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco, CA, 1985.


Under US law, once imported beef is cleared by the authorites, it loses its imported identity and gains the status of US graded beef. Thus, if the meat is purchased by a broker for resale, the next or final buyer only knows the US grade of the product and not necessarily the counrtry of origin

In the case of McDonald's Corporation, the company has only maintained that their US franchises do not use any imported beef. (McDonald's has said that their franchises operating in tropical Latin American countries, such as Guatemala and Panama, do use beef form the countries in which they are located.

A US Department of Agriculture meat inspector who was stationed at Equity's facility near Philadephia, PA, in the late 1970's told me that imported beef from Australia and New Zealand - "Not much from elsewhere" - was used in the preparation of ground beef for distribution to McDonald's franchises.

We all have an obligation - a sacred responsibility - to act in a manner that reflects our common needs - not our uncommon differences. We need to develop, through education at all levels of society, a global consciousness that will govern our actions as responsible planet stewards and "future ancestors". Acrimony leads only to further disagreement, not solutions. Just as the purveyors of fast food in the United States are diversifying their offerings in non-beef items, the environmental movement needs to replace strident rhetoric with solid information and gentle persuasion. The future - or the lack of a future - belongs to everyone.