This Photo Is What Rainforest Destruction Looks Like

©. Ilana Strauss

I was walking through the rainforest and saw something odd.

I traveled to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador a while back. I was walking through the jungle with a small group of indigenous folks and tourists, and we came upon something that looked out of place amidst the tangled plants: a road.

But not just any road. This road was massive. One indigenous guy explained that companies used it for oil mining. Of course. Why else build a giant road in the jungle? It looked so out of place, I snapped a photo.

Amazonian rainforest countries are under huge pressure to let companies come in and drill for oil, cut down timber, and use the forest in various destructive ways. I knew all that before. But somehow, seeing it in person made it feel more real.