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Today, we will learn about a hero named Hikmet Kaya who helped transform a desert area into a beautiful forest in Turkey. Deforestation is happening everywhere in the world. It occurs for many reasons, including when a country develops too fast. Agricultural expansion, raising of animal-people for food, infrastructure projects and urbanization are just some of the reasons for deforestation. Turkey is not an exception and has been dealing with this issue as well. The area around the village of Akyork was dry and had very little green, mainly bushes and shrubs. This was in part due to the location of the village, which is at the bottom of a hill. With all of his experience in forest management, Mr. Kaya knew that without trees there could be a problem during the rains. By planting trees, they could act as a barrier to protect the village from water coming from the top of the hill and also prevent soil erosion which can lead to landslides. Hikmet Kaya and his team worked tirelessly to transform the barren hills around the village. He experienced many hardships, but he didn’t give up and continued working until he reached his goal. Throughout the 24 years of effort, Hikmet Kaya, his team, and community members planted more than 30 million saplings. Thanks to the work of this group, the formerly arid area has now become a green oasis, a home to many more animal-people, and protects the village. Mr. Kaya believes that the forest is the future of the country, and he would love people to start to protect the woodlands, not only in Turkey, but also around the world. For us, what can we do to help our respective nations? Yes, we all can plant more trees, just like Mr. Kaya. However, there is a simpler solution that we can also pursue that is far more impactful: it is becoming vegan. Veganism will not only help to prevent deforestation but also aid in saving the lives of millions of innocent animal-people.