A 447-pound grizzly bear was killed in Montana to protect the cattle industry. The bear, thought to be four to six years old, was caught on camera eating a dead cow. After confirming that the bear had been responsible for the deaths of two cows, wildlife officials killed him. According to reports, grizzlies in the area have been nearly wiped out due to hunting and trapping.
Wild animals often fall victim to the animal agriculture industry. Earlier this month, Idaho governor Brad Little signed a bill that allows the killing of about 90 percent of the state’s wolf population. The bill is backed by the agriculture industry, which claims local wolves are costing ranchers money. Not only does the bill expand permission for hunters and trappers to kill wolves, but it even uses taxpayer money to hire private contractors for the job. With these measures in place, Idaho’s wolf population is expected to fall from around 1,500 to a staggeringly low 150.
Wild predators are not the only animals who suffer due to the animal agriculture industry. For years, tule elk living in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore have been fenced away from nearby cattle ranches. Animal advocates argue that the fences stop the elk from reaching water and grazing pastures. After a dry 2020, more than one-third of the 445 tule elk in the Tomales Point reserve died of apparent malnutrition.
The amount of land needed for the meat, dairy, and egg industries is equivalent to the size of North and South America combined. That leaves little room for wild animals to thrive.
Animals raised for food also produce massive amounts of excrement. Along with runoff from feed crops, this waste often pollutes waterways and nearby ecosystems, killing wildlife and destroying habitats. One case in point is the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico—the world’s second largest—an area so depleted of oxygen that most marine animals can’t survive there.
By prioritizing the animal agriculture industry over the lives of wild animals, people are driving countless species toward extinction. We can help protect wild animals by removing our support from the animal agriculture industry. Download our free Vegetarian Starter Guide to learn more.