A recent article in the Guardian discusses a report by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London that exposes a troubling mass extinction currently taking place.
The report is the most comprehensive to date, and indicates that animal populations declined by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, with losses expected to reach 67 percent by 2020.
Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF, said in a statement:
The richness and diversity of life on Earth is fundamental to the complex life systems that underpin it. Life supports life itself and we are part of the same equation. Lose biodiversity and the natural world and the life support systems, as we know them today, will collapse.
There are many reasons for the decline, including loss of habitat, pollution, and climate change, all three of which are linked to animal agriculture.
Raising animals for food, including land for grazing and growing feed crops, now uses more than one-third of the earth’s landmass. Additionally, according to The World Bank, animal agriculture is culpable for nearly 91 percent of Amazon destruction.
Animals raised for food produce 7 million pounds of excrement every minute. This waste often pollutes waterways and nearby ecosystems, killing wildlife. Furthermore, animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined, exacerbating the dramatic effects of climate change.
Something the report didn’t include, but is important to note, is that millions of wild animals, including bears, coyotes, and foxes, are killed because they’re considered a threat to the livestock industry.
In the United States alone, 2 million total wild animals are killed each year. Wildlife services, a branch of the USDA, has one job: to kill wildlife and protect the meat industry’s profits. Watch and learn more.
While this report is heartbreaking, thankfully it’s not too late to take action. We can all remove our support from this cruel system by ditching meat in favor of healthy, humane alternatives.
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