Animal Agriculture Is the Leading Cause of Animal Extinction

As the animal agriculture industry continues to take over the Earth’s landmass, habitats rich in animal life are being destroyed. One acre of land is now being cleared every second, and it’s getting worse. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, habitat destruction, and ocean dead zones.

Animal agribusiness already occupies about 40% of Earth’s landmass and accounts for 75% of global deforestation. The rapid destruction is causing species to disappear, negatively impacting the biodiversity of native ecosystems and furthering our path into the sixth mass extinction of all species on Earth.

There are about 1.7 million documented species of flora and fauna on our planet. Over 86% of 10 million known species of flora and fauna have not been described or documented. The United Nations reports an estimate of up to 100 plant and animal species lost every day.

Our planet is about 4.5 billion years old. Through its ancient lifespan, Earth has experienced five mass extinctions: Ordovician (444 million years ago), Devonian (375 million years ago), Permian (251 million years ago), Triassic (200 million years ago), and Cretaceous (66 million years ago).

Out of the billion years of our planet’s life, humans have only been here for around six million years. Of those six million years, the current human species (Homo sapiens) has been here only 200,000 years – with our current civilization a mere 6,000 years old. The industrialization of this civilization is only 200 years old, and in the last 500 years 1,000 species of animals have gone extinct. Presently, the rate of extinction is as high as 140,000 species each year.

Massive destruction is occurring in countries with mega diverse habitats that are home to some of the largest number of species. In the Amazon, three quarters of the rainforest have been cleared so far for both international and domestic animal agriculture companies. In the US, where 260 million acres of forests have been cleared, one in five animal and plant species are at risk of extinction.

Animal agribusiness has also devastated our marine environments. Billions of animals are taken from the ocean every year. The rapid rate of oceanic animal harvesting today do not allow species enough time to reproduce. The inability to recover their populations puts the planet at risk of fishless oceans by 2048.

The facts and statistics are clear. The animal agriculture industry is killing our environment and putting every species on this planet at risk of extinction. The animal agriculture industry’s pollution of our air, water and land, along with deforestation and soil degradation, all contribute to habitat loss and species extinction. Like a domino effect, a multitude of aspects is leading to the destruction of Earth’s biodiversity.

Animal agriculture has become the greatest threat to the world’s plants and animals. The clearing of forests and rainforests for livestock pasture and feed crops is extinguishing Earth’s biodiversity, which allows life to continue in balance regardless of natural changes to the environment.

It all begins with the choices humans make and put on our plates, and that is also where it can end. Livestock farming exists only to satisfy human consumption. By making healthier, plant-based food choices, there is still time to reverse the destruction of our planet and its animals.