Campaign highlights effects of meat consumption on wildlife
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves. As we continue to disregard the value of the lives of the billions of animals we eat, we also are destroying our air, land and water.

FROM

Take Extinction Off Your Plate
August 2014

You have at least three chances a day, every day, to save wildlife. Choose to take extinction off your plate....Changing our diets is a critical part not only of addressing the climate crisis, but also of stopping the cascade of wildlife extinctions.

Study after study has crunched the numbers and come to the same conclusion: One of the best ways to take a bite out of climate change is by cutting back on meat consumption. This is tough news for some to swallow ó meat is a central part of American culture and cuisine, as well as an economic mainstay. But it doesnít have to be. Changing our diets is a critical part not only of addressing the climate crisis, but also of stopping the cascade of wildlife extinctions. Thatís why, this spring, we launched our new Earth-friendly Diet Campaign, asking people to take extinction off their plates by eating less meat.

Itís not just polar bears and other climate-sensitive species that are at risk from our countryís ravenous appetite for animal protein. Some of the other costs to wildlife from meat consumption include:

  • Throughout the western states, ranching interests are behind the shooting, trapping and poisoning of millions of animals a year by the federal Wildlife Services program, including wolves and bears.
  • Ranchers drove Mexican gray wolves extinct in their ecosystems and continue to be leading opponents of recovery efforts.
  • Grazing on public lands puts more than 175 threatened or endangered species in harmís way, including sage grouses, black-footed ferrets and bighorn sheep.
  • Across the country, endangered species like the Ozark hellbender are threatened by water-quality degradation from meat production ó 35,000 miles of U.S. rivers have been polluted by livestock waste.

The new campaign is an expansion of our Population and Sustainability program. We know it isnít just about the sheer number of people on our planet that matters, but how we act and what we consume. Meat and energy consumption are key drivers of some of our most vexing environmental problems. Although the meat campaignís only a few months old, itís been gratifying to see the response.

NPR, Salon and more than a dozen other news outlets and blogs have covered the campaign. In its first few weeks, thousands of people took the pledge to reduce the amount of meat in their diets by one-third or more.

If everyone sticks with it, by next spring we will collectively have saved billions of gallons of water, thousands of acres of land, and the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 4,400 cars off the road for a year.

All those savings add up to more habitat and security for wildlife ó and countless health benefits for the planet and for people. And weíre just getting started. In the coming months, weíll be expanding our Earth-friendly Diet Campaign with more resources, information and ways to take action.

You have at least three chances a day, every day, to save wildlife. Choose to take extinction off your plate.


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