A Wildlife Article from All-Creatures.org

Can Agriculture Prevent Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction?

From Steven Disla, T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies
February 2023

We must recognize the importance of integrating conservation and agriculture while also recognizing the connections between animal consumption and the related land use changes which have fueled climate change and the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

grass-fed cows

The United Nations biodiversity summit, known as COP15, ended in December with the nearly 200 participant nations pledging to protect at least 30% of Earth’s land and oceans for wildlife by 2030.[1] This commitment is part of an effort to combat the ongoing biodiversity crisis, which has led many to conclude we are currently entering and experiencing Earth’s sixth mass extinction event. Unlike the previous five extinction events, the current one (known as the Holocene or Anthropocene extinction) is caused by the activity of a single species—humans.

This landmark agreement is the largest to date and will require large-scale land use changes and increased efforts to protect biodiverse regions around the world.

Global species assessments paint a dreary picture of biodiversity loss, a crisis that is only beginning to gain more widespread attention. Globally, there has been a roughly 68 percent reduction of all biodiversity in less than 50 years; this is a catastrophic decline with potentially huge ramifications.[2] A further 40.7 percent of amphibians, 25.4 percent of mammals, 13.6 percent of birds, and 21.1 percent of reptile species are threatened with extinction globally.[3]This biodiversity loss is a consequence of large-scale land use changes as we have transitioned natural ecosystems to serve human needs and desires. Already humans have significantly altered roughly 75 percent of Earth’s ice-free land,[4] polluting the majority of its oceans and waterways in the process[5] and destroying more than 85 percent of wetlands worldwide.[6] Biodiversity is in a precarious state. If we are going to protect areas in which wildlife can thrive again, urgent action is required.

Topics include:

  • Agriculture-Fueled Land Use Changes
  • Agriculture-Fueled Oceanic Destruction
  • Why Free-Range Meat is Not the Answer
  • Agricultural Conservation


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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