We all know that the meat industry kills billions of farmed animals each year, but did you know that it also kills millions of wild animals?
Yes, you read that right; the meat industry has millions of innocent wild animals killed each and every year.
According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, more than 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises die every year as a result of being caught in fishing gear and nets. Countless non-target species of fish, turtles, and other marine life get entangled in fishing gear and die as well.
Unfortunately, millions of wild land animals are also killed each year. You see, factory farms take up a lot of land. In fact, almost half of the land that makes up the lower 48 states is used by the animal agricultural industry. Wildlife is a big threat to the meat industry, so the U.S. government has an entire department dedicated to killing wildlife.
A division of the USDA, Wildlife Services is responsible for killing any animal that famers deem a threat to their livestock. In 2013, Wildlife Services killed more than 2 million animals, including bears, coyotes, wolves, foxes, and prairie dogs.
As if this weren’t terrible enough, Wildlife Services uses cruel methods such as leg traps, snares, and poison to trap and kill wildlife. There have even been cases where the agency has trapped and poisoned companion animals.
Below is the number of animals killed as bycatch by the commercial fishing industry, wild horses and burros caught and removed by the Bureau of Land Management, and land animals killed by Wildlife Services in 2015:
1. More than 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises
2. 385 gray wolves
3. 480 black bears
4. 3,437 foxes
5. 68,905 coyotes
6. 20,777 prairie dogs
7. 284 mountain lions
8. 731 bobcats
9. Two bald eagles
10. 3,819 wild horses and burros
It should come as no surprise that wildlife populations have been steadily declining. A report by the World Wildlife Fund found that animal populations declined by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, with losses expected to reach 67 percent by 2020.
Thankfully, it’s not too late to take action. We can all remove our support from the cruel factory farming industry by ditching meat in favor of healthy, humane alternatives.
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