Your Choices Affect The Planet

Species Extinction

The Truth About Species Extinction and Biodiversity

Earth has been nearly wiped out 5 times, by climate change, ice age, volcanoes, and an asteroid that obliterated the dinosaurs. These are known as the “Big Five” mass extinctions. We are now on the verge of a sixth. This time humans will be the ones to blame. The current extinction rate could be more than 100 times higher than normal. The Earth’s oceans and forests are home to an untold number of species, many of which will likely disappear before we even get to know they exist. One of the most serious aspect of the environmental crisis is the loss of biodiversity (the other living things with which we share Earth). Loss of biodiversity affects human well-being by interfering with delicate ecosystem services such as crop pollination, water purification and most importantly by destroying other living species. Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. Habitat destruction is caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops for livestock and grazing. Predator species are often unnecessarily targeted and hunted due to a perceived threat to livestock. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers in the production of feed crops interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The over-exploitation of wild species through commercial fishing and trophy hunting all contribute to global depletion of species and resources.