There have been five major extinction events in Earth's 4.5 billion year history, the last being about 65 million years ago (the one that killed the last dinosaurs). Most scientists believe that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction event. This one is due almost entirely to human activity. More than 650 species have gone extinct in the US alone since the government has began keeping records.
Much of this is due to people's predilection for eating animals and that massive animal agriculture industry that has grown to feed this desire. More than half of the land in the US is used for either grazing animals or growing crops to feed them, and we have lost huge amounts of thriving ecosystems in the process, leading to unprecedented climate change, water pollution and shortages, loss of habitat and biodiversity and –yes – extinction.
Anyone can make the transition to a vegan diet and millions have. Tens of millions of Americans have reduced their meat intake. It can be done. And the biggest impact you can have on protecting our future is to take animals off all of our plates.
Our source for this meme (including a list of all recently added extinct animal species) is ktoo.org (Juneau, Alaska). There is also a great article on Raw Story.