Here is yet another of the many, many problems with animal agriculture: For eons, most of the area now known as the American West was covered in vast prairies teeming with abundant plant and animal life living together in complex, harmonious and self-sustaining ecosystems. The populations of these areas were largely kept in check by their apex predators – the gray wolves. Then about 150 years ago, the settlers began introducing herds of cattle after having decimated the native grazers, the bison and buffalo. Over the decades, these lands were overrun with increasingly huge numbers of cattle and the prairies were degraded into desert scrublands suitable only for the vast herds that brought immense wealth and power to the greedy ranchers. These ranchers began destroying all life that competed with their herds, and millions of deer, elk, beavers, coyotes, bears and particularly gray wolves have been slaughtered by the ranchers and their allies in the US government. Eventually, the only wolves in the continental US were a few small herds in northeastern Minnesota.
In 1974, gray wolves became the one of the first species to be protected by the Endangered Species Act, and they once again began to thrive in the northern plains states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Almost immediately, the cattle industry began wielding their immense political power to protect their bovine investments from the threat of nature, and they lobbied heavily for the right to kill all gray wolves on sight. In 2011, they succeeded in getting gray wolves delisted in the Northern Rockies, and eventually across the whole country. So now the cattle ranchers are free to keep destroying millions of acres of once abundant lands and the gray wolves are once again on the brink of extinction – simply so people can enjoy their steaks and hamburgers.
There is a group dedicated to preserving the lives of the noble gray wolves: Relist Wolves is a growing coalition of nonprofits, tribal organizations, corporations and others dedicated to restoring balance to the land by protecting wolves against the rapacious cattle industry. Please help us support their efforts by visiting relistwolves.org.
Meme, Wolves, Gray Wolves, Extinction, Endangered, Cattle, Cattle Industry, Ranchers, Destruction, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Endangered Species Act, ESA, Delist, Relist
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