And that's not all. The article's authors, Brian Machovina, Kenneth J. Feeley, and William J. Ripple, conclude that livestock production is a leading cause of climate change, soil loss, water and nutrient pollution, and the decline in apex predators and wild herbivores.
Wolves don't have such harmful impact, though anti-wolf groups paint them as villains. Instead, research shows that these essential predators actually improve the ecosystems in which they are allowed to live. From multiple scavengers, to giant aspen, to tiny beetles, a life-improving benefit trickles down where wolves survive.
Disregarding how wolves benefit our world, the livestock industry promotes ways to deal with their fabricated "wolf problem." Convince authorities to strip away wolves' protections as happened in Oregon. Allow wolves to be hunted as they are in Idaho and Montana. Keep fines low or non-existent for poaching as happened in Washington. One bullet at a time, the wolf problem will disappear.
But what can the rest of us do about the real-and much bigger-problem: the disappearance of habitat and biodiversity under the hooves of livestock? The study's authors suggest several solutions, and here are two. Reduce the demand for animal-based food products and increase the demand for plant-based foods. Replace cattle, sheep, and goats with more efficient protein sources such as poultry and pigs.