How Going Vegan Could Save Endangered Wolves In Washington
Blog post by Josh Halliday
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has ordered the killing of an endangered species … again. In June, the WDFW issued orders for the killing of two members of the Togo wolfpack, in July they took out the Wedge wolfpack, and now in August 2-3 wolves from the Leadpoint pack.
The reason for the kill orders is that the wolves messed with Washington’s future hamburgers. The killing orders are in response to “livestock depredations.” Depredations are run-ins between wolves and cattle where the cattle are either injured or killed. According to the WDFW, there have been seven depredations in the last 10 months by the Togo wolfpack. Only three resulted in the death of cattle. The kill orders reflect Washington’s policy choice—meat and dairy production takes precedence over restoring endangered wildlife.
The harm meat and dairy production inflicts on Washington’s wildlife is much greater than kill orders for a handful of wolves. The industry’s greatest harm is habitat loss. Take the Togo wolfpack as an example. The pack’s territory is largely composed of Washington’s Colville National Forest, which serves as wildlife habitat on publicly owned land. The government has substantially reduced wildlife habitat on publicly owned lands in favor of leasing the land to cattle farmers for grazing. The cattle farmers impacted by the wolves are leasing publicly owned lands around the forest—former Togo wolfpack territory.
Essentially, the government is shrinking wildlife habitat to make cheeseburgers. Sadly, this practice is common worldwide and has caused the decimation of wildlife. Today, only 4% of the world’s mammal life is wildlife, while 60% is livestock.
The wolf population takes another hit every time the WDFW issues a kill order, and the most recent kill orders contradict the department’s own guidance on wolf conservation and management. The issuance of the kill orders in late June violates the WDFW’s official position that killing wolves more than 14 days after a predation will have no effect in halting future predations. There have not been any new wolf predations since a calf was injured in May. There is also evidence that nonlethal deterrents, in accordance with the department’s Wolf–Livestock Interaction Protocol, were not put in place or were not properly employed prior to issuing the Wedge wolfpack kill order. The WDFW has made the choice to kill these endangered wolves even though other options are still available. If the Togo wolfpack kill orders are carried out, only one or two members of the pack may be left alive.
The State agency tasked to protect endangered species is actively killing endangered species to protect private interests. Please take action TODAY!
First, you can contact WDFW director Kelly Susewind before it’s too late and respectfully ask him to call off the kill order. His contact information is below. Even a one-line email can make a difference.
Second, you can continue educating your friends and family about the lesser-known harms of the meat and dairy industry and continue trying to persuade them to consume fewer animal products. As we work to reduce people’s consumption of domesticated animals, we also protect endangered wildlife.