Contrary to popular belief, there is no actual proof that humans are the worst cause of extinction of other species. There are a few extinctions caused by humans, but many more are by climate changes, natural disasters and other animals moving into new territory.
Some human interaction, such as the domestication of some of the larger animals like cows and horses, are actually believed to have stopped extinction of several thousands of species, because even if their numbers are now a thousand times higher than it would be naturally, these species would eventually spread out to other territories and “push out” the species there, making them extinct.
Other human interactions, resulting in disaster for humans, have also proven to be beneficial to nature, as humans and the bigger animals cannot settle those areas and smaller animals can roam free.
Also, if we didn’t eat meat to the extent we do today, we would have to have farms about 10 times the sizes we have today, just to get enough vegetables and fruits to give us the food we need. That would be areas where no animals could live and we would probably be killing animals to get them to not eat our food, without actually taking care of their meat.
That would cause mass extinction in a fashion way worse than the one caused by human habitation today!
While doing research for this, I couldn’t find any sources with lists animal extinction causes, however I did find many lists naming humans as the main cause of extinction. However, comparing these lists to lists that states the date of extinction, it seems highly unlikely that humans would have been the main cause. For example, the sea cow has been on many lists of species made extinct by humans, but when the sea cow was discovered, they only numbered about 1500. The species was extinct before humans even discovered them!
Another example is the tasmanian devil, that was shot by European farmers in Australia due to them killing the livestock, however again, their numbers were well bellow the 10 000 required for a species survival and if humans hadn’t killed them, they would be extinct by now anyway.
Even the call sign of human driving animals to extinction, the Dodo bird, was not actually hunted down and killed off by humans. It was other animals, mostly companion animals such as dogs, that drove them to extinction by introducing diseases, hunting them for food or killing them if they got too close. The main attribution to their deaths were a small rodent that was indigenous to the the island that ate their eggs, so again, they were doomed to die off before man even set foot on the island.
I’m not saying man doesn’t kill animals, I’m not saying man doesn’t make some species extinct, but think of this the next time you’re about to say “you’re slaughtering innocent animals”, because the animals aren’t as innocent as they seem!