The journal Science has published a special issue called Vanishing Fauna (aka. The Sixth Extinction). You can read the introduction to the issue here. Let's look at some of the abstracts. This first one gives a succinct statemate of the problem.
An animal-rich future (Joshua Tewksbury and Haldre Rogers)
The rate at which animals are vanishing from this planet is one of the signatures of this age, as sure a sign of human dominance as our impact on Earth's nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles. This disappearance of animals from the world's ecosystems is generally a by-product of human activity, not an intentional act.
Animals do matter to people, but on balance, they matter less than food, jobs, energy, money, and development.
As long as we continue to view animals in ecosystems as irrelevant to these basic demands, animals will lose.
Animals do matter, but not nearly as much as economic growth does.
And what about extinctions being "generally a by-product of human activity, not an intentional act?"