A while ago I attended the first screening of the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.
Cowspiracy is a shocking yet humorous documentary following the journey of a young environmentalist, Kip Anderson, as he seeks to find the real solution to environmental issues we face today. Kip ends up uncovering the most destructive industry facing the planet, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
In the face of the confronting data Kip went looking for answers from all the major environment agencies. He found none.
Nobody wanted to speak up, and Kip’s funding for the movie was cut as no agencies were willing to support him once they knew where he was heading.
In Cowspiracy we see industries and government agencies advocating a variety of recommendations for reducing our environmental impact; including using ethanol-mixed petrol, driving less, reusing and recycling, or even paying for ‘greener’ air travel, among other initiatives. But how come no one tells us we can achieve the same end, if not to a greater extent, by eating less animal products?
I need to be honest here. I’m not an environmentalist. I don’t carry reusable coffee cups, I don’t use my green bags every time I do grocery shopping, and you won’t see me wearing second hand clothes anytime soon.
The hard truth is that I’m as motivated to do something about the environment as much as I am about cleaning the house. Meaning: if I could get away without doing anything, I’d be glad.
I won’t do anything more than necessary to keep the house clean and I certainly would have someone else do the cleaning if I could. But that’s not to say I don’t care about the environment. As much as I hate vacuuming, I do it regularly to keep the house clean. Likewise, as much as I hate sorting my rubbish or paying more for environmental-friendly items, I do it as well because I need to, I have to. The planet Earth is my home, and I want to look after it as much as it has been looking after me all this time. After all, it’s your home, too!
Information is a powerful thing. Knowledge is indeed power. Once you’ve learned something, you can’t unlearn it. And here are some of the many things I’ve learned about the environmental impact of food we eat through watching the movie Cowspiracy:
- 30% of our dry land is being used for livestock production
- Animal agriculture accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation
- Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2 emission limit by 2030, all from raising animals for food
- You need 4500 litres of water to produce a single 220g steak
When it comes to our surroundings, our meat, dairy and egg consumption has more of a negative impact upon the environment compared to any other earth-destroying activities that we do, including the burning of fossil fuels, landfill and our non-degradable synthetic materials like plastic.
How much water do you think is need to make enough beef for a humble beef-burger? How about enough water for a week long shower!
One beef burger = 7 days of shower. That’s insane!
If by eating less meat you could help reverse the damage the agriculture industry causes to the environment, would you do it?
If by swapping your eggs for beans and toast on your breakfast plate you could help arrest the destruction of our planet, would you do it?
If the simple act of changing your eating habits, no matter how small, could have a profound impact upon the environment, much more than any reduction in fossil fuels might accomplish, would you give it a try?
This movie will make you ask yourself those questions. It will open your eyes to some crazy facts that no one is telling you.
Don’t take my word for it, just like you shouldn’t take anyone’s word for anything. Watch the movie, do your own research and be an informed citizen. I promise the truth will shock and challenge you.
PS: Cowspiracy is now available on Netflix, thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio who, aside from being an awesome actor, is also a passionate environmental activist. If the movie is good enough for Leo to promote it to Netflix, I think it would be good enough for you to check out!
Watch it and let me know what you think!