Cowspiracy: The Meat Industry and the Environment
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean 'dead zones,' and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged." - Cowspiracy
Cowspiracy is an environmental documentary that portrays one aspect of going vegetarian or vegan in a new light. Most films out there of the meat industry and animal cruelty show the horrific yet ignored happenings of these animals in the slaughterhouses and farms. And it's hard for us all, I'm sure; some people are able to give up meat by hearing or seeing what happens to these animals, but many of us simply turn the other cheek. And no judgement, too, because as humans we were conditioned for thousands of years in a certain way so it does take practice and patience to change such a huge part of our knowing, our culture, and our habits. Rather than most films that take a approach from moral and ethical views, this documentary comes from an ecocentric point of view, meaning the environment first.
And again I don't mean to share this with you to make you feel bad or to try to convert you. We are all in the process, on our personal journeys with our own timing to things; hell I'm still practicing everyday, too. I first gave up red meat for health reasons, so I can't even say it was for the moral reasons. I kept this diet for about two years, with some slip ups during the time. I eventually gave up meat but kept up with a pescatarian diet. However, after seeing this documentary, I went full vegetarian from that point on (as of November 2016, very recent). I guess it just really hit me - as I study environmental sciences in school and do my best to be as eco-friendly as possible, I couldn't ignore this one. This is just some insight I wanted to share because it made such a huge impact on my life - simply encouraging and spreading awareness for a one love.
I recommend this documentary to anyone who is curious about the effects of animal grazing and farming on the environment. Some quick facts gathered from the documentary:
- livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions
- Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day - methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame and has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame
- Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually and is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption
- 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef
- Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land
- A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people
- 3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted, and we could see fishless oceans by 2048
- Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels
- Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
- Ten thousand years ago, 99% of biomass (i.e. zoomass) was wild animals. Today, humans and the animals that we raise as food make up 98% of the zoomass
- 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries
** Further information and all links to resources found here **
also, beautiful painting of this cow by Eric Sweet <3
Sorry guys if this was a load of heavy information. Just some insight and perspective - if you're interested in more, I recommend this documentary for sure! I would like to share some other great documentaries later on about climate change and other environmental issues, stay tuned!
And again, no judgement - all just some insight. The first and greatest step is awareness, and we must realize that each of us has our own timing of/to things. If you are interested in cutting down or slowly transitioning to a meatless diet, I stress that you research a lot about vegetarian or vegan diets as the transition can be quite tricky. I will be writing more on that later on as well!
Thank you for taking the time to read. Sending encouragement and all the love! Happy Thursday, thrive on fam!!