Documentary Review: Cowspiracy

Hey guys, it is time for our next documentary review!
This documentary really surprised me, it was not about what I thought it was going to be about. I thought this was going to be a sad documentary about how animals are treated. I had even put off doing this one for a few weeks! I am not sure why I thought this maybe it was because the people who recommend that I do this one also recommend a handful of sad documentaries or maybe a part oof subconscious somehow got the notion that it was going to go that way. Either way, the documentary left me in shock with all of the new information I had learned. My hope is that you come into this with an open mind, listen and learn about this perspective. 

Has always we are going to start off with the trailer and a quote from the website.

"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. "

It was extremely hard to fact check this documentary. As it was mentioned several times in the film, this issue is not talked about anywhere. Honestly, before I viewed this film it never crossed my mind that this was an issue. People tend to not pay attention to things unless they see it. The issue of the effects on the environment caused agriculture is not something we see.

The meat and dairy industry produces more greenhouse gasses than all forms of transportation combined. The methane gasses created by the farm animals digestive process is 86 times more destructive than carbon dioxide created by cars. My question here is then why do we hear so much about cars and the hurt they are causing, why are these environmental groups not pushing for people to change to a plant-based diet?

Livestock is also the leading cause of resource depletion and environment degrading destroying the planet. Meat and dairy products are extremely water intensive. Raising the livestock alone in just the United States uses 34 trillion gallons of water per year. 

Hydraulic Fracking for Natural gasses uses 100 billion gallons per year. 

FACT: 1 quarter pound hamburger requires about 660 gallons of water to produce

Domestic water use is about 5% of the water used in the united states. 55% of the water goes to animal agriculture.

Let's talk for a moment on what this 55% of water goes for. This is not only for the animal itself. This also takes into consideration the water used for the grains the animal needs to eat. The average human eats 4 pounds of food a day (according to the Mayo Clinic). Where the average cow eats 7 pounds per day. Although those numbers way be pretty close how many days does a cow need to eat before it is slaughtered to make food? The answer to that question is 900 days (2.5 years). So, that is a total of 6,300 pounds of food for one slaughtered cow. One cow feeds about 50 people. In order to feed 1 person, the cow ate 126 pounds of food. 

Raising animals for food is responsible for:
  • 30% of the world's water consumption
  • occupies 45% of the Earths land
  • 91% of the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest Destruction
  • Leading cause of Ocean Dead Zones
  • Leading cause of Habitat destruction
  • Leading cause of species extinction.
Dead zones in the ocean are caused by animal waste run off into the ocean. In the United States alone 116,000 lbs of waste is produced from farm animals per second. I don't know about you but I can not imagine what that much waste would look like. 

Another factor facing the ocean is overfishing. The ocean a nearly depleted. We are fishing so fast the fish do not have time to procreate. The demand for fish in the United States alone is 90 million tons per year. In order to meet this large quota, fishermen have to use large nets to catch fish. This leaves little to no control of what they catch. For every 1 lb of fish the wanted to catch, they catch 5lbs of fish they did not want to catch. These animals often die in the process. This is called "Bi Kill".

Photo from
Sister Dorothy Stang

  • She was a Nun who lived in the Brazillian Rain Forest
  • She made it her life's work to protect the Amazon Rain Forest
  • Spoke openly about the destruction of the Rain Forest from cattle ranching
  • Was gunned down in 2005 by a hired gunman hired by the cattle industry

FACT: Over 1,100 environmental activist have been killed in the last 20 years in Brazil

Several years ago I had a conversation with a family member who said, that we should continue to eat animals because of these issues. I look at this from a different point of view, farm animals are raised to be eaten. If more people converted to a plant-based lifestyle then there would less of a demand for meat and dairy. Then they would stop breeding the animals they have. All of this will result in fewer farm animals. What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments below!


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