Cowspiracy: A Call for Compassion

Filmed by two youthful environmental/social activists, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, Cowspiracy is a documentary investigating what they argue to be the number one contributor to climate change, animal agriculture. Andersen delves dangerously deep into uncovering the secrets suppressed by the environmentally destructive industries that threaten our planet. Revealed in this film, 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 essentially every other environmental ailment.

The mystery: no one is talking about it. The deeper Andersen and Kuhn dive, the higher a wall is built shielding a seemingly dark industry secret. World-leading environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, 350.org, WWF, and Greenpeace, are all silent. But why? Ultimately, the reason boils down to the same thing it always does; money. Whether or not these organizations were engaged in money-laundering with bigger oil or factory farming companies is unclear, but the very fact that it’s unclear is the underlying issue. When interviewing these organizations, discussions of climate change and its greenhouse gas contributors flowed smoothly, but as soon as Andersen pointed the conversation in the direction of animal agriculture, the responses were dismissive. Some fumbled with the question claiming that it’s “hard to target one thing exactly” and others seemed, some responded angrily as if playing the defense, and others seemed downright clueless.

Ultimately, one of the biggest issues is the simple fact that Americans love meat.  On average, each person eats nine ounces of meat a day. This animal-based diet that the human population relies on drastically reduces any chances we have of farming sustainably. The detriments of raising animals for food are vast; 150 gallons of methane per day are emitted by cows, ¾ of fisheries are overexploited, one acre of rainforest is cleared every second for livestock production and logging. Mass producing agriculture corporations have shielded us from the ugly and inconvenient truth of this reality, thus, nothing is changing because so few people can understand the true nature of the problem or that something needs to be changed. They know that if they were to remove the blindfold they placed on society and reveal everything that happens behind the barn doors, they would start losing profits, fast. In fact, animal rights activists are the number one FBI priority because of the threat they pose on large meat and dairy distributors.

As a rapidly growing society, we need to make a decision about what we want our future to look like. This is not just an environmental movement but a global, social, and spiritual revolution. The Dalai Lama once said, “When we are concerned mainly with our own interests, inevitably we tend to neglect others’ interests. Because of this, preoccupation with our own interests—our own narrow desires, ambitions, and goals—undermines our ability to be compassionate…. the more we concern ourselves with providing for others’ well-being, the more meaningful our lives become and the happier we ourselves will be”. If we can transform the way society thinks, we can transform the way society eats. We can do it, we just have to choose to do it.

6 thoughts on “Cowspiracy: A Call for Compassion

  1. I watched this documentary and found it extremely interesting and mostly shocking. It is crazy how much of an impact the meat industry has on our environment and how we as public citizens have been blind to these impacts. Our government and big businesses are gravely impacted by these industries and because of this there has been and lack of regulations and standards set in order to protect the large amount revenue and political power that is generated from the meat industry. I really like that your added the quote by the Dali Lama because like you said we can change the way our society thinks and eats, as we have seen throughout history, but in order to do it we have to choose to do it.

  2. This documentary sounds very informative and powerful. I completely agree that animal agriculture has destructive effects on our environment, health, and overall wellbeing. It’s very important to watch documentaries such as Cowspiracy because they make one think about their diet and the effects that it has on our world. Many people do not realize the negative impacts created by supporting industrialized animal agriculture. Being exposed to the reality of this industry by sources such as Conspiracy, can inspire individuals to make changes to their diet and who they choose to give their money too.

  3. Its unbelievable, frankly, that something as blatantly destructive as animal agriculture is still so widespread and accepted. Sadly, it seems that the almighty dollar stands in the way of finding an alternative, and that the taste of meat is more important to most people than the suffering of the masses. We need to invest in lab-grown meat, a middleground for those who dislike animal suffering but dont have the means or wants to give up a omnivorous lifestyle.

  4. I have been wanting to watch this documentary and after reading your summary I’m even more excited to learn about the truths it uncovered. Honestly, I think it is disgusting how much influence corporation and money has in society. I was surprise to read that the control is even seeping into the organizations that aim to protect our environment. Many are oblivious to the harmful effects the agricultural industry, at worldwide level, can create. I think it is important that we educate people of the harsh reality and attempt to expose aspects hidden from the public eye.

  5. I’ve seen this documentary before and it was very surprising and informative. I think overall, this documentary just shows how corrupted the food industry is and it should be more regulated. I think Cowspiracy, gives the public more insight on how we should be more aware and educate ourselves in the foods we eat.

  6. This post makes me want to watch Cowspiracy even more. It saddening to me that so many people are unconcerned about where their food comes from, yet it’s such an important part of our culture and our health. I’m also a bit shocked that many leading environmental organizations are silent on the issue.

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