I chose to attend the screening of Cowspiracy by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn. At first I didn’t know what to expect and thought it would be a lot like Food, Inc., focusing on the mistreatment of animals and where our food really comes from. I was pleasantly shocked that this film wasn’t just about cows and their waste, it was so much more in connecting all other environmental aspects linking back to livestock. I would compare this film to the documentary about fracking by Josh Fox called Gasland. The styles used and commentary are similar. Being filmed from an average humans view point is what really gets me. This film made me believe that I could potentially be doing what Kip Anderson has done but with the concerns that are dear to me.
This film was filled with statistics and quotes throughout. One that stood out to me was “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.” This blows my mind. How can over half of the CO2 emissions the world puts out into the atmosphere be from producing livestock? How could I not have known about this just like Kip was confused why no one would talk about this leading issue. Usually the methane produced by livestock is talked about but nothing about how much carbon dioxide is being emitted. Livestock and growing feed for the livestock to consume takes 56% of the water in the US. Over half of our water is being used to grow meat for us to eat? That just seems impractical. It was mentioned in the film that the food being fed to the livestock could easily be fed to humans and we could also be able to resource all that water for either drinking or growing other foods for us the eat. To produce one pound of beef it takes 2,500 gallons of water. 477 gallons to produce 1 pound of eggs and 900 gallons of water for one pound of cheese. These numbers are insane and I feel ashamed to have ever eaten and partaken in such a detrimental act against our environment.
The thing that stuck out to me the most in this film was when it was said that you can’t be an environmentalist and eat meat. I care way too much about the environment to be eating meat and this film made me realize and opened my eyes to maybe an alternative way of eating that I should pursue. I know nothing about being and eating as a vegan, but after watching this film I really believe that I need to make the effort and re consider my eating options and the food I put into my body. “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, and one animals life.” Eating meat and the industry of livestock is causing too much damage to this earth. So many environmental problems can be traced back to livestock. Becoming a vegan is a huge change to one person’s life, but it has an even greater impact on the earth in such a positive way with immediate results, how could anyone not even consider how beneficial for the earth and oneself that it is.
I agree with you, that many environmental problems can traced back to livestock. It’s crazy that our government has not made a more effort to make our country more sustainable and have more regulation on our food production.
This was such an great summary of the movie. The fact about the amount of water goes into producing one pound of meat is very surprising. Your blog post makes me want to watch this documentary now.
Cowspiracy is a great documentary and becoming a vegan isn’t as difficult as it may seem. A great read if you’re interested in diet and environmentalism is The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World. It’s really interesting to see studies that have been done on the impact animal products have on our bodies.
Great summary of the documentary! It is also great to know about the impacts animal products have on our bodies – people and planet, it’s all intertwined.