Watching Cowspiracy made us feel sick to the stomach for ever having eaten animal products. And still consuming eggs and dairy.
It is a brilliant although controversial documentary unraveling the fundamental reason behind our planet’s destruction, and the reasons why nobody is talking about it. The film was crowdfunded and Leonardo DiCaprio helped get it on Netflix.
It proves how animal agriculture is the main reason for deforestation, water shortage, depletion of marine life, and world hunger. What’s more, Nat Geo scientists say that the sixth mass extinction is as near as 2100 – the fastest in Earth’s history – where human activities resulting in pollution, clearing up land to grow crop to feed livestock, and fishing, are likely to drive more than half of the world’s species to extinction.
All because we love our burgers, ham sandwiches, lamb biryani, roast chicken, fried fish, eggs Benedict, and cheese fondue. All because we love our lattes and ice-cream.
The numbers are alarming – and these are just highlights.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation
- Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions
- Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day as part of their digestive process. Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame
- 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second; animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
- About 660 gallons of water are needed to produce a quarter pound of beef ready to eat (equal to 2 months of showers) – think about that when you are eating your next burger
- 90-100 million tonnes of fish are pulled from our oceans each year. For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill
- The world produces more than 1.5 times enough food to feed 10 billion people, more than everyone on the planet (7 billion) – but that food is fed to animals that we eat when we go out for a steak
- Today, 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals
The world cannot keep up with our ever increasing demand for animal products. In its attempt to do so, it is destroying everything. In other words, WE are destroying everything. We are digging a massive grave for our planet, that our generation is likely to be buried in too.
Good news is that we have the power to change this, just by reducing (or eliminating!) our consumption of animal products. According to Cowspiracy, each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.
As the critiques say (read here and here), maybe there is an amount of sensationalism in the film, and maybe this is too simple a solution to a more complicated problem – I am no environmentalist or scientist who qualifies to argue it. However, irrespective of this film, there is enough research out there discussing the grave impact of meat consumption on the environment that cannot be denied.
So why isn’t anyone talking about this? Well, now we are.
Watch the movie. Spread the word. Cut down your meat consumption. Your body and the planet will thank you for it.
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