Cowspiracy is an incredible documentary regarding the animal agricultural industry. It’s a journey through the eyes of Kip Andersen as he explores the effects this industry has. The journey predominantly revolves around the shocking, and most disturbing facts of the meat industries environmental impact. This journey appropriate evolves into the ethical aspects of slaughtering animals. Below are some clips from the video. The full version is available on Netflix and for purchase/rent on YouTube. For facts checks visit: cowspiracy.com/facts
“The world’s climate scientist tell us that the highest safe level of emissions would be around 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide green house gases in the atmosphere, we’re already at 400. They tell us that the sort of safest we could hope to do without having perilous implications as far as drought, famine, human conflict, major species extinction would be about a 2 degrees Celsius increase in temperature. We’re rapidly approaching that and with all the built-in carbon dioxide that’s already in the atmosphere we’re easily going to exceed that. So, on our watch we’re facing the next major extinction of species on the earth that we haven’t seen since the time of the dinosaurs disappearing.”
UN News Centre: Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns.
“Hydraulic fracking uses 100 billion gallons of water every year in the United States. Raising livestock just in the US consumes 34 trillion gallons of water. And it turns out that methane emissions from both industries are nearly equal.”
One quarter pounder hamburger requires over 660 gallons of water to produce.
One hamburger is equivalent to taking a shower for 2 months.
Domestic water use is only 5% of what is used in the US versus 55% animal agriculture.
“ I think that the water footprint of animal husbandry is greater than other activities, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.”
Carbon dioxide from the transportation and energy sectors have a terrible effect on our environment
65 percent of the worlds Nitrous Oxide is produced from animal agriculture, a gas with the global warming potential 296 times greater than CO2 per pound.
Energy related CO2 emissions are expected to increase 20 percent by 2040. Yet, emissions from agriculture are predicted to increase 80 percent by 2050.
“According to two environmental specialist at the world bank group, using the global standard for measuring greenhouse gases concluded that animal agriculture is responsible for 51 percent of human cause climate change.”
“Raising animals for food is responsible for 30% of the worlds’ water consumption; occupies up to 45% of the earth’s land; is responsible for up to 91% of Brazilian Amazon destruction; is the leading cause of ocean dead zones; the leading cause of habitat destruction, and the leading cause of species extinction.”
“free living animals 10,000 years ago made up 99 percent of the bio mass. Human beings only made up 1 percent of the bio mass. Today, only 10,000 years later, which is really just a fraction of time, we human beings and the animals that we own as property make up 98 percent of the biomass. And wild free living animals make up only 2 percent. We’ve basically completely stolen the world, the earth, from free living animals to use for ourselves and our cows and pigs and chickens and factory farming and fish. And the oceans have been even more devastating.”
“We’re in the middle of the largest mass extinction of species in 65 million years, rain forest is being cut down at the rate of an acre per second. And the driving force behind all of this is animal agriculture, cutting down the forest to graze animals and grow soy beans, genetically engineered soy beans to feed to feed to the cows, chickens, pigs and factory farmed fish.”
Several sources suggest that even the environmental organizations are not willing to talk about animal agriculture being a grave concern because they are businesses and need to protect their revenue sources that this crucial information may upset.
“116,000 pounds of farm animal excrement is produced every second in the US alone. That is enough waste per year to cover ever square foot of San Francisco, New York City, Tokyo, Paris, New Delhi, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Rio De Janeiro, Delaware, Bali, Costa Rica, and Denmark combined!”
“Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones around the world in our oceans. Comprise more than 95,000 square miles of areas completely devoid of life.”
“If we don’t wake up and do something about it we’re going to see fishless oceans by the year 2048, that’s the prediction from scientist.”
“We’re at over 28 Billion animals were pulled out of the ocean last year. They’re not ever going to get a chance to recover, they can’t recover, they don’t multiple that quickly, we’re not given an opportunity.”
“The way we fish today to feed the demand of 90 million tons of fish is primarily through massive fish nets. For every single pound of fish caught there’s up to five pounds of untargeted species trapped; such as dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and sharks, known as bi-kill.”
“Between 40 and 50 million sharks each year are killed in fishing lines and fishing nets as bi-kill.”
“It is estimated that every day close to a hundred plant, animal, and insect species are lost due to rainforest destruction.”
“It is estimated that Palm oil is responsible for 26 Million acres being cleared, though, compared to livestock and their feedcrops, they are responsible for a 136 Million acres of rainforest lost to date”
“The Amazon rainforest itself could be gone in the next ten years”
“Why isn’t anybody doing anything about this? In Brazil in particular, if you look at what happened when the forest code was passed. People who were standing up against the lobbyist, special interest, cattle industry, the agribusiness industry, what was happening to them? A lot of people who were speaking out got killed… A lot of people just keep their mouths shut, because they don’t want to be the next one with a bullet in their head.”
Sister Dorothy Stang was a US born Nun living in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest. Her life’s work was to protect the Amazon. She spoke out openly against the destruction of rainforest with cattle ranching for years. Walking home one night she was brutally gunned down at point blank range by a hired gun from the cattle industry. 1931-2005”
“Over 1,100 activists have been killed in the last 20 years in Brazil.”
“Cattle produce 150 billion gallons of Methane per day mostly due to deforestation and the waste they produce. Which is 130 times more waste than the entire human population, virtually all without the benefit of any waste treatment.”
“Using 4,500 acres to produce 80,000 lbs of meat a year when the average person consumes 209 lbs per year, if that was all grass fed beef only 382 people could be fed on the land, that equates to 11.7 acres per person times 314 million Americans which equals 3.7 billion acres of grazing land. Unfortunately there are only 1.9 billion acres in the US’s lower 48 states. Currently nearly half of all US land is already dedicated to animal agriculture. If we were to switch over to grass feed beef it would require clearing every square inch of the United States, up into Canada, all of Central America and well into South America. And this is just to feed the US demand on meat. That doesn’t even take into consideration that much of that land isn’t suited to graze livestock.”
“Typically a cow will eat 140 to 150 pounds of feed a day. And it will also drink between 30 and 40 gallons of water”
“How could dairy be sustainable when one gallon of milk takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce”
“Almost a third of the planet’s land is becoming desert with the vast majority due to livestock grazing”
“The government also shoots bobcats, coyote, mountain lion, cougars, and wolf packs to “protect” cattle on public land.”
“If you take externalized costs, which are about 414 billion dollars, if the meat and dairy industries were required to internalize those costs, the costs of the retail prices of meat and dairy would sky rocket. So a $5 carton of eggs would go to $13, a $4 big mac would go to $11. Whether you eat meat or not, you are paying part of the cost of somebody else’s consumption. So that when somebody goes into a Mc Donalds and buys a big mac for $4 there’s another $7 of costs that imposed on society”
“When you really look at who’s benefiting and who’s lobbied for this system of agriculture it’s the largest food producers in the country and the largest meat producers. And once they become so large and wealthy then they can dictate the federal policies around producing food because they have so much political power.”
“Animal rights and environmental activist are the number domestic terrorism threat according to the FBI.”
“One of the largest industries on the planet with the biggest environmental impact trying to keep us in the dark about how it’s operating.”
“You either live for something or die for nothing.”
“In 1812 the world population was 1 Billion. In 1912 it was 1.5 Billion. In 2012 it grew to 7 Billion. But even more important when determining world population is the 70 Billion farm animals humans raise.”
“The human population drinks 5.2 billion gallons of water every day and needs 21 billion lbs of food. But just the worlds 1.5 Billion cows alone drink 45 billion gallons of water every day and eat 135 billion lbs of food. This isn’t so much a human population issue, it’s a human eating animals population issue.”
“82 percent of the worlds starving children live in countries where food is fed to animal in a livestock systems that are then killed and eaten by more well off individuals in developed countries; such as US, UK, and Europe”
“The fact of it is that we can feed every human being on the planet today an adequate diet if we did no more than take the feed that we are feeding the animals and actually turn into food for humans.”
“You can produce on average 15 times more protein from plant based sources than from meat on any given area of land, using the same type of land, whether it’s a very fertile area in one area of the world or whether it’s an area that’s depleted”
“When you imagine all those egg laying hens eating all that soy and all that corn you have an energy conversion ratio of about 38 to 1. Whereas alternatively you can find plants, you can grow those plants and convert them into food. And the energy conversion ratio for the plants that we’re using to replace the eggs is about 2 to 1.”
“We are making (plant based) the omega products and proving that we can make them better tasting food that’s great for you and takes 1 20th of the land and resources that dairy do”
“When you think about it, the purpose of cows’ milk… is to turn a 65 pound calf into a 400 pound cow as rapidly as possible. Cow’s milk is baby calf growth food. Everything in that white liquid, the hormones, the lipids, the protein, the sodium, the growth factors, the IGF, every one of those is meant to blow that calf up to a great big cow, or it wouldn’t be there. And whether you pour it on your cereal as a liquid, whether you clot it into yogurt, whether you ferment it into cheese, whether you freeze it into ice cream, it’s baby calf growth fluid. And women eat it and it stimulates their tissues, and it gives women breast lumps, it makes the uterus get big, and they get fibroids and they bleed and they get hysterectomies, and they need mammograms, and gives guys man boobs. Cow’s milk is the lactation secretions of a large bovine mammal who just had a baby.”
“Not only is veganic more compassionate, it’s also more efficient. And in a society with this many billions of people, we need to be as efficient as possible. Some people might go back and say if we embraced this primitive approach of only wild animals everywhere, and we go back to a hunter-gatherer system, that sounds great. But that was 10 million people on the entire continent. Maybe a little big more, a little bit less, on one really knows. Today, now we have what? We have 320 million in the US, 25 million in Canada, another 100 and so many million in Mexico. So, North America is up to almost 450 million people. Trying to find a way to bring animal agriculture in balance with 450 million hungry people is impossible.”
“216,000 more people are born to the planet every day… what really extraordinary is you need per day 314,000 new acres of farmable land. It’s not happening. “
“To feed a person on an all-plant based vegan diet for a year requires just one-sixth of an acre of land. To feed that same person on a vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy requires three times as much land. To feed an average US citizen’s high –consumption diet of meat, dairy, and eggs requires 18 times as much land. This is because you can produce 37,000 lbs of vegetables on one and a half acres, but only 375 pounds of meat on that same plot of land.”
As a vegan “every single day I save 1,100 gallons of water, 45 lbs. of grain, 30 sq. ft forested land, the equivalent of 10 pounds of CO2, and 1 animal’s life every single day.”
“Renewable energy is a good idea, and development is projected to take 20 years and, at least, minimally, $18 trillion to develop. Another solution to climate change we could stop eating animals. And it could be done today. It doesn’t have to take 20 years. And it certainly doesn’t have to take $18 trillion, because it costs nothing.”
“Quietly and unmistakably the most powerful thing that someone can do for the environment. No other lifestyle has a farther reaching, and more profoundly positive impact on the planet and all life on Earth than choosing to stop consuming animals and live a vegan lifestyle.”
“I had to come to the full conclusion, the only way to sustainably and ethically live on this planet with seven billion other people is to live an entirely plant-based vegan diet. I decided instead of eating others, to eat for others.”