Maša and I recently watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. And yes, to all of our fellow vegan friends, I know we’re a little late to the party. But better late than never, right? Anyway, I have to say that this documentary affected me…big time!
I initially become vegan for ethical reasons after watching Earthlings. You can read our story here. Health has never been the focus of making the change, although it has been a nice side effect of the vegan lifestyle.
But now after watching Cowspiracy, there’s another reason to be vegan that could be even stronger than the breeding and slaughtering of animals for consumption. The environment.
If Earthlings questioned my heart, Cowspiracy questioned my mind.
I’m far from being a genius, but I like to think I’m not the dumbest person in the world. After watching this documentary, I felt stupid. Really stupid.
I felt stupid because the Director’s Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, compiled strong evidence that the agriculture industry is the number one sector contributing to destroying our environment.
I’m not talking about saving animals right now. I’m talking about global warming. Like most of us, I thought CO2 emissions were the main contributors to destroying our environment, but as it turns out, it’s the agricultural inputs that consume the majority of our resources.
“Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.”
“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Methane has a global warming power 86 times that of CO2.”
Makes sense right?
Also, cow’s are big and therefore have big appetites, and with over 7 billion people in the world to feed, we need an unsustainable amount of water, grass, corn and whatever else we’re feeding them to keep up with demand. The same is true for all animal farming.
So that’s why I feel stupid. I only saw the agriculture industry on one side, the outputs of meat, poultry and dairy. However, I completely overlooked the market within the market, which is how we sustain this level of production and how it impacts our environment. Just look at these numbers:
“Agriculture is responsible for 80–90% of US water consumption.”
“Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.”
“2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.”
That’s a lot of water for a piece of steak!
These examples take me back to basic economics at university. Demand, supply, market inputs and market outputs.
So what does this all mean exactly? It means that I have another reason to be vegan (not that I needed any more motivation). And it makes me a little mad, to be honest. Seeing this logical data triggers the activist in me. And that sucks because I promised myself that I wouldn’t be one of those “preachy vegans”. But stuff it. I care too much about the current and future environment for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all the generations to come.
If we continue to consume animal products, we ruin the planet.
Simple as that. So my question to you now is, what are you going to do about it?
I’m not suggesting that you become a green munching hippie overnight. But you do have more power than you think.
Each time you go to buy food or a piece of clothing, you have a chance to place a vote. Even if it’s reducing your consumption of animal products by 20%, then to 50%, it’s a great start to making a shift in market demand. Not only will you save an animal from being slaughtered, but you also have a chance to protect the environment.
I know where I stand, I hope you do your part too.
PS – if you’re curious about some of the statistics used in this post and would like to see the sources, check out the facts page on the Cowspiracy website.