Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret

(((YouTube removed the video for some reason so I’m changing it out for an info graphic. Enjoy the Day. -kia)))

If you’re Really serious about the Environment and Global warming… animal agriculture for human consumption is THE Leading cause of environmental degradation…

… put your Action where your Mouth is. Go Vegan or at least Vegetarian.



14 thoughts on “Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret

  1. No, there are benefits to including meat in the diet, from maintaining very large grassland carbon sinks to providing sufficient B12. Whereas current consumption puts all meat and dairy at about 40% of caloric intake, we have reduced this to 4-6% almost entirely of fish, poultry, and pork. So we have put action where our mouths are and have for many decades.

    There are also significant drawbacks to the vegan diet. Roughly 22% of all energy use is related to refrigeration of food. The cold train for increase demand for fresh vegetables and fruits is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why finding the best balance is not only on one side of this issue, as in vegan good/ meat and dairy bad. It’s not that simple.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I watched the first 15 minutes and understood the thesis well enough. It was a typical undergraduate effort lacking real understanding. Why would an urban city planner need detailed understanding of water requirements for rural beef practices any more than you should need a detailed understanding for the lower rates of pesticide and herbicide use in genetically modified agriculture? Your vegetable and fruits also have a significant water and carbon footprint. That’s where the comparison with beef needs to be better understood and why the real costs need to be reflected honestly at market. It’s not a question of meat bad/vegees good; it’s a question of sustainable good/unsustainable bad.

        Although the issue of water usage is important, there was a typical lack of context that mitigates the comparisons used in the video. Water used in fracking, for example, pollutes the water table with massive chemical infusions that then has no ability to recycle without the toxins. One ends up with a toxic water table – in practical human terms, forever. That’s not good because it’s a cost that far outweighs the benefits. A cow, in fair comparison, processes recycled water. A lot of water. Grains process recycled water, too. So what?

        The water is not consumed never to be seen again unpolluted like fracking, but recycled in situ. In fact, unlike water intensive farming practices for green leafy vegetables and gourds (which are using up water tables at an unsustainable pace) that are then dispersed to markets globally, beef production on marginal grasslands raises the water locally and reduces soil erosion – a significant problem mitigated by range cattle farming you’ve probably heard nothing about – while, at the same time, offers a means to keep these lands productive yet in their natural state supporting all the biodiversity such lands contain as well as absorbing much of the carbon and methane these cows produce. It is this energy balance – the sustainability factor – that is important to understand in everything we do to and with the planet’s ecosystems and the video offered us no real understanding of this right from the beginning.


        • I suspect one of Mike’s points, maybe that, it is far more resource intensive to raise animals. Need grain, grass, whatever, let alone chemical growth goodies, than it does to grow crops. More people could be fed per head using land for crops than using it for animals.

          Regarding pesticides/insecticides, last I read on that, Monsanto was marketing some ’cide product to complement their GMOs. Clever. So, the added benefit of GMOs is?

          Now whether or not (western) people want a plant-based diet compared with a meat one is a different issue. Choice is good. For those of us who can afford it. As you say, it’s a complex issue.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Well I agree with you Mike but I would …

    @ tildeb

    Both vegans and vegetarians can get sufficient amount of B12 from non-meat sources. Also, it’s not just vegetarians and vegans that eat fresh vegetables. And many of us grow what we can and buy locally, thus avoiding flying and trucking veg in from all over the world. However you look at it though, clearing land to provide grazing for animals has drastically altered landscapes over hundreds of years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And it’s altered the earth’s ability to ‘process’ co2 into oxygen with the trees and plants. I would prob guess, if I were a scientist.. and I’m not.., that THAT is the primary reason for the increased levels of co2. We may be increasing output also, but if the planet is less and less able to convert it to oxygen then you would see a larger increase still in the atmosphere. Or am I just guessing wrong?


    • But we also try to grow our own veg here in the az desert. Good results in the fall and winter, pretty tough going in the summer because our spring is so short and summer temps are so high for so long


    • Oh, I agree, RSM; clearing land for cattle production is a terrible practice.

      I see a troubling similarity between this issue and certain attitudes about addressing unsustainable human population growth by casting children as a root moral problem.


  3. Pingback: Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret | The Sustainable Sight

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