Kudos to Kip Anderson who created this documentary called “Cowspiracy”. I can understand it must have been difficult to research and get the facts, but the numbers are there. I thoroughly recommend people to watch it.
The UNEP was quoted to say that agriculture produces 18% of our greenhouse emissions, whilst the transport system (cars, trucks, aeroplanes, ships etc) produces about 13%. So all of us trying to use more public transport and ride bikes to work… we’re not making as much impact as if we became vegetarian.
This is a screenshot of how much water & food all the people on the planet consume, compared with the water & food that all the cattle consumes.
Do you see how much land usage is there to sustain that cattle population in order to feed first-world people? We know how many starving people are out there, and they probably don’t eat that much meat. Imagine if we stopped cattle farming and associated grain farms and used that land to produce vegetables – we could actually stop world hunger instantly, no?!
How much impact that is to our ecosystems? It’s devastating. There is so much research to show how overgrazing kills the nutrients in soils and how much investment, water, chemicals are required to regenerate the cattle lands because these monocultures override and degrade the natural processes.
How much land is cleared to make way for farms? Cattle farming and the associated crop farming is big business and part of the reason the Amazon rainforest is getting destroyed. In the USA, a number of nature reserves section off part of their land for subsidised cattle ranching!
If you look at how many cattle farms and associated grain farms are in your state/province where you live… can you imagine the wildlife and nature that was there prior to those farms? do you see how much water infrastructure has had to be built to sustain these farms? Do you see how much water these farms are taking from natural resources? Thus we see the devastation of drought amplified now compared to back in the day when these farms were not the mega huge places they are now.
Another interesting fact from the documentary was the comparison of palm oil impact to cattle agriculture, see screenshot below.
According to this graph, 26 million acres of natural ecosystems has been cleared to create palm oil plantations. 136 million acres (over 5 times as much) has been cleared for cattle farming. I’m not sure if this includes the corn and grain farming as well though!
How much attention and action is palm oil having amongst consumers today? Why isn’t the same happening with the meat & dairy industry? We’ve all grown up thinking meat & dairy are good for us – just like the sugar and other food industries told us that “fat” is bad for us instead of sugar because no corporation makes and sells fat so no one loses money. Conspiracy much?
This documentary also talks about fishing and how there is no such thing as sustainable fishing.
If you want more stats, go to the documentary website. See all those stats on what we are actively fighting today like fracking and compare that to this agriculture issue that has been kept under wraps. When will wikileaks produce some info on this corporation & government conspriacy?
Today I need to clamp down on my flexatarianism and really stay true to my vegetarianism. It’s easy and tasty to do so even here in South Africa the land of biltong, boerewors and braais. I’ve even managed to maintain it while living in Zimbabwe where you would think it would be tough to live well. In future, I’m going to post some of my favourite vegetarian recipes for people to try.