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Cowspiracy – How will you make a change?

On September 15th, Netflix released to their subscribers a, in my opinion, fantastic documentary executive produced by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio. This full-length documentary titled Cowspiracy explores “the most destructive industry facing the planet today and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it”.

At this point, it’s safe to say most of us know the world is in peril. We are reminded of global warming daily. We see its effects in hotter days, droughts in many parts of the world, loss of species across the globe, and in turbulent weather. The leading causes of global warming, according to NASA’s Climate Change webpage, ( is the expansion of the “greenhouse effect” which includes the gases: Nitrous oxide, Carbon dioxide, Methane, and water vapor. The natural greenhouse is being changed by human activity, mostly the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil, again according to NASA.

In Cowspiracy, filmmaker Kip Anderson learns that animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, pollution, and is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry. Animal agriculture is also the primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones” and virtually every other environmental ill. The answer to global sustainability for our ever-growing population? Adopting and promoting a sustainable plant-based vegan lifestyle.

Without giving away the entire movie, I simply want to share some of the most startling facts that are making me reconsider what I view as food and my daily impact on global warming.

  • Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.
  • Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US. Californians use 1,500 gallons of water per person per day. Close to half is associated with meat and dairy products.
  • 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of eggs. Almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1 pound of cheese. 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.
  • A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
  • 90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year. We could see fishless oceans by 2048.
  • Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.
  • Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year: Vegan: 1/6th of an acre. Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan. Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan.
  • 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 pounds carbon dioxide equivalent, and one animal’s life.

This movie has startled me into making a larger change than ensuring my friends and family, as well as myself, recycles all plastic and glass. It has caused me to ask my few Vegan friends to take me to dinner, to share their Vegan story, and simply put, to teach me their ways! I have starting following “Save the Animals” sites such as Animal Place, the largest and oldest sanctuary for farmed animals in the US; I’ve started following Vegan Instagram “stars” such as EarthyAndy, BadAssVegan, and VeganFatKid; and most importantly, I’ve gone a full two weeks without meat. Coming from a girl who had meat daily, maybe even twice daily, my friends are impressed and used to my talking about the film daily. So, ass I begin this journey to becoming a vegan, I will be sharing weekly vegan sources such as blogs to follow, recipes to try, and facts to consider.

The main point of sharing this documentary is that all of us as individuals must take a stand in ensuring the place we call home, Earth, is thriving with life instead of quickly meetings its end. If that means following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle four of seven days of the week, then do it. Going meatless for only one day isn’t enough. There is far too much destruction to our planet already happening to think only one day can save us. We must stand up for something bigger than ourselves. Our body’s will thank us. The planet will thank us. And our friends will join us, all for taking applauding action.


** This article is merely my opinion of the documentary Cowspiracy. I highly suggest you make your own opinion after watching the film through the listed ways above. Nutrasumma neither agrees nor disagrees with my opinion.**


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