Monday, June 2, 2014

Don't have a cow,man!

"Where's the beef?" 
      - Walter Mondale (1984)

Somebody give me a cheeseburger!
     -  Steve Miller    (Living in the USA)


     I just heard an interesting interview over at Ecoshock Radio  (See below).    It was an interview with a the film maker who is making the movie  "Cow Spiracy"  

    Of course , most people aware of some of the effects of the livestock industry - polluted water, dead zones, the Amazon etc.  And everyone has heard about "cow farts"

     But here was one item that caught by eye - According to the FAO, the livestock industry had more climate change releases than all cars planes, trains combined.  But here was the killer.  According to a World Watch study, if you count the emissions from the farms than provide the feed, and the transportation, the livestock industry accounts for 51% of our green house gasses.   !!

    Um...   51%???

   And so....?  

    A couple of meatless days a week, would save as much carbon as....  riding a bicycle?  turning off the AC?    Not flying?

    All those protests about pipelines, and coal trains, are fighting over the scraps   - some small piece of the other 49%?      

    So where are the protests over the feed lots, the grain trains, the fast food places,  the soybeans fields  (98% for livestock)  ? is willing to take on "Big oil" , and Big coal", but not willing to deal with "Big Ag?"     What do they know, that I don't?   

    I guess there still are some sacred cows.

      Can't wait to see the movie.  



What is the single biggest cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction and ocean dead zones? If you answered over-population of the planet by humans, you are only slightly right. It's over-population, yes, but the problem species is cows.

That's according to a new and daring documentary film by the team of Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn. They call it "Cowspiracy" and we're going to find out why.

We already know it's common for industry hacks to write the laws that are passed, without even being read, by our elected repesentatives. There's plenty of proof that's true, it's common knowldege inside the Beltway. Do you think that's how people who object to our abuse of animals ended up being lumped in with Al Queda as terrorists?

I suppose the best-known story about being sued for talking about the nastiness behind hamburgers and red meat has to be the Texas cattlemen suing Oprah Winfrey. She won that case, but she has a billion dollars for lawyers if need be. I'll be you don't. How do you protect against legal SLAP suits?

This "Cowspiracy" film was funded partly by an Indiegogo campaign. It had another major non-profit sponsor, but they pulled out during the project, saying it was too controversial. The first filming was done in secret, before announcing the film, to get the hard-to-get footage they wanted.

The film is also about the failure of mainstream environmental groups to face up to the huge role of livestock in climate change. You can read this acidic commentary on the failure of big green groups here in this article by co-producer Keegan Kuhn.

As a person who worked for a large environmental organization, it's true they have to work on issues their members support. Otherwise they collapse. So maybe the real problem isn't the green groups, but a public that doesn't want to hear about the damage their diets cause. Maybe it's us. 

But I totally agree with Kuhn and Anderson that we can't hope to limit climate damage without addressing the livestock industry and the whole issue of eating meat. Should we risk extinction of other species, and maybe ourselves, because we don't want to take on a controversial subject? Will we die of timidity and being polite?

Keegan Kuhn's web site is at First Spark Media.

Kip Anderson's web place is here at Animals United Movement.

You can educate yourself, and the public, at

Download/listen to this 20 minute Radio Ecoshock interview in CD Quality orLo-Fi, or listen to it here on SoundCloud.


I want to add just a couple of notes about that interview with Kip Anderson. 

During the interview, Kip mis-spoke about the amount of the Amazon destroyed, saying 91% of that great rainforest was destroyed for animal pasture. What he meant was 91% of the land deforested since 1970 was for livestock. Only 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed. "Only"!!

The 2006 FAO report "Livestock's Long Shadow" found the livestock sector was responsible for 18 percent of human-made climate emissions, far more than all cars, boats, planes and trains combined. Livestock produces even more of the most powerful greenhouse gases, like 37 percent of methane and 65 percent of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more damaging than simple CO2.

The World Watch Study "Livestock and Climate Change" added up all the emissions of the meat industry, cradle to grave, and concluded a stunning 51% of our greenhouse gases are attributable to that industry. Wow! They say, quote:

"If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations - and thus on the rate the climate is warming - than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy."

Chew on that. We'd rather die, or sentence future generations to die, than stop eating meat. It's even worse than our addiction to fossil electricity or driving around. It drives co-producer Keegan Kuhn nuts that big environmental groups don't even want to talk about it. 

Meanwhile, Cowspiracy is trending into from a movie to a movement. Check it out.

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