Avid readers of our monthly newsletter (sign up here!) may have noticed our preponderance to sharing vegan recipes with you lately. We've been following Michael Pollan's advice to: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
It's been a fun, healthy and (mostly) tasty experience. We've also been trying to keep up motivation levels by improving our knowledge on the subject. Despite being a vegetarian for 25 years and an environmentalist, I was taken aback by the information contained in the documentary, Cowspiracy.
We've all the heard that cows emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which causes global warming. But the scale of the impact of animal agriculture is quite alarming. In fact, the film argues that livestock and their by-products are the single biggest cause of global warming - responsible for 51% of greenhouse gas emissions.
A few more eye-opening facts: -
- 1000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.
- A farm with 2500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
The worrying thing is, not one of the campaigning organisations who encourage behaviour change to protect the planet talk about animal agriculture! Cowspiracy tries to talk to organisations like Greenpeace to find out why they never campaign on animal agriculture, but they either won't talk to the flmmaker or they dodge the issue.
It seems that telling people to go vegan is not a popular message, and these charities don't want to risk losing donations. Cowspiracy is a fascinating watch and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in protecting our environment - it might not make you go full-vegan, but I'd be surprised if you didn't think twice before your next burger.