The film came out in 2014, and is basically about one thing - how damaging the agriculture industry is towards the environment (and of course, wildlife and farm animals). But, mainly, it focuses on how animal agriculture is extremely more complicit in harming the environment than all transport put together, by far.
The conspiracy bit comes in because the documentary states how some of the biggest environmental charities on the globe, such as Greenpeace and the WWF for example, do nothing to raise awareness about the damaging effect that animal husbandry has on the planet.
The film highlights how powerful and intimidating the agricultural industry is. And, there is a lot of truth to this. You just have to look at the recent introduction of ag-gag laws to know how corrupt the agricultural industry is. The ag-laws are in place to stop anyone from recording footage on farms, even if there is animal abuse. Essentially, it means that farmers can get away with animal abuse and neglect, because the law covers them. That's how powerful this industry is.
That is a short introduction about what Cowspiracy is all about. You can watch the film on Netflix. Or you can buy the companion book, 'The sustainability secret' below:
One reason I don't find it surprising, is because deforestation as a result of agriculture is well documented, by smaller charities.
Considering that Cowspiracy was made over two years ago, I wanted to find out whether or not a) the claims where true that the agricultural industry is by far the biggest cause of green house gases (and land erosion) and b) I wanted to see if these two big charities, the WWF and Greenpeace, had actually turned their focus to that. I wanted to see if they admitted that now.
With some research, I found that yes, Cowspiracy is accurate, and that the leading source of climate change and carbon emissions is NOT from transport or electricity, it is rather from animal agriculture. Here are a few reports which show this to be the case:
The think tank Chatam House report:
The UN report:
The United Nations also reports that 65% of nitrous oxide (a leading cause of greenhouse gases) is caused by animal agriculture. Here: http://www.fao.org/agriculture/lead/themes0/climate/en/
We have been led to believe that C02 is the worst gas, and the gas which is the leading contributor of climate change. However, this is totally wrong. The science says that it is nitrous oxide which is far worse than Co2 gases.
Nitritous oxide is by far worse than Co2, in fact, it is almost 300 times as bad as Co2 emissions. This comes from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007.
It seems that animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, not our emissions from transport, or from electricity. Yet, major conservation and environmental charities are not stating this, or raising awareness about it. But, the evidence is there, for everyone to see.
Therefore, these charities must be aware of how animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, yet, they still state that carbon emissions are. They seem to be acting like Climate Change deniers, when the evidence is there, conclusively.
If we are to be serious about saving the planet, wildlife and reducing greenhouse gases, then we must tackle the main source of that, animal agriculture.
Not only is this more beneficial for the planet and wildlife, it is also a more compassionate and ethical approach going meat free.
The problem with big conservation environmental charities, is that rather than serve the purpose that they are selling, they instead act like business trying to generate income and appeal to their donors.
One of the biggest problems seems to be that environmental charities often ignore the obvious, and that is, that animal rights issues and environmental issues go hand-in-hand.