So I just finished an Eco-Nutrition course, and am immediately inspired by what I learned. Not only am I more motivated to STOP shopping at grocery stores that support factory farming, but I think I’m considering limiting the amount of meat I eat in general. Daily, weekly, whenever. First of all, I don’t need the amount of protein I have been consuming for the last few years. I’m not bodybuilding. And I KNOW I am getting adequate protein through my current intake (usually one serving of animal protein, one serving of protein powder, and tons of nuts and seeds per day). I am starting to enjoy vegetarian dishes so much more, and it feels great knowing that even by consuming just one less animal protein meal per day (let alone the bunch I am eliminating per week) I am reducing my carbon foot print, saving water, and even saving an animals life. Plus, now my diet will focus more on plant based, nourishing foods.
I highly recommend watching this documentary. No, you don’t need to become vegetarian, but it is truly eye opening the impact factory farming has on the planet. Instead, buy your meat from local farmers, who treat their animals well, feed them well, and ensure they have the quality of life they deserve. Not to mention more healthier, nutrient dense meats without the added antibiotics and other toxins. Instead, more CLA, vitamin A content, saturated fats, and omegas!
Here is my little assignment we had to do after watching the documentary Cowspiracy. I got 100%.. no big deal 😉
After watching Cowspiracy, something I have avoided watching due to the fact that I love eating steak, salmon, chicken, and anything with a face really, I was shocked with what I learned about factory farming and its impact on the earth. This documentary is very powerful, and focuses on the negative effects of animal agriculture on the planet, mainly climate change and global warming, as well as animal welfare. Kip Anderson begins the film by explaining that cattle farming, and the agribusiness produces more greenhouse gases than every form of transportation on the planet! Do you wonder why we are seeing above 30 degree Celsius weather in April of 2016, with records being broken every day? It also greatly effects our water supply, as animal agriculture takes 2500 gallons of water to produce only 1 pound of beef! Raising animal for food is responsible for 50% of the world’s water consumption. What’s interesting is the government website www.saveourwater.com does not even mention anything about reducing your meat consumption to help save water, instead offering suggestions such as taking shorter showers or washing your clothes less often.
By 2050, agriculture emissions are expected to increase as much as 80%. Deforestation is another huge issue we are facing, as 91% of all forests being demolished are related to promoting animal agricultural. However, on the Rainforest Action Network, causes of deforestation include creating palm oil plantations, uses for pulp and paper, and coal, and fail to mention anything about factory farming.
Over population is another issue that contributes to the rise in factory farming. Just over 100 years ago the population was 1.5 billion. Today, it is over 7 billion and climbing. More people, equals more food, and it doesn’t help that the average American eats 9 oz of meat per day! Environmentalists interviewed in the film believe eating only 2 ounces a day is sufficient to meet requirements. I do believe animal protein is necessary, and that this film could have touched base on meeting essential amino acid requirements when switching over to plant based diet. Switching to local, organic and grass fed meat products is an option as well as becoming educated on obtaining amino acids from non-meat foods such as beans, lentils, nuts, and soy.
When watching this film, I was not prepared to hear some of the statistics about the devastation of the agribusiness on the planet. The planet is “getting eaten alive”. The film follows Kip Anderson, who is on a mission to make a change, whether individually (by taking home a chicken he was going to witness being slaughter and adopting a plant based vegan diet), or as a society (by approaching environmentalist groups on how they view climate change and what we can do about it. Their responses were very similar. Basically, everyone “ignored” the negative consequences of factory farming on the planet, and instead blamed the oil tar sands, transportation, and burning fossil fuels as the leading cause for climate change. Howard Lyman, a former cattle rancher states “you can’t be an environmentalist and eat animal products, period.” This quote resonated with me. Everyday more people are becoming more environmentally friendly, but the average joe that started recycling and riding his bike to work likely doesn’t know that by eating his leftover spaghetti and meat sauce for lunch he is not only supporting factory farming practices but contributing to greenhouse emissions that are rising our planets temperature and slowly and surely killing our planet. Our planet is on life support, and “we need to make change, we must make change.” By eliminating animal products, you have the power to save 1100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 10 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and an animal’s life per day! That is a huge impact. The good news? You can start today.
You just have to start. Yes, adopting to a plant based vegan diet is recommended in this film but that is not necessarily easy or ideal for some people. By refusing to buy conventional meat products produced by factory farms, you are standing up for your beliefs, and your voice will be heard. Instead, buy your meats from local, organic farms, where the farmer’s name their animals, are passionate about their quality of life, and are raised humanely from birth to end of life.
A turning point in the film was when they showed the slaughtering of animals. Kip explained that if he, himself, couldn’t kill anything, then he doesn’t want anyone else killing anything either. Instead of filming a chicken being slaughtered after the chicken stopped producing eggs, he took the chicken home with him.
By adopting a more plant based diet, and decreasing your meat consumption, you are supporting the earth, and giving back to the planet that so graciously gave you a place to live. Be kind, be compassionate, and spread the word about the devastating effects on our earth and animal welfare. We can change the world, “we can do it, but we have to choose to do it.”