|Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret|
|Directed by||Kip Andersen|
|Produced by||Kip Andersen|
|Edited by||Kip Andersen|
First Spark Media
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a 2014 documentary film which explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of a few environmental organizations on this issue. The film looks at various environmental concerns, including climate change, water use, deforestation, and ocean dead zones, and suggests that animal agriculture is the primary source of environmental destruction. The film has been criticised as being very misleading about the contribution of animal agriculture to climate change which has been assessed as being much less than stated in the film.
The documentary was directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, and explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of environmental organizations on this issue. Environmental organizations investigated in the film include Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, and Oceana.
The film was crowdfunded on IndieGoGo, with 1,449 contributors giving $117,092. This funding was 217% of their goal, and it allowed them to dub the film into Spanish and German and subtitle it into more than 10 other languages, including Chinese and Russian. Screenings are licensed through the distributor, as well as through the now-defunct Tugg Inc. website.
The following individuals were featured in the film:
- Michael Klaper (physician, author, advisor)
- Howard Lyman (former rancher, author, activist)
- lauren Ornelas (Food Empowerment Project)
- Michael Pollan (author, lecturer)
- William Potter (journalist)
- Kirk R. Smith (environmental health sciences)
- Josh Tetrick (founder of Hampton Creek)
- John Jeavons (biointensive agriculture advocate)
Cowspiracy won the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 South African Eco Film Festival, as well as the Best Foreign Film Award at the 12th annual Festival de films de Portneuf sur l'environnement. It was also nominated for Cinema Politica's 2015 Audience Choice Award.
Cowspiracy has been criticised for falsely claiming that animal agriculture is the primary source of both greenhouse gases and associated environmental destruction. Scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have consistently reached the consensus that the leading cause of anthropogenic warming is the combustion of fossil fuels accounting for about two-thirds of emissions, not animal agriculture.
Doug Boucher, reviewing the film for the Union of Concerned Scientists, disputed the film's assertion that 51% of global greenhouse gases are caused by animal agriculture. He described the 51% figure as being sourced from a 2009 Worldwatch Institute report by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, not from a peer-reviewed scientific paper. He claimed to have observed methodological flaws in Goodland and Anhang's logic, and said that the scientific community formed a consensus that global warming is primarily caused by humanity's burning of fossil fuels. He stated that the scientific consensus is that livestock contribute 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, far lower than the 51% stated by the film. A 2018 peer-reviewed meta-analysis found that a "no animal products" scenario would deliver a 28% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy—lower than the film's assertion of 51%, but higher than Boucher's claim of 15%.
- Environmental impact of meat production
- List of vegan media
- Livestock's Long Shadow
- Intensive animal farming
- Racing Extinction
- Holocene extinction
- The Sixth Extinction
- What the Health
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