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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Burgers Are Ending the World, Says Cowspiracy

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge The Smiths sang that meat is murder, Anderson and Kuhn say it's also murdering the planet.
  • The Smiths sang that meat is murder, Anderson and Kuhn say it's also murdering the planet.

More than fossil fuel usage, more than fracking, more than overpopulation, livestock agriculture is the number one destroyer of our planet that Cowspiracy wants you to care about.

Directed by vegans Keegan Kuhn and Kip Anderson, the crowd-funded documentary reveals the "sustainability secret" which turns out to be a pile of self-indulgent, vegan propaganda.

Cowspiracy tells audiences that all the energy, water, and land that goes into dairy and cattle farming feeds into the gross amount of methane gas produced, and that is what is killing the planet. It's also what no environmental groups want to talk or know about, or so the film claims.

Focused on Anderson and his endeavors to get to the bottom of this agricultural mishappening, the film didn't teach me anything I hadn't already learned in my high school Advanced Placement Environmental Studies class. The documentary states that 660 gallons of water is needed to produce one hamburger. In addition to keeping the livestock hydrated, the water also goes into the feed they consume. Besides water, a lot of space is dedicated to farming animals, such as parts of the Amazonian Rainforest for cattle. The more trees bulldozed to make way for more cows, the less oxygen is produced and replaced by methane (basically cow farts).

Dressed down in plain, wrinkly tees and a dirty baseball cap (though he uses a Macbook Pro and has a San Francisco home with a beautiful view), Anderson visits Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and other environmental groups, as well as numerous farms and government officials. It's true that only one of the representatives says that livestock agriculture is the biggest issue and he did stump many of them with his questions, making them look stupid.

The "cowspiracy" Anderson is unfolding is also pretty basic: Agriculture is a business that's based on taking advantage of people's enjoyment of meat to the detriment of the planet.

Completely disappointed in his environmental peers for disregarding cow farts as Earth's nemesis, Anderson even looked at his Al Gore poster with disdain as he took it down.

The between-the-lines thesis of "meat eaters are the enemy" is backed by born-again vegans and former ranchers and farmers. Several clips of poaching and butchering animals reinforce this sentiment. There's even an unflattering shot of a heavy-set woman, a representative of Animal Agriculture Alliance, for what seemed like fat-shaming purposes (the audience came alive with laughter over the wide-angle shot). The film even goes to bash vegetarians since they're consumers of the delicious, but forbidden, dairy products. No one is safe from the vegan filmmakers' wrath.

One of the closing images is Anderson petting a cow with his voiceover saying "Instead of eating others, I'll eat for others." If that wasn't a complete self-pat-on-the-back, I don't know what is.

As I leaving the theater, a homeless woman asks for spare change so she "can buy a hamburger." Maybe Anderson could convince her to eat something else.

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Tiffany Do

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