New Internationalist

Beware Cowspiracy – and the spread of the vegan virus

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Marc Dalmulder under a Creative Commons Licence

Streaming giant Netflix recently launched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, a 90-minute documentary financed via the crowd-funding site Indiegogo and executive-produced by Hollywood star Leonardo di Caprio. It is the latest in a short line of factual features promoted by Netflix, which was prompted to make this acquisition by the huge number of people keying the title into its search box.

Since its internet release last August, the film has been triggering major behavioral change among young adults, an age group often labeled as apolitical and apathetic.  As friends and Facebook contacts recommend the film, young people watch it and by the time the end credits roll, they have resolved to become vegans or vegetarians.

 RELATED: Cowspiracy: stampeding in the wrong direction? By Danny Chivers

‘My friend Rob told me I had to see it as he knows how I feel about the terrifying loss of wildlife and habitats,’ said Matt Bidault, a 23-year-old British student who recently moved to Copenhagen to do a masters in climate change.

‘The film is so convincing, well-researched and shocking that I knew instantly I couldn’t ever eat meat or dairy products again. As an environmentalist, to be anything but vegan seems hypocritical.’

On his first day in Denmark, Matt met three other vegans, all ‘turned’ by watching the doc. ‘You come away from it feeling totally enlightened.’

Martijn Visser, a 22-year-old Dutch masters student, says ‘what shocked me is, they’re facts that you kind of know but never expected to be so big, unbelievable.’  

Conversations about food among young adults are starting to follow the same course: if someone says they have become vegetarian or vegan, people reply, ‘Cowspiracy?’, and nod knowingly.

The Cowspiracy Facebook page has 67,000 likes; both it and the video-sharing site Vimeo carry comments from around the world, with a good number declaring an instant conversion to veganism.  

So what’s at the root of the revolution? Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret was produced and directed by Californians Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn. The pair resorted to raising finance through crowd-funding, after their original backer pulled out.

Their original goal of $54,000 was over-pledged by 217%, with 1,449 people investing $117,092 in just one month. This extra funding allowed them to dub it into Spanish and German and subtitle it into more than 10 other languages, including Chinese and Russian.

Cowspiracy’s thrust is that agriculture is the most destructive industry in the world today, responsible for global warming, deforestation, droughts, murders of land activists – you name it, it all comes back to cows.

Anderson drew on research  from recent scientific reports published by such august organizations as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Worldwatch Institute and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Viewers are fed alarming facts at a fast and furious rate: livestock and their by-products account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions; animal agriculture is responsible for around 90% of Amazon destruction; 70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide and more than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour. And 1,100 activists have been killed in land disputes in Brazil during the past 20 years.  

Cowspiracy’s unique selling point is Anderson himself. An easy-going, regular guy in a baseball cap, he sets out on an investigative road-trip accompanied by Kuhn, keeping it real with a single camera.

In their sights are the environmental charities that are spending millions taking to task fossil-fuel and aviation companies, mining and logging giants, palm oil and paper producers, but that never mention – let alone challenge – the global agriculture industry.  

Rainforest Action Network, Oceana, Sierra Club, Amazon Watch – their executive directors squirm and waffle nervously under Anderson’s polite, persistent questioning, until they all reluctantly admit the culpability of global farming. Greenpeace comes off worst, refusing Anderson’s requests for interviews over and over in embarrassingly awkward PR jargon.

‘I was especially shocked by the power that the meat industry has to silence all big environmental organizations,’ said Visser.

The film is laugh-out-loud funny in places, mainly due to politicians and senior executives being backed into corners of their own making. It’s also look-away-gory as Anderson witnesses at close quarters a cow being brutally loaded onto a bulldozer for slaughter, and a sustainably-reared duck being bloodily beheaded by a blunt axe.

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The facts and stats underpinning the movie avoid the eco-yawn trap through jolly animation sequences: one acre of rainforest being cut down per second is shown as football fields replacing the trees, and the 660 gallons of water it takes to produce one beef-burger spring as a flood emitted from a man’s garden hose. 

Cowspiracy’s strong narrative has a thriller-like quality when Anderson starts to realize the formidable adversary that is the US agricultural industry – and that of Brazil too,  where people who stand up to ranchers tend to end up dead.  

Howard Lyman, an erudite ex-rancher who spent 2 years fighting lawsuits after speaking against the beef industry on the Oprah Winfrey show, leaves the duo in no doubt about what they are taking on. The withdrawal of their financial backer seems like the last straw.

But Anderson decides, in a messianic  way, that he has to keep going for the sake of the planet. Throughout the documentary, his assertions are never challenged – which is a weakness – but the quality of the interviews and the range of environmental subjects debunked – from sustainable fishing to fracking to organic farming – coupled with the seemingly solid statistics, enable him to get away with it.   

The film crescendos to an optimistic end, hailing the positive benefits of veganism – which is why so many young people come away from it promising to eschew meat, fish and dairy forever. And the evangelizing doesn’t stop there.

All over the internet, there are stories of teenagers forcing their parents to watch it, and of whole families turning vegan, or at least vegetarian, as a result. Committed carnivores admit to avoiding it in case it puts them off eating meat.

Anderson acknowledges: ‘It’s happening actually really, really fast. I think it’s just the fact that people didn’t know how much their diet does affect everything. And once you do know, you can never not know it. The film has been around for about a year, and it’s unbelievable the thousands of stories we’ve heard of people changing their diets after they know the truth.’

An absolutist position, perhaps, but one cannot deny the courage and persistence of the pair in shining a light on the murky complicity between politicians and the agricultural and fishing industries, and the cowardly impotence of the NGOs.  

Di Caprio’s involvement in the updated Netflix version reinforces Cowspiracy’s environmental credentials as well as upping its ‘cool’ quotient.

Ian Harper, a 22-year-old political philosophy student in Barcelona, said: ‘It’s hopeful: there’s an “obvious solution” to climate change which individuals can adopt right now.’

Matt Bidault concurs: ‘The film offers the viewer an alternative lifestyle where you feel completely selfless.’

And therein lies the secret of Cowspiracy’s appeal, especially to the disenfranchised, idealistic young.

With causes for climate change, pollution, loss of habitat, species decline and other environmental problems in the hands of self-serving governments and multinational corporations,  the idea that you can start changing the world NOW, by simply deciding to change your diet, is compelling and liberating.

Cowspiracy’s Indiegogo pitch document states: ‘Together, we aren’t just creating a movie, we are creating a movement.’ Right now, that movement seems to be on a roll.

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  1. #1 Paul Paz y Mino 24 Sep 15

    Cowspiracy actually does a great disservice to its stated cause. Rather than target the corporations responsible for deforestation, filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn created a film that smears environmental nonprofits and falsely accuses organizations of colluding with corporations to deny the impact of animal agriculture on our climate. This type of media is misguided, unethical and inadvertently detrimental to the environmental movement. Why? Because Andersen and Kuhn create false villains in the fight against climate change.

    When biased filmmakers and journalists neglect to do basic research, they are failing in their due diligence. This hurts us all. Let’s remember who the true climate threats are: mega-corporations with money and power, not donation-funded nonprofits working to defend our basic environmental and human rights. It’s counterproductive to the entire movement to be demonizing and falsely suggesting that NGOs have something to hide. The groups in the film work hard to be transparent in all that they do, and they do a lot with very little.

    It’s unfortunate and counterproductive that Andersen and his team chose to target environmental organizations instead of the animal agriculture industry. During this critical time, we need to build alliances to combat climate change, not adversaries.

  2. #2 pcuvie 24 Sep 15

    Cowspiracy is spot on. For far too long so-called Environmental organizations have been collecting money under the guise of caring for the environment. This documentary exposes those organizations as shams because it reveals that those orgs refuse to address the greatest environmental threat; the meat, egg and dairy industry. Collecting money to protect the South American Rainforest without telling people the driving force behind its destruction is the cattle industry means that orgs are collecting money for a non-solution. Although, by not addressing the driving force of the destruction the orgs have set themselves up for long term self-sustainability they have done so at the expense of the very environment they are collecting money to save. It is past due that someone has finally stepped-up to call out these pseudo environmental orgs for what they are; phonies. One has to wonder if the real reason these pseudo environmental orgs have refused to address the real problem is because their board and directors are directly contributing to the environmental destruction with their own dietary habits, and don't want to personally do what is right for the environment. If heads of environmental groups refuse to change their personal habits to save the environment then they have no business heading up an environmental org.; they are hypocrites simply duping a caring public. Cowspiracy has done what environmental groups have refused to do; give the caring public the truth regarding environmental destruction and the means to personally effect change through a change in lifestyle. Cowspiracy will change the paradigm of environmental groups, by exposing their convenient and comfortable non-solutions. Thanks to Cowspiracy we now might have a chance to actually stop our destruction of the environment.

  3. #3 George Meade 24 Sep 15

    We swore off meat about 7 years ago not because of this but because our body run better eating fresh Vegas and only organic nonGMO. I over came hept C eating a plant diet 12 years ago. I told the docs eating this and meditation of chanting Nam Myoho Range Kyo and he said that has nothing to do with this.I having had cold in 7 years when the weather changed I always did. No vacs. Thank you for caring about everything.

  4. #4 Wyle 24 Sep 15

    Good article!

    If vegan is the virus, killing and eating dead animals surely must be the plague!

  5. #5 stewart lands 24 Sep 15

    Ordinarily I would not take issue with the vegan assertion that eating plants rather than meat is an environmentally conscientious choice, and therefore morally correct. It cannot be denied that eating lower on the food chain enables mankind to reduce his impact on his environment.

    However, there are two aspects of the vegan mindset that require re-evaluation in this respect. The first is simply one of consistency. If the environmental argument favoring a plant diet (expressed above) precludes the consumption of meat, then it also requires that we consider the relative impacts of our non-meat food choices. How do we criticize meat consumption as unnecessarily destructive to our environment and then never blink an eye as we consume almonds, cashews, kiwis, bananas and the other plant delicacies which we favor? The production and transport of these, too, place an unnecessarily large burden on the environment, and therefore native animal species, yet we ignore this. Why? Can we really claim moral superiority on the grounds of environmental impact when we, too, fail to select the most sustainable foods simply in the interest of pleasing our own taste buds? Or, must we concede that environmental impact is but a minor motivator for our choice? If this is the case, then upon what foundation does the claim of moral superiority lie if environmental consideration is not foremost among them? Is it possible that we subordinate environmental health to our own selfish preferences? If so, then we must recognize and acknowledge our true priorities.

    The second error is in standing in opposition to the consumption of wild fish and game. Certainly, hunting and fishing necessarily result in animal death, but are they somehow worse that the even greater (and necessary) animal death that results from agriculture? If we consider the animal hunted we find that it is immediately replaced by another individual that would otherwise have perished of competitive pressures for food and cover if not for the death of the first. Nature always breeds more animals than habitat can support, and the removal of these ’excess’ animals has no impact on animal populations or on the habitat that sustains them.

    Agriculture, on the other hand, destroys every individual, of every major species, inhabiting the landscape affected--if not by the crush of the plow, then by starvation upon being displaced. With agriculture, the habitat animals require is destroyed and replaced by exotic plants that serve no species besides man. Farmers go to lengths to ensure that no native ’pests’ ever again regain a foothold. How is this morally superior to the removal of a few individuals by well-regulated hunting?

    Agriculture is understood to be the single greatest source of greenhouse gases, and the foremost cause of extinction, world-wide. Consider the millions of acres of forest, grassland and wetland converted to environmental wastelands; the millions of tons of chemicals dumped into our air, water and soil, and the billions of gallons of fresh water diverted from aquatic ecosystems for agricultural purpose. It should be our goal to reduce, not increase, our reliance on such land-intensive food production strategies. While hunting cannot support the entire human population, it certainly can support many, and every meal taken in a sustainable manner from wild lands alleviates pressure to convert these lands to agriculture for the purpose of providing those meals.

    Why, then, do we criticize the rural resident who steps off his back porch and into the woods to shoot a deer or turkey rather than drive sixty miles in each direction to the nearest grocery store? Is it because we fail to observe the impact of agriculture? Do we deny the elimination of entire plant and animal communities evicted from fields and orchards as we go breezing down the produce aisle? The day will come, long after the last deer season has been closed for lack of game, that we may step outside to gaze upon endless fields of broccoli and beans and wonder where all the wildlife has gone. Will we then blame the hunter? Will we still claim environmental motives for our choice?

    Although Cowspiracy does a good job of drawing attention to the destruction wrought by mankind in feeding himself, it lacks the critical circumspection that reality demands. It is, and should be recognized as, propaganda brought forth by those opposing the propagandists of the ’Beef--It's What's for Dinner’ Society.

  6. #6 Crystal 25 Sep 15

    Good article, but I don't understand the title. Is it meant to be sarcastic?

  7. #7 ciderpunx 25 Sep 15

    > If the environmental argument favoring a plant diet (expressed above) precludes the consumption of meat, then it also requires that we consider the relative impacts of our non-meat food choices.

    Sure its worth considering the *relative* impact.

    The relative impact of rearing an animal is a couple of orders of magnitude greater than growing and moving bananas, kiwis or whatever round the world.

    That's not to say that eating food grown locally isn't better -- it often is. Just that the difference between non-local veg and local veg is negligible when compared to the difference between dead animal flesh and veg.

    > If we consider the animal hunted we find that it is immediately replaced by another individual that would otherwise have perished of competitive pressures for food and cover if not for the death of the first. Nature always breeds more animals than habitat can support, and the removal of these ’excess’ animals has no impact on animal populations or on the habitat that sustains them.

    That's why the dodo is not extinct. Oh, wait...

  8. #8 Jacob sammons 25 Sep 15

    I am on the fence for both sides but I am meat eater and a farmer and I think the numbers in this film are outrageously exaggerated. On the amount of grain and water it takes to make a hamburger.

  9. #9 Allen 25 Sep 15

    Entertaining movie, almost as entertaining as reading the comments of the trolls who try to play down the impact of their consumption of animal protein with irrelevant points. Ex:

    ’This movie is wrong because almonds and cashews are bad too’

    ’It's not my fault, it's corporations to blame’

    ’Stop picking on the Sierra club and Green Peace’

    Lol...

  10. #10 AlisonH 25 Sep 15

    Reply to Crystal.
    Thanks for your nice comment. I wrote the piece but NOT the headline and I agree, it is confusing. I am not sure why they decided on that. Maybe it is supposed to be sarcastic but I wish another had been chosen. Sorry!
    Alison

  11. #11 Eleanor 25 Sep 15

    I have been emailing all the environmental groups and writers and several politicians about why they are not addressing the elephant in the room that is the meat and dairy industry - I live in CA and we are the middle of a terrible drought - and yet nobody is talking about the meat and dairy industry and the amount of water that they use. For me, I don't care why people stop eating animals as long s they do - and if we can get them to do it because of a concern for the environment, then that is awesome. Now we need to change the subsidies that are awarded to the meat and dairy industry. That would make things very very different!

  12. #12 Rob 25 Sep 15

    I agree that the title of this article makes this sound like an article condemning veganism. I was glad to see that it was actually a very well-written documentary review. I really love New Internationalist, but they have published some pretty bad articles about vegetarianism in the past, so it was really nice to see this one here. Thank you for the article!

  13. #13 Holly 26 Sep 15

    Thanks I'll have to check it out!

  14. #14 KissimmeeDisney 27 Sep 15

    This is one VIRUS that this planet NEEDS! #Veganmovement

  15. #15 Barbara Ann 27 Sep 15

    I loved how this documentary started out with the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: ’In the end, it is not the words of our enemies we'll remember, but the silence of our friends.’ Our environmental ’friends’ should think hard about their continued silence.

  16. #16 Matt 27 Sep 15

    What a fantastic doc this is - great to see that so many people are inspired by it!

  17. #17 William Cooper 27 Sep 15

    Had become vegetarian (mostly vegan). Am thrilled to see someone bravely uncover the meat and ag industry greed and corruption. tried finding the cowspiracy web site and got the message this website does not exist. Can you help with finding you? i'd like to join.
    Bill Cooper

  18. #18 Tori 27 Sep 15

    In reply to Paul Paz y Mino, I see your point that on the surface it seems like this documentary has damaged the reputation of those organizations that help the environment.

    Unfortunately, I would argue that their behavior in this documentary demonstrates that they do not deserve a reputation for helping. This documentary brought to light just how ineffectual these organizations have been in addressing the real problems plaguing our environment. These organizations, like any other, have to answer to “the powers that be” (their sponsors) and in this case, those “powers” are big agribusiness who are the worst polluters on the planet! (Seeing as how corporations have a stronghold in the lobbies of congress, it is not surprising to find out that big agribusiness has influence on just about every single environmental protection group!) In a way, these organizations have become the puppets of big agribusiness, misleading people into thinking that they are doing something meaningful to help the environment when they are not. In fact, they are actually compounding the problem because they are helping to protect the interests of big agribusiness!

    Furthermore, the very existence of these organizations is dangerous because they create a phenomenon sort of like the “Meatless Mondays” that Dr. Richard Oppenlander talks about towards the end of “Cowspiracy.” For many, these environmental organizations are perceived as a panacea for our problem. These organizations give people a false sense that they are actually doing something effective to help the environment when donating to them. It gives people a sense of “Well, I donate money to these organizations so I do enough. In fact, I give them a lot of money so I’m doing a lot to help the environment. I don’t have to do anything else.”

    This documentary was excellent in pointing out the real truth which is that our reliance on these organizations is not working and we need to find other solutions to the problem. We, the citizens of the earth, cannot expect to eschew our responsibility for the problem because we throw money at these impotent institutions. It demonstrated that the REAL responsibility and POWER lies with each individual. That the choices that each one of us makes in our everyday lives ultimately affect the entire planet. Real change comes from the bottom and floats to the top! The only way to affect big agribusiness is if enough of us dictate what we want them to do via our pocketbook. If we want them to cease polluting our planet, we as consumers have to quell this insatiable and unsustainable appetite for animal products and refuse to buy their crap!

  19. #19 Teresa 28 Sep 15

    Realising that it's unjust to enslave, use, commodify and murder sentient beings simply because they look different, think different and can't consent, should be enough reason for anyone to be vegan. Being vegan is the *least* anyone can do for fundamental justice.

  20. #20 Charles Ballard 28 Sep 15

    I've been totally meat free for over four years now. After viewing this film, I am ready to let go of fish and dairy finally. Thank You

  21. #21 Ray Kowalchuk 28 Sep 15

    I started being a vegetarian after watching Forks over Knives in November '14. I saw Cowspiracy in January '15 and I knew that this was a crisis that we can't wait for the governments and environmental NGOs to get out from under the thumb of animal agriculture. I knew that individuals had to solve this problem, so I went vegan and our kitchen went vegan. A grassroots organization called Climate Vegan started the same month and I volunteer myself for the cause; my wife is heading a chapter of Veg Up, a support group for new vegans. Climate Vegan have disrupted Al Gore and Climate Reality (presenting him with a DVD copy of Cowspiracy) and Naomi Klein (putting a Cowspiracy fact sheet in the hand of every patron at the Toronto premiere of This Changes Everything). The fact that I, a volunteer environmentalist, have a smaller water and carbon footprint than people whose bills are paid by their climate-minded organizations, doesn't sit well with me. It shouldn't sit well with you. A vegan diet has the least environmental impact. If your organization cannot utter this fact, if they can't disprove it, then their integrity is compromised. How dare they accuse climate deniers of blind spots? The world needs heroes who tell the Truth, not opportunists who have a selective slice of truth to tell.

  22. #22 Christopher 29 Sep 15

    Speaking of bulldozers, the only power we as Americans have is what we spend our hard earned money on. I say Americans because it is us yanks that started all the trouble!

  23. #23 Mary Nieciecka 30 Sep 15

    Wow, in all fairness, where is your blog about the lies the ag industry gets to perpetuate on a daily basis to the younger generation via mainstream media and in schools none the less? Thankfully, the next generation will not make the same mistakes we made and not be dependent on the pharmaceutical industry, bedfellas of the ag industry.

  24. #24 Kelly 01 Oct 15

    I wish people understood that vegetarianism has the same negative impact and directly supports the meat industry. And that dairy cows are treated the most cruelly. GO VEGAN. You might as well eat meat if you are a vegetarian. There is plenty of info on the net if you want to know why.

    Veganism is the future, veganism is essential and it is a (r)evolution on so many levels. Environmentally, health-wise, money-saving, and for me especially, respect for sentient non-human animals. Veganism can change the world and in the most peaceful way possible. Just make an informed personal choice to care and change. So simple and the more people who make this change, its effect is staggering.

  25. #25 Vegan Shift 02 Oct 15

    Article Highlight:
    ’Committed carnivores admit to avoiding it in case it puts them off eating meat.’

    Response:
    FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

    ’Committed Carnivores’ actually deserve to be called out for their abdication of responsibility as global citizens for avoiding becoming informed. Willful ignorance merely because their conscience might actually be capable of overriding their self-serving, violent, addiction, or that enables a continued apathy to muster behavioral change for the greater good of the people, the planet, and the animals is unacceptable. A vegan shift in behavior is actually the responsible and rational reaction to becoming informed of the systems driving our collective destuction.

    Humans are NOT carnivores, at the best grasp at straws- they are behavioral omnivores. Even that language requires a reality check, not a continued re-enforcement of the collective entitled ego and superiority complex that has gotten us to this culture driving ecological collapse and 6th global extinction level event as 150-200 species die off forever, daily- 1000 times the natural rate of extinction. Note: This is the first extinction actually created by the insanity and total denial of species indigenous to the planet.

    FACT: Vegans don't live a life of stinking deprivation. They live a life consistent with universal ethics & values (peace, love, kindness, truth, justice, liberty and the right to pursue happiness for all earthlings) and have delicious, healthier (for self and ecology) sustainable, nonviolent, alternatives. They live a life of adventure and discovery with new, delicious, healthier, sustainable, consistent-with-their-ethics alternatives for the foods they know, crave and love so much. Tradition can be modernized and adapted for the reality that we have 7.3 billion people and growing everyday.

    Empowerment: Delicious Meat, Dairy and Egg Alternatives can be found at thegentlechef dot com

    Since when does a destructive taste preference, culture, tradition, personal freedom, corporate interests, habit or addiction ever trump personal responsibility and commitment to social justice for continued survival for ours and future generations on earth?

    Time to get real.

    Vegan is more than a diet. Vegan is more than a lifestyle. Vegan is a consciousness grounded in empathy that determines an ethic that drives all behavior.

  26. #26 JJ 05 Oct 15

    I'm happy with the spreading of this ''virus''

  27. #27 Cassy 07 Oct 15

    I dont think its doing a disservice marely pointing out there focussing on the wrong thing if they want to make a big enough change for the environment, a lot of them know the facts and choose to do nothing about it. A minority have died fighting for what they believe, justice would be served by the big organisations taking on the issue, they cant kill everyone.I think its great people are willing to go vegan to help the environment but on a large scale targeting the reduction of meat consumption would be the way forward as a lot of people like meat and would not be up for such a big change.

  28. #28 Graham 07 Oct 15

    I have to say as with every documentary people write rubbish. There are two sides to every story.
    I live in New Zealand, I rear my own cattle ( and eat them ) on organic land no sprays or fertiliser, we even use our own bio diesel to run our machines ( which I make from waste veg oil ). We also grow our own fruit and vegs. We don’t have any irrigation on our farm. We grow and sell over a 1000 fruit trees and help people grow their own vegs.

    How do you help the people around you ?

    All around us there are avocado and kiwi fruit orchards, to export them they HAVE to have a spray program. Any organic orchards produce is treated on entry to other countries to stop bugs entering. Nearly all avocados are injected with chemicals to stop root rot. They are irrigated all summer long as are many crops. Some orchards have 400 times the recommended soil copper content due to ‘organic copper’ sprays.

    Rather than sit on your arse at home bitching about how everyone else is different and does things you don’t like. Get off you backside and grow your own food. It’s not hard ( yea right ! ) it’s a choice real people make, to do real things not sit in a nice clean city waiting for you food to be delivered or go purchase it in a supermarket all packaged up in plastic.

    The basic problem is people are inherently lazy, why grow your own when you can go down the shops and buy food, do they care where / how it’s produced ? Will they pay more for morally grown food ? Unfortunately the answer is no.
    Cheap sugar filled food is the norm, most of the younger generation don’t care they are more interested in the latest mobile phone and does it take good selfies.

    Does agriculture create 50% of all green house gases ? I can’t say for sure after all it’s impossible to really work it out, these are only estimates at best. The difference is that to rear a cow requires grass which uses CO2 to grow, fruit uses CO2 to grow ( see a pattern forming ?), making a new phone ( or any goods you can think of ) does nothing but create CO2.

    You don’t need a new phone every year but you still buy it anyway, who cares it’s only a phone, right ? But everyone needs food.

    Another little fact that veg eaters don’t think about most veg / fruit crops are sprayed with insecticides so we don’t have to share with the caterpillars of the world, this is causing a world wide bee disaster far more important than eating cows, all ready in parts of China they are pollinating whole orchards by hand as there are no bees left.

    No Bees = no fruit = big problem for the human race.

    Best get your own house sorted before you try to convert other people.

    Also are vegans better than any one else ? No, we are all equal. What you do with your knowledge is more important than boasting superiority because you think you are better.

    Most religions say being modest is important, try it.

    Things to check out:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.html
    http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/29/studies-link-pesticides-to-plunging-bee-populations/

  29. #29 RedJess 14 Oct 15

    great article but bad title - editors did you have to be so divisive?

  30. #30 Blee 18 Oct 15

    The title made me look! I thought the article was coming from a different angle. Indeed a powerful documentary, let's hope that the virus continues to spread.

  31. #31 Luke 22 Oct 15

    I watched Cowspiracy 2 days ago and today is the first day in my attempt at eating a vegan (or near vegan) diet. I'm a 47 year old man. This documentary is dangerous for all of us, not just the young.

    Let's change the world.

  32. #32 Robert Beaulieu 26 Oct 15

    As a one time organic beef producer and lifelong ''environmentalist'' I was quite shaken by the film although I did question some of the technical aspects. In southern Québec, free ranging 15 cows + calves + 1 bull on 250 acres (hay included,no grain whatsoever) never seemed to do any harm as long as streams where fenced. Surrounded by forest our farm's main problem with water was an overabundance of it. It usually rains like crazy here.But we are talking about a global problem and animal agriculture is more often than not done in less than ideal conditions to say the least. I have a question about a basic premise of the film however and that is the factor by wich methane is worse than carbon dioxide for it's negative effects on the atmosphere. The highest number I heard or read about before seeing the film was 28. Andersen says it's 80x worse in the film. This number is very important, all the graphics in the film are based on this. Lastly, I think it's too bad that the environmental protection agencies are portrayed as the bad guys in the film. It's so bad that I started thinking ''false flag attack''? Maybe this is pro oil and gas propaganda ? Maybe they should have been given a little bit of time to consult and come up with a more thoughtfull response and perhaps policy changes.

  33. #33 Chindidees 27 Oct 15

    I don't understand why this article is calling veganism a 'virus'? The writing criticises the documentary without providing reasoning as to why it's a bad idea to invest in the message it's sending out. I don't get the point of this article.

  34. #34 Michael_a_vegan 04 Nov 15

    Well, I actually didn't like Cowspiracy so much. It's packed with facts which no one can actually check.
    The best reason to go vegan is the moral aspect of the matter. I mean the mean and torturous ways of keeping in confinement, forced multiplication, deprivation of families, and eventual merciless murder of those poor living creatures, who are by far better than humans, and smarter, and more deserving to live long and happy lives.
    That's why I prefer ’Earthlings’ by Shaun Monson. Only hidden-cam facts of how far this madness of ours has gone. A real heart-breaker.

  35. #35 Rick Malley 04 Nov 15

    So, uncited stats and vegan propaganda?

    Got told to check this out by a friend, who henceforth will be relegated to the nitwit category.

  36. #36 P1nc 17 Nov 15

    Funny that this is considered ground braking... to be honest this must be movie nr 2.152 about this subject..

    Its good that this movie gets a lot of attention ... but lets face the real problem... our media are WHORES!

    They will write anything their financiers tell them and wont publish anything they dont like... you will never get the truth from them...and unfortunatly still 85 % of this world (estimate) is relying on this media show for their ’truth’ which of course they will get catered to the benefit of the most rich of this planet...

    Ive been a vegan for many years ... however I do eat meat again some times... the problem is most people want to eat meat every day... and that is not just bad for environment but not good for your body either... you dont have to go totally vegan ... I dare say meat from time to time is good for you... as long as its not drugged meat...like most super market meat... go to a butcher ! Get REAL fresh meat... not that fake shit in super markets

    Be concious what you eat, drink and consume... most people scream murder about what these companies do when they find out, but happily buy their products ...

  37. #37 john bakula 22 Nov 15

    I am 65 years old, and have been a vegetarian for 35 years. After watching cowspiracy I am giving up all dairy and eggs.
    this doc focused a laser beam of enlightenment on the fuzzy knowledge I had on agribusiness. This could make a difference in a seemingly hopeless environmental disaster.

  38. #38 Sabrina 25 Nov 15

    Great thanks for this one sided opinion. Now my anorexic daughter can go into an even greater tailspin !!!!

  39. #39 Leon 25 Nov 15

    Paul Paz y Mino

    Interviewing agricultural companies would not help to get the point across. Asking them what the leading cause of climate change is and them saying 'fossil fuels' wouldn't have any sort of an impact - of course they aren't going to admit that they're industry is ruining the planet.

    It is important because it will pressure the environmental NGOs that are making a difference to the planet to do something about animal agriculture too. It doesn't paint them as villains, but illustrates how big of an issue it is that it can't be tackled by environmental NGOs alone - but requires people to actually make a change to their diet choices.

  40. #40 jess 01 Dec 15

    *confused*, Greenpeace often talks about meat being an issue for the environment, why does the movie suggest they're hiding facts about meat?

  41. #41 Susan Keirns 05 Dec 15

    Response to Stewart Lands - I did not watch the 90 min version but did see the statistics (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B-_xH0Xmho)

    The difference to your first point is scale of destruction. Eating almonds, cashews, kiwis, bananas etc may also adversely impact environment but their farming and processing are not dumping incredible amounts of methane in the air. Se the you tube video site above for the important distinction.

    To your second point, I am not aware of anyone against shooting a turkey in your back yard instead of driving far to store to buy. I also don't know of anyone suggestion deer hunting or fishing for one's own food is wrong. If this 90 min version of the movie suggests this then I am glad I did not see it.

    Again, watch You Tube stats above.. so far in my research it seems plausible. It will take every human to become an activist to get us out of this mess. We need to start a movement... everyone should eat at least half the beef they normally eat to start and if they can go further great. If we could decrease cattle farming by half (I'm not talking about small farms with a few cows) maybe we can leave the energy/fossil fuel issue to Bill Gates and his friends.

  42. #42 Peter Austin 11 Dec 15

    C'mon Paul, (Paz y Mino)

    Your real ’beef’ with this is that you don't want to be ’put off’ your steak and kidney pie isn't it? :)

    This important film doesn't set out to bash the environmental groups, it merely serves to wake them up, and to have them ’man-up’ (become truly/fully courageous) so that they stop shying away from reality, and the corrupt and dangerous lobbyists.

    The intended outcome of this film is the (continued) positive evolution of mankind, (seems time we change that phrase too) and, like it or not, IT IS well on it's way!

    Bone appetit!! (and yes I spelled that correctly)

  43. #43 bob mortimer 11 Dec 15

    Have to agree with many here. NGOs receive millions and create very little change from it; missing the key issues and towing the line of whatever generates the most funding for them. NGOs need a shake up and this film hints at that. Also, the conversions of vegans speaks for itself. It's probably already had a bigger impact on the world that most of the NGOs mentioned have for years!

  44. #44 mia 16 Dec 15

    i suggest anyone concerned with these issues watch Rosa Koire's talk about Agenda 21.

    I am personally very concerned about the environment and 100% against factory farming but I have lived in rural areas near multi generational cattle ranchers and have seen a very different, positive side to the meat industry that does not harm the environment. Unless you've seen these more positive practices in person I understand that it's difficult to image.

    However, regardless, there are clearly issues in the environment that need to be addressed. The problem is that the solutions which the US Govt and the UN will offer will not be in our best interest. We should all be discussing the details of Agenda 21 which in essence is the UN's solution. This solution is not going to benefit us, it will only benefit those in power.


    Rosa Koire Agenda 21 -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ykELwj1Ta8&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

  45. #45 Dr Wang 19 Dec 15

    What I find strange about this article is the terrifying warning in the headline, coupled with the smug, belittling writing style, and yet not a single coherent argument to discredit the vision of the film or any of the statistics it provides.

    In fact, by highlighting its popularity and effective methods of persuasion, this article adds weight to the idea that Cowspiracy may well be worth paying real attention to.

    By using the term ’disenfranchised, idealistic young’ the writer appears cynical without foundation, presumptuous, and perhaps bitter. Could it be that the film has irked a meat eater now uncomfortable with their own diet? Denial is a powerful emotion.

  46. #46 Laura Slitt 21 Dec 15

    Vegan virus? Hmmmm. Fascinating to consider the most humane, healthy, non-violent, disease preventing diet in human history as a virus, especially since EVERY real viral infection came to humans through animals. What a boon for the pharmaceutical empire that also built its power and GDP off the consideration that humans have some inalienable claim to take what were once wild beings, and turn them into machines to produce all that flesh, eggs, dairy and seafood currently threatening public health and the life force on earth in unprecedented ways.
    The ’virus’ that developed into an earthly cancer is the sheer hubris, arrogance, posture that human mammals profit from a food system that gave rise to diseases seen in children at such young ages, and that instead of doing what is moral and healthy, economic interests spew more cancer in all the dis-information being circulated as truth, like this article.

    Measure methane in the atmosphere all over factory farm states.
    Waste lagoons? How many dotting the US and how many gallons of disgusting manure, blood, urine, chemical residues are held in them? When they overflow?
    How much fossil fuel is used to transport so called farmed animals to the concentration camp chambers where they are brutally slaughtered after hours and days in extreme weather with NO food, water, terrified, injured, weak, sick, maybe dead before they reach the death camps?
    How much land is used to grow GM crops to pump into farmed animals when nutrients from plant foods is much healthier, as all the ultra-marathon runners, body builders, NFL linemen, and other VEGAN athletes know?
    Vegan virus? I dare argue that viruses, avian flu, swine flu, MRSA, SARs, Chicken Pox, and other looming and mutating viruses that sicken and KILL humans, do not originate in produce, but they DO originate in animals and mutate to humans. I dare argue that feeding farmed animals millions of tons of antibiotics, FDA approved (thanks FDA for setting up the potential for a pandemic viral infection that could wipe out millions of humans and thanks to resistance, caused the grotesque mass killings of billions of young birds, 48 million just last year)over the last decades, threatens MORE LIVES than any act of terrorism ever will and has probably already taken more than so called terrorism EVER WILL!
    Not only is the real cancer our attitudes towards the lives and well being of other sentient beings who live and die in unnatural HELL due to our domination of their bodies, reproductive organs, and brutal abduction of their young, it is made worse that articles such as this solve nothing in the imminent need to end animal agriculture and the cancer of morality and mentality that allowed it to flourish and create the economies of death, disease, and war!
    Interesting words, CARNISM, CARNAGE, CARNE, CANCER!!!
    As a vegan since reading Gail Eisnitz book, Slaughterhouse, in 2001, promoted by reading a Washington post article, 'They DIE PIECE BY PIECE,’, going vegan was the easiest and most empowering act to say NO to animal violence and rape, NO to animal cruelty and perverting the most sacred bond, and no to the diet of death.

  47. #47 Ruth Riddle 24 Dec 15

    I am a committed vegan. Conspiracy adds environmental to my position as an ethical vegan. We owe a great debt of gratitude to its producers. Now we need the politicians to listen and act. We are in a revolution. Each person can make a difference. Just stop eating animals and their products. Stop wearing leather. It's pure capitalism. Supply and demand. As we cease eating animals, the demand will increase for all the wonderful vegan foods. The meat, egg and dairy industry will convert to the production of sustainable and kind foods. We can cure hunger around the world. As we become a kinder, gentler world in our food choices, other cruelties and wars will cease. One by one, we can do this!!

  48. #48 Genevieve 02 Jan 16

    Best thing to watch!! Kip is 100% right. Go Vegan. Quit eating all that unhealthy meat and chicken!! It causes cancer and a lot of health issues. Wake up America!!

  49. #49 brian gamble 07 Jan 16

    There are certain forms of protein farming that are actually good for the environment, such as sustainable oyster and mussel farming. These filter feeders clean the water, improving aquaplant O2 yield, decreasing nitrogen in the water and provide habitat for other species. If you can't go full vegan eat more mussels and oysters.

  50. #50 helen faraday young 12 Jan 16

    I found parts of the documentary very hard to watch.

    However the V.V.(vegan virus) spread into our household early this morning.

    Thank you Kip, Keegan and all the supporters of the film and the movement.

  51. #51 Chris Keene 15 Jan 16

    It's a strange title for the article, sounding as if it was going to take apart the film. I was waiting for criticisms based on scientific facts, and got none. Instead it was largely supportive

  52. #52 amicus curiae 15 Jan 16

    groan..made with good intentions I guess.
    and did they stop to consider the land needed to provide food FOR the vegans? meat etc are protien intense so we eat less of it, to go vegan and do the grains nuts n veg thing, the areas needed to provide that would be the same if not more than used presently
    ..and you remove the animals and their waste, and their ability to USE what we cant eat? process and add nutrients and biota that enhance soils etc..
    dicaprio:-) LOL mr jet in show off n fly out..oh yeah hes green...as those that believe his guff are.

  53. #53 Fact 15 Jan 16

    amicus curiae:

    Actually no, you are wrong. The measure you are looking for is called ’edible protein per unit area of land’. Soybans will get you 40g per square metre, and Rice will get you about 29g. Beef will get you about 2g.

    You would need an order of magnitude less land to produce the same amount of protein.

  54. #54 paul 17 Jan 16

    'Beware Cowspiracy'....'vegan virus'......What a terrible title!

  55. #55 Farmer Giles 22 Jan 16

    It's hard to argue against adopting a plant-based diet when the science as revealed in this doco is so convincing. I'm glad I'm alive to see this evidence become public. Even the US diatetic association is acknowledging that a plant based diet is the way forward. See Vegan mic on youtube to see the myths around the supposedly necessary ingesting of meat being debunked. If the tobacco companies can get away with selling their product even today, the fight against agri-business will be a long one. They are prepared to kill (Brasil).
    This is long overdue, they are also killing the goose that lays their golden egg - the planet.

  56. #56 Planet X 23 Jan 16

    Militant and vigilante vegans & some vegetarians are an absolute selfish, self serving, self-defeating joke. Feel so bad about what the real world and reality is all about huh?….then go seek professional psychiatric help or counselling to help you with your mental psychological problems and stop trying to take out your frustrations on normal, balanced, omnivorous humans. Some vegans are very smart and sensible about their life choices and the way they integrate with the majority of the human race, so my advice is not targeted at those good natured people, only to the dumb, rude and hypocritical vegans…a lot of them out there no doubt. Here is a line they use often…. “You meat eaters react to us vegans negatively to hide your obvious guilt”. Hee Hee…. What a load of rubbish. It is the vegans and most vegetarians who actual feel very guilty ….that is why the majority of them switched over from meat eating etc. Go and sulk over the realization of your futility somewhere else and leave humans alone. If you vegans and vegetarians want to win over people with your views and arguments, treat all people with respect and tolerance and show that you are rational and reasonable in your views willing to engage in mature meaningful discussion, otherwise you are just going to be ignored. Omnivores will more likely respect and listen to intelligent and mature people, not dumb disrespectful vegans who give the ‘vegan-movement’ a bad name.
    Myself…I don’t mind killing and cooking animals for food. Better than eating then alive and raw (YUK!)… like Lions in the wild are able to do with ease. Most humans on planet earth are omnivores, been so for thousands of years. Vegans… lemme see, been around for a relatively short time, are mostly white, young females from affluent first world cities/societies. Not surprising. Like any cultural virus, veganism will slowly spread over the planet but unlikely to have much of an impact, as it's demise is due to its lame premise.

  57. #57 Rus 27 Jan 16

    The filmmaker's pointed out in the beginning of the film that our population has dramatically increased in the last 200 years. They jumped to the conclusion that our environmental problems are caused by our meat consumption. When in reality we have a planet that has gained over 6 billion people in a relatively short amount of time. Consider that in the 1950's, America in particular, was on a meat based diet and yet no one had to worry about all of the environmental problems that we now face do to global warming. Was it really the diet? Or the explosion in population? I think it is fine for the film to advocate for a vegan diet, but it is not focusing on the root cause of all of our problems. Until we advocate for people having less children we will be stuck in an endless cycle of trying to find band aids to fix our environment.

  58. #58 Vladimir Illych 31 Jan 16

    I eat a vegan diet, but I found Kip Anderson to be so annoyingly smug and self-righteous at the beginning of the film that I couldn't bear to watch it to the end. The way he treated those poor water conservation guy who work for the California state government was really terrible. It was pretty clear he ambushed them. They aren't the bad guys, Kip.

  59. #60 Nidia Merced 08 Feb 16

    He told the truth, he went to well know green organations for help, more knowledge n how to he can help more in improving climate change. This oranganizations did it all to themselves by not reaching out to him. I am not making a movie but I'm pretty sure they would have done the same to me if what I wanted to talk about was about cows and how they I inpack our earth. I would rather have these organizations at least listen n explore the potential for any thing that does contribute to climate change from anyone one who has a concern or an idea. They showed themselves to be like big business neglecting what the stand for. He didn't employ anything they did it to themselves, hope they learn a lesson. Inclusion n truthfulness.

  60. #62 Lucy 20 Feb 16

    Excuse me but why is the title of this article so negative? I mean, most of the info about the movie within the article is just facts so why add an opinionated title? Why call veganism a virus? It's just a lifestyle, not an illness (personally I believe it's on the contrary). Oh, and about the 'gory' scenes in the movie - apart from ONE and very short scene about killing a duck (you can skip it, it's between 70:00 and 72:30) there are is nothing 'disgusting' - why would the author lie to people, I don't get it.

    The thing is - if you don't like the movie, it's okey because it is your choice and opinion but don't manipulate people into not watching it.

    I definitely recommend people to watch the movie just to acquire some knowledge. What are you going to do after watching it just your personal choice. Nobody will force you to go vegan. It's just some of the facts in the movie give a lot to think about.

  61. #63 Terre Dunivant 21 Feb 16

    I've been an environmental activist for decades, a vegetarian for over 20 years and a vegan for the past four years, but Cowspiracy kicked my butt. I couldn't sleep the night I watched it; just paced and marveled that I hadn't realized how bad agribusiness really is. I'd just setup a recurring donation to Greenpeace but called the next day to cancel, citing their wholly inadequate response to Cowspiracy's producers. I've since donated to Greenpeace again, after their action in Portland to prevent Shell's oil rigs from leaving the harbor, but cancelled my long-time membership in another environmental group that won't stop having BBQ fundraisers. This is a powerful film. Setting aside the terrible animal abuse committed by agribusiness, I feel that environmentalists who continue to eat animals are not serious about protecting the Earth.

  62. #64 peter LF 27 Feb 16

    Cowspiracy is vegan propaganda - nothing more. If people actually fact checked the things that are said, you'd probably be more confused about what the message is, rather than just ’feeling enlightened’ as some put it.

    The fact that people now think they know a lot about something they didn't know before, doesn't mean these things are true in any way. There is no doubt this video is persuasive - but it's just incorrect in many places. Think about one thing for starters: if you compare foods based on weight and not nutritional content, how are you planning on commenting on these foods as foodstuffs and not just as a weight measure of produce? And if something takes up more space - doesn't it command an unusually large expense in transportation? There are loads of these little things that aren't seemingly commented on, because everything is needed to point fingers at cows.

    Well, sadly - if only reality was that simple.

  63. #65 andrew 10 Mar 16

    I am huge meat eater and watched the moviebecause a family thought it would make me eat less meat. Didn't work. Made me hungry for a steak.

  64. #66 Matt 12 Mar 16

    So long as meat is perceived as the food of the wealthy, its consumption will only grow. In the west (where we have a choice between meat or equivalent, internationally grown, plant based alternatives) I believe it's fair to encourage people to opt for the latter. However, I work in a lot of lower-income countries and the increased rate of meat consumption in many areas is often quite alarming. By all means give up meat and dairy if that's what you believe in, it's really not that hard. But if this is an environmental issue your time will be best spent preparing for the effects of climate change as the majority of the globe don't have Netflix!

  65. #69 Susie Q 15 Mar 16

    This documentary is superb!. I agree it does a disservice to its own cause and missed a key issue that allows big business to continue its propaganda, that WE, the world's population, are to blame because we eat meat and diary, thus creating no happy medium....eg. meat-eater or vegan/vegetarian...which leaves the feud between the two groups, and distracts our focus away from Big Agriculture.

    Cowspiracy II, is there is to be a part two, could/should explore the relationship between farming methodologies, over-production and waste, including the fruit and vegetables consumed by vegans. Although we may PRODUCE >200lbs of meat per person per annum, it is not CONSUMED. Our world is destroyed by the production of all types of STUFF that is thrown away.....everything from food to textiles to machinery........ becoming vegan merely satisfies our conscience but deflects from the real issues.

  66. #71 Maarten 25 Mar 16

    What about the number of Thanksgiving turkeys eaten in the Friends epidodes? 9 out of 10 seasons of Friends featured Thanksgiving. Compare the number of times somebody casually eats a chicken vs a piece of fruit in series like Full House. You'll be surprised. It's just the other way around. The meat industry has got Hollywood by its balls. Go figure: the meat industry is larger than Microsoft, Google and Apple combined.

  67. #72 April 27 Mar 16

    I was already vegan prior to watching cowspiracy and yet the film had such an impact on me that I feel like I'm going vegan all over again but fur new purpose.

  68. #73 Tabitha 02 Apr 16

    What I love about this film and other films like Forks Over Knives, Blackfish and Earthlings, etc. is that films like this put the responsibility in the hands of the consumer. Corporations of all kinds often do what they want without regard for the long term consequences of their actions. They are legally obligated to repay shareholders. Change is difficult and even more difficult when head CEOs often lack the education that addresses the socio economic and environmental downfalls of their industry. These films remind viewers that their dollars support this destruction. Dont like it? Don't buy into it. Decrease the demand and change the market.

  69. #74 Ardith D Cole 03 Apr 16

    I'm NOT young! I'm a very healthy 73-year-old who's been a vegetarian (I eat no animals) for 25 years. My 16-year-old granddaughter recently passed the Netflix Cowspiracy nudge on to me. I thought it was an extraordinary film, reminding me of John Robbins' Diet for a New America, which nudged my no-red-meat mentality into a no-meat-period transformation. I also want to add that I feel this article is very mindfully executed. It reiterates my own thinking in many areas. How often I've said, ’It's the young who will save humanity.’

  70. #75 Jess 05 Apr 16

    Surely kindness and an unwillingness to kill isn't a virus. People who choose carnism need to relax and come to realise that no one has to die for their happiness.

  71. #76 Elizabeth 09 Apr 16

    weird that you call veganism a virus in your title..
    I'm not an environmentalist, I care about my health and the vegan diet is the ideal diet.
    It's the only diet that can prevent and even reverse most of our leading diseases.
    The world needs to be informed. A well constructed vegan diet has the ability to save you, or your child, your mother or just anyone that you care about.

  72. #77 Rae 15 Apr 16

    Research the FACTS. Cowspiracy is all TRUE.

  73. #78 ED 16 Apr 16

    There's a much bigger problem here: it's not about non-profits avoiding this problem, it's not about corporations flogging meat. Cattle will be grown if there is demand for it, and what's the demand come from? A growing population! Reduce the HUMAN population through what's happening in developed nations.

  74. #79 Alex 16 Apr 16

    Plausible film

  75. #80 Megan 20 Apr 16

    This is investigative journalism? All the author did was do a play-by-play of the documentary film, and then add a few comments on why the ’disenfranchised, idealistic young’ were so taken by it. Where is the analysis of the information presented? Where is the fact-checking? Where is the examination of the film process in general, where footage is highly edited and framed to present the desired message (which may completely misrepresent what interviewees actually said) Where is the effort to track down the sources of all the ’alarming facts’ that are shot at the viewer? Where is the reveal that the filmmaker is actually cherry-picking the data in order to create a propaganda piece that evangelizes veganism? I'm highly disappointed.

  76. #81 Graham Cole 05 May 16

    I would say the planet, people and animals are suffering due to the spread of the meat eating virus! and the continual expansion of the animal farming virus is just an unsustainable luxury that cannot go on. We need to evolve, move away from deep seated old habits if we are to have a future and the choice of plant based cuisine is wonderful and more varied! Peace and non-violence, Graham

  77. #82 Helen 07 May 16

    The whole movie was so interesting I have absorb so much information. I enjoy a plant base lifestyle myself and hope to persuade the rest of my family to do the same. Thank you for the information

  78. #83 britt collins 10 May 16

    Brilliant article. finally, sick to death of the hypocrisy of so-called high-profile meat-eating environmentalists like Zac Goldsmith and silent complicity of NGOs like Greenpeace.

  79. #84 chriskuffner 15 May 16

    This is a very misleading title for this great review. There's literally nothing to beware of here except the animal agriculture industry. There's particularly NO reason to beware of the spread of Veganism.

  80. #89 Tara 19 Jul 16

    Bur ’agriculture' accounts for the cultivation of plant food as well...like vegetables ...sooo..? You should specify ’animal agro’ like they do in the movie. Because to be vegan you are eating lots of vegetables...it still takes water and land ..to grow these items...there is still death involved and deforestation.. and animal by-products used in the cultivation of good soil for the veggies..but no one wants to talk about that

  81. #90 Jen 20 Jul 16

    For the people who are calling others lazy who don't grow their own food/farm - I need to call you out. Most of us (on the planet) would prefer to be able to do this over having to rely on the grocery stores and pay ridiculous prices for fresh, organic vegetables and fruits. But we live in apartments, or in houses with NO yards to grow anything. I refuse to grow anything in the soil where I live because it is highly contaminated. We don't have a choice where we live, for the most part. Those who can afford to live on large properties are the ones who can most afford to BUY organic, clean foods or grow/raise their own food, and most of them choose not to. Socioeconomic conditions dictate what we eat. McDonald's is cheaper than going to the grocery store and purchasing healthy, sustainable food.... and for a lot of people, it's starve or eat a $1 burger from the fast food menu. I chose to be a vegetarian at age 10. I did it for a few years, then went back to meat because I had been raised with meat and it was easy to fall back into the habit being around friends and family who ate it. I have NEVER felt right about eating meat. But I have never been able to live in a place where I was able to grow my own food. There is far too much to say about all of this to fit into a comments section on an article.

    I will likely choose to go vegetarian again.

  82. #99 Keith 28 Oct 16

    Our cultural attraction to holding other species captive in unnatural circumstances, forcing them to live in conditions they wouldn't choose if free, allowed for the spread of disease in close proximity to us.  That also focused our diet to a much greater degree on eating those species instead of the occasional varied outcome of hunting.  Cowspiracy does a service to our awareness by showing us that our culture has drifted far from our origins with animal agriculture, that we are allowing that unnatural system of economics and land management to bring destruction and ruin.  The real philosophical virus was our willingness to encourage those practices as our population kept growing.  Now we use 3/4 of all farmland to support animal ag, and everything is paying the price for our ways.

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