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Film Review: 'Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret'

"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" is a daring new documentary.
"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" is a daring new documentary.
AUM Films, used with permission

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret


Today on Aug. 6, 2014, had the opportunity to see the documentary "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret." Read on to see what we thought of the film. Green living is something that has become an innate lifestyle in the last few decades. We carpool to lessen air pollution, turn off the faucet while brushing our teeth to save water, and bring reusable bags to the grocery store because plastic bags take years to decompose. All of this is done in an effort to make sure we don’t run out of natural resources in fifty years. For Californians, the reality of it has already hit like a ton of bricks.

With the state currently in a record-breaking dry spell, studies show that there is only enough water to last for ten to twelve more months unless drastic measures are taken. As much as we want to pretend that things are not as dire as they are, these problems are real and are here to stay. Preventative actions must be taken now, and Kip Andersen proves that the solution is much simpler and more effective than biking to work every day. The reason that we are unable to effectively fight against the destruction of our planet is because we have been fighting the wrong enemy.

"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret," directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, follows Kip on his journey to learn about animal husbandry and the shockingly negative effects it has on the environment. An example given in the film is that while car, truck and plane fumes contribute twelve percent to greenhouse gases, recent studies show that cattle farming contribute a whopping fifty percent in addition to using one third of our fresh water and about fifty percent of our land. Less than thirty minutes into the film, it becomes glaringly clear that the reason that we are running out of resources is not because of humans, but rather humans raising livestock.

Despite the shocking numbers, animal husbandry is still rarely addressed or even mentioned at all amongst environmental websites and well known groups. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that there is a reason why most environmentalists choose to turn a blind eye and focus more on the effects of fossil fuels and pollution and Kip goes to great lengths to discover why.

Overall, this documentary is a fresh take on raising more awareness about the destructive forces on our planet. Few films are brave enough to tackle a topic as controversial as rallying against an industry worth almost $900 billion, much less investigate whether the industry is conspiring to keep the negative effects on the environment hidden from the public. If you knew a single hamburger was the equivalent of 600 gallons of water, would you still eat it? "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" teaches that individuals can make a significant improvement on the state of our planet by doing something as simple as refusing a hamburger.

The film will have its New York premiere on Aug. 21 2014. For more information visit here.

Jasmine Yang contributed reporting.