Cowspiracy

The water used up in two months worth of showers (for one person) equates to the same amount of water needed to produce the beef for one hamburger.

Hey, bloggers and readers of blogs! Quick post tonight. Did you know that the documentary Cowspiracy is now on Netflix, in all English-speaking territories, I believe? What great news!

I have been wanting to see this documentary for a long time, ever since I was volunteering at the Veg Fest in Toronto last summer and they were doing an organised screening there which I missed as it coincided with my volunteer shift. So, now I am going to make time this weekend to watch it, finally.

If you haven’t heard about Cowspiracy before, this little teaser from the official website should hopefully get you interested –

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

So, please go and watch it. Let’s get talking about these issues which really do need addressing. For example, something I learned today on this topic which blew my mind and which I would love to share with you is with regards to the water shortage and drought in California currently.

It seems that Californians are being asked to limit their water usage, not water their lawns, avoid long showers etc. all the usual stuff we get asked to do in Britain if there is a hosepipe ban. However, I heard today that personal usage of water in the state accounts for just 4% of the water.

Another scapegoat for the drought has been almond production, and I heard even here in the UK a while ago that we should stop buying almonds as they are causing a water shortage in California. Well, they account for 8% of the state’s water usage (but make up 90% of the world’s supply of almonds, so that puts into perspective how many are being produced for that 8% of water.) Not the crazy amount we are lead to believe, and when combined with all the human water usage in the state, we are still only up to 12% of the water supply.

So, how much of the state’s water supply is used in agriculture then? A whopping 47% is used by agriculture!! So how much of a difference is it going to make if people only shower every other day and stop eating almonds? Not much at all, that’s how much.

Furthermore, apparently, the water used up in two months worth of showers (for one person) equates to the amount of water needed to produce the beef for one hamburger! Who can justify that?!

When you open this can of worms, the statistics really are mind blowing. I urge you to follow in my footsteps and plan a time to sit down, watch this documentary and give it the thought it deserves. Perhaps then we can all put that thought into action for the good of the planet.

I’ve made some steps in this direction by going vegan, but I plan to do a lot more so stay tuned.

*Sources – I heard these statistics on episode 176 of The Rich Roll Podcast, which is an interview with the guys behind Cowspiracy, and I do not know for certain what their sources for this information are. You can find the podcast and listen for yourself here and you can look further into the statistics from the documentary on the official Cowspiracy website, linked at the top of this post.

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