BEING VEGAN – Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
By Paul Graham
Las Vegas Informer
In the past seven years since becoming vegan I have learned so many things. So much that I have learned has contributed to not only a shift in my perspectives, but also my lifestyle. I realized that with all that I thought that I knew about how things worked on this planet, there was so much more that I didn’t know and needed to know. Things so important that they are actually the key to the survival of this planet. Because what I have learned has become so revolutionary and life-changing for me, I have dedicated my life to educating, enlightening, and encouraging others. It is the only way that we are going to move from where we are to where we need to be. One of the things that I learned is how our dependence upon animal products is not only killing us, but is also killing our planet. The environmental impact of us making a decision to go vegan and eschew animal products of any kind is actually one of the greenest things that we can individually do and collectively can help to not only save, but restore our planet.
I remember hearing about the United Nations report that stated that the raising of cattle alone was responsible for more global warming greenhouse gases and air pollution than all modes of transportation combined. That is almost preposterous when you hear it but it is in fact true. A truly inconvenient truth. Not to mention the pollution that the rearing of animals for human consumption does to our soil and ground water as well. It is horrible. This fact caught the attention of a lot of people, including Kip Anderson. As Kip began to explore more into this issue and to find out why more environmental groups were not addressing this issue, the foundation of the upcoming documentary, Cowpsiracy: The Sustainability Secret, was born. Kip began to reach out to environmental groups like Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch and others to find out if and why they were not taking this on. With the help of Keegan Kuhn, they began to document what happened in these encounters. The response they received, and in some cases the lack there of, was startling. This documentary will explore not only what happened but perhaps why this is happening and why more is not being done about it.
One of the things that has always caught my attention is the sheer inefficiency of animal production for human consumption. Besides the obvious pollution aspects, just the amount of land that is needed to raise and feed the animals is mind-boggling. The amount of grain and water that it takes to feed the animals to produce food for some on the other end is one of the most inefficient processes you can imagine. It makes no sense at all. Another fact is that many people die on this planet every day for lack of food and water, and yet we produce more than enough. Dr. Will Tuttle points out that we produce enough grain for food to feed twice the population that we have on this planet and yet so much of it is directed to the more than 60 billion animals slaughtered every year for food and products. We do not need to consume animals to live, and it is actually so much better for our health, certainly the animals, and our planet if we don’t. I am not blaming the cows…they are gentle, caring, and magnificent creatures. I blame the people who artificially impregnate them at an astounding rate, grow and slaughter them, and the consumers on the other end who buy the products. If we change that last dynamic, everything changes. The good news is that meat consumption has been going steadily down in this country for years and that is not going to change, only decline at a faster rate. Documentaries like this will only help to move things along.
Kip Andersen said recently in an interview with Ecorazzi, “The entire planet is being taken over by huge pastures of just cows with nothing else. It’s a monocrop of cows. I love cows, but in a way they’re like giant termites. They’re essentially eating up our planet.” I know how powerful these films can be. Look at the impact that Blackfish has and is still having. I watched Peaceable Kingdom a few months back and it was a very well-done and moving film. Showings of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret are beginning to happen around the country and we in Las Vegas will be lucky enough to see it thanks to the work of the Vegas Veg group. It will be shown at 6:30 p.m. at the AMC Town Square 18 on Thursday, September 18. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, August 15 at 12:00 a.m. at www.tugg.com/events/10349. It is expected to sell out quickly so plan now for this very special evening. Change happens one person, one plate at a time and this is a great opportunity to learn more and help others and build a bridge to a more conscious lifestyle. And don’t worry, we will figure out a good way to take care of the cows and other animals involved to insure life for all and our planet.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blogwww.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas. He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.
Paul‘s revised edition of Eating Vegan Vegas is now available in bound book form and can be ordered through Amazon.com or any independent bookseller. The e-book version can be found at Kobo.com.