Cowspiracy Review: Environmentalists Don’t Eat Animals

By Published On: 8 October 2014Last Updated: 26 January 2021

Cowspiracy asks: Why is animal agriculture something environmental groups don't want to talk about?

vegan movies

What's in this post

Have you heard the buzz about the new documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret?

Did you know that screenings are happening across the United States right now?

I attended one such screening recently, and am happy to report that we have another compelling piece of film to add to our repertoire when it comes to explaining why exploiting animals is wrong.

Cowspiracy Review

Cowspiracy follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he reaches out to the biggest environmental groups to find out why they aren’t talking about the leading cause of environmental devastation: animal agriculture. What he finds is a topic so controversial that even the film’s financial backers bow out.

Many vegans have been saying it for years: you can’t be an environmentalist if you eat meat. But if even groups like Greenpeace aren’t talking about how meat and dairy products are the biggest environmental problem we have, how does someone who isn’t aware of the statistics ever draw that conclusion?

There is compelling evidence of the cognitive dissonance involved in raising animals for food. The film also touches on ethics and health, though its foot is firmly planted in the topic at hand: the destruction of the planet. Interviews included in the film read like a who’s who of animal rights activists, with subjects including Will Potter, Howard Lyman, Will Tuttle, Richard Oppenlander, and Michael Klaper.

More Than a Film

Following the film, there was a Q&A, hosted by Evolve for Animals and including Demosthenes Maratos and Jenny Brown.

I loved what Martos said: health and environmental benefits are incidental benefits of being vegan. As the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, he works in environmental policy and still points out that veganism is an ethical decision.

He said something that might come across as controversial (and I hope I’m paraphrasing accurately): Being vegan to save the environment is like being against the Holocaust because trains to Auschwitz aren’t environmentally friendly.

If you read my last post, For the Animals, Period., you may understand the feeling of serendipity that overcame me at that moment.

Jenny Brown, the director and co-founder of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is one of my heroes, and she did not disappoint.

One takeaway from this particular talk that she gave me was to meet people where they are. Getting caught up in the minutiae of veganism doesn’t do the movement any good.

And she’s right.

We’ve talked at Your Daily Vegan about perfectionism in the past; I hope we make it clear that perfection is not what we’re after. For me, hearing personal stories about navigating a non-vegan world through the lens of veganism is what resonates with me. I

t’s why documentaries like Cowspiracy and Speciesism: The Movie hit home – the filmmakers go through their own journeys as they address topics that should be at the forefront of public discussion.

Catch a screening of Cowspiracy near you. Bring a friend.

Start the discussion.

Photo: Cowspiracy the Movie

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HELLO! I'm KD Angle-Traegner.

Writer, activist, and founder of Four Urban Paws Sanctuary. I’m on a mission to help people live a vegan life. Read more about KD…