Please note: The following is based on my notes while watching the movie, I have not fact checked every claim.
Cattle releases more green house gases than transportation per the United Nations. However, none
of the environmental groups focus on animal agriculture. Livestock use a lot more water than oil and gas— and produces roughly the same emissions. Meat and dairy are very water intensive- mostly in the grains that they eat.
One hamburger equals two months of showers or 660 gallons of water. But if we’re reliant on grain, water will still be necessary. Home water use is 5% of total, animal agriculture is 55%. However, government sites for saving water don’t mention animal agriculture— and this is a pre-Trump movie.
So he tries to interview government people, just like the guy in Facing the Fat
did. In this case, he does interview people, but no one mentions animal agriculture. In fact, they have nothing to say about the topic when he brings it up.
The claim is that it takes 477 gallons to produce eggs; for cheese, it takes about 900 gallons of water. He asks why not make the message, save water equals eat less meat. The answer? “I don’t think it will happen.” Basically they give no answer. Environmental groups are silent too.
- 65% of nitrous oxide is generated via animal agriculture.
- Animal agriculture is 50% of the human effect of climate change.
- Methane production is the issue.
- Animal agriculture also causes deforestation.
Michael Pollan says the groups don’t address meat because it would hurt their fundraising. Even Gore only wanted to focus on carbon dioxide, because focusing on a second gas would be “too complicated.” That sounds condescending to me. Basically, people like meat and tell them to stop eating it and they stop listening to you.
So then he goes to the environmental groups— gets no one at Greenpeace. The Sierra Club does talk to him, but its focus is not meat. And it does not agree with his assessment. Livestock generate a ton of poop, which causes huge problems beyond methane.
The group Surfrider focuses on the plastic in the ocean. He asked about animal agriculture and its effects. Surfrider guy says it depends are where you are. Then he moves onto fishing/overfishing and bykill. The group Oceana says the way to save fish is to eat fish— but this doesn’t make sense to Kip. Others argue against sustainable fishing too. And people don’t want to stop eating fish.
Then he moves on to the Rain Forest destruction which he claims is mostly for grazing or feed crop growing. However, I recall logging being part of the reason too. So people are against palm oil, but not cattle. Cattle has a much larger effect.
The thesis here is fossil fuels shouldn’t be the focus of climate change activism— animal agriculture should be. He thinks that they are hiding the information for some nefarious reason.