October 22nd, 2016

Max’s View

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Individual environmentalists are generally good; they’re just trying to do the right thing to cause less harm to the earth.

Big environmental organizations, on the other hand, are full of it.

If they were truly sincere about saving the planet, they would condemn people who reproduce.

The inconvenient truth is that a childless guy who drives an Escalade and disposes of his batteries improperly leaves a vastly smaller carbon footprint than a Prius driver who always recycles but has three children and ten grandchildren.

So why doesn’t the Sierra Club condemn people who reproduce? Simple. Because parents with Priuses donate to the Sierra Club and single dudes who chuck Duracells down storm drains do not.

The only thing that is nearly as dear to a man’s heart as his children is his supper. And according to the convincing documentary “Cowspiracy”, your food might be the biggest environmental hazard of all.

Filmmaker Kip Andersen starts off by explaining how he used to be a by-the-books environmentalist. He took short showers, he rode his bike to work, and he gave money to earth-friendly organizations.

Then he discovered some horrifying statistics that Al Gore never mentions. It turns out that the meat industry is the No. 1 polluter on earth.

Cows create carbon dioxide; they also emit methane and nitrous oxide, which are even worse. Andersen claims that domesticated livestock produce more greenhouse gases than all motor vehicles combined.

Andersen realized that is absurd to take short showers while continuing to eat meat. Cows consume a lot more water than people. Apparently it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

After squandering all that fresh water, livestock farmers do double damage by releasing billions of tons of untreated feces out into the world, poisoning waterways and oceans.

The Rainforest Action Network is eager to demonize the oil and mining industries. But its website doesn’t even mention the fact that most rainforest is cleared by cattle ranchers to make fields for their livestock.

The hideous wastefulness of the meat industry is not a secret. But environmental activist organizations avoid the topic. They care more about popularity and money than actually saving the earth. It’s more profitable to condemn oil and mining corporations than farmers. It’s easier to condemn the faceless CEOs who are trying to build the XL Pipeline than your family for enjoying Taco Tuesdays.

Disturbingly, there also may be a cowspiracy to hide the truth. After several uncomfortable interviews with professional environmentalists, Andersen comes to the conclusion that lobbyists for meat companies are donating to influential environmental groups in exchange for their silence.

The factory farm corporations have even managed to get Food Libel Laws enacted. It is now a crime in 13 states to say anything that disparages their food products. In other words, Omaha Steaks can sue me if they believe that my column leads readers to go vegan.

In case that a lawyer representing the meat industry is reading this, I have a few announcements to make: the makers of “Cowspiracy” want you to stop eating meat – not me. Burgers are tasty and cruelty-free. And they definitely aren’t wasting precious natural resources and destroying the planet.

(Fortunately, it is still legal for me to openly call out the Sierra Club for failing to admit that childless families are more earth friendly than large ones).

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