Powerful and unsettling documentary reveals the biggest cause of ecological destruction on earth, and the high-level truth blackout by government agencies and major environmentalist organizations.
This past Friday night, Global Freedom Movement was present at the Sydney premiere of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Let me just say from the outset that this film was a real breath of fresh spring air, particularly amidst a claustrophobic miasma of mainstream doctrinal (dogmatic) thought on the subject of climate change and so-called “global warming”. To say that this film presents us with an “inconvenient truth” is a whopping understatement, for it cuts to the bare bones of our personal day-to-day habits, why we put certain foods into our bodies, and our survival instincts. The core truth at the heart of this grass roots expose is too inconvenient even for such “eco warriors”, such as Al “Emissions Trading Schemes Will Save Us” Gore—but we trust you’re made of sterner stuff!
In fact, filmmaker Kip Anderson’s journey into ecological awareness and sustainability was triggered by Gore himself, and his apparent environmental activism—but something happened along the way: Anderson dug a little too deep, and found himself tumbling down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland. Here, he learned about the greatest ecological scam and disaster of all time: animal agriculture, which received not a jot of attention in Gore’s heavily discredited “shockumentary” An Inconvenient Truth. (Gore’s film fraudulently purported that increasing carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly driving us into an irreversible global calamity by unnaturally spurring “global warming” at unprecedented and accelerating rates.)
It is not, Anderson found out, “carbon (dioxide) emissions” from the workaday social and industrial worlds that pose the biggest threat to our planet in terms of ecological destruction; it is actually a multi-billion-dollar global industry that has spread like a virus and insinuated itself into almost every nook and cranny of human existence—and the planet that supports us: animal agriculture. This uncomfortable reality has been embargoed and blacked out, in favour of the profits reaped by the few at the top of this deviant corporate “food chain”. (Did you know that 90% of the tragic and needless clearing of precious Amazonian rainforest is done merely to create grazing area for cows?)
To distract the world from the unfolding multifaceted criminal insanity of corporatized for-profit animal agriculture, its backers have swept the data under the rug, and instead, fed the baseless hype over “carbon emissions”. The impending planetary disaster, the alarmist mythology would have us believe, is soon to plunge us all under water, as the polar ice caps are ravaged by our cars, light bulbs, laptops, and so forth (in other words, the dirty electricity produced by the burning of fossil fuels). It is on this flimsy foundation that such fruitless initiatives as “Earth Hour” have been founded on. (In fact, there has been no warming for about fifteen years, and the alarmists have relied on spurious computer modelling, using FAR too short of a time span in order to create their dire “worst case scenario” prognoses.)
Anderson’s film Cowspiracy offers a welcome antidote to the “carbon-driven global warming” palaver, and a devastating reality check by exploring the dire ecological ramifications of relying on animals as food sources—cows in particular—be it for the purposes of dairy products, or body parts to be used as meat at otherwise polite social gatherings. Cowspiracy shows us how we have been conned on climate change, “global warming”, and animal agriculture (and its “food” products) in general. Even for someone as jaded and cynical as me, having investigated this subject in detail, and having been a plant-based eater for at least five years now, this film provided some genuinely eye-popping (and sometimes hilarious) moments as we watched:
- government bureaucrats fumble ineptly for words in attempting to evade answering straightforward questions about animal agriculture and its ecological and other costs;
- reluctant and pained admissions from senior persons in major environmentalist organizations about the HIDDEN importance of animal agriculture’s environmental costs;
- the near-universal and highly suspect silence of environmental agencies (including Greenpeace) on the most important ecological disaster happening right now;
- how animal rights and ecological activists are targeted and even murdered for speaking out;
- blinkered and confused CO2 “arrmageddonists” respond in closed-minded bafflement at the mere mention of animal agriculture;
- major double-think and cognitive dissonance on the parts of some farmers,
- and much, much more.
This movie entertains and shocks, as it shows—with plenty of helpful graphs, charts, diagrams, animations, illustrations, and direct quotes from animal agriculture farmers themselves—that relying significantly on animals as food sources is not even REMOTELY as efficient and environmentally friendly as eating a 90%+ plant-based diet, and in short, is clearly not the solution to feeding earth’s 7 billion+ people.
Grab your family and friends, and lovingly, but firmly, plant their meat-eating rumps down on seats in front of a screening of this unforgiving, unforgettable, and un-missable documentary. (And then send a copy to Al “The Ice Caps! The Ice Caps!” Gore.)
See the Cowspiracy film trailer here: http://cowspiracy.com/
Next up, we have an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work as a butcher. This sterling individual shared his story with me personally because he wanted it to be available to the public for educational purposes. Here it is (and note that the title is his).
The Inhumanity of Butcher Slaughterhouses by L.O., an ex-butcher.
I left school at 15 (it was piss-easy, and I somehow knew the system was broken and it was not the place for me to be), and shortly after had been threatened to be taken from my mother by CYFS, NZ (Child Youth and Family Services, New Zealand) if I did not find a job within 3 months—being that I was under 16. The only opportunity that popped up that I remotely thought about was a butchery apprenticeship, my thought was, “4 years of work, a trade at the end, something to always fall back on to if shit hits the fan.”
I completed my apprenticeship after 3.5 years and left New Zealand almost immediately to move to Perth, Australia to do my own thing and become my own man, and never wanted to touch butchery again after leaving the country anyway.
Now the butchery details:
During my apprenticeship/butchery, I never thought twice about what I was doing and how it made me or others feel—not one bit. I worked 90% of my time in the town shop. I never worked in the actual slaughterhouse but obviously, part of becoming a butcher [is that] you learn all about it and hear many of stories from the other butchers in the company who did work in the slaughterhouse departments—plus the videos we watched during the 2 week CPIT (equivalent of TAFE) courses that were required every year (6 weeks in total).
I will start with saying, butchery in general is nothing but cruelty, and slaughterhouses were the worst of the worst in animal cruelty and the scaring of sentient beings. On many of the carcasses that would arrive at the shop to be chopped into steaks/mince/patties, you would encounter broken limbs, blood clots, cysts, bruising, and internal bleeding. 90% of this was caused by the absolute stress the animals would encounter during their transport and eventually being led down a conveyer line to be slaughtered—many of the animals were in absolute agony and gruelling pain just knowing what is about to happen to them. The transport is where the torment starts, crammed into trucks shoulder-to-shoulder with other sentient beings of the same breed; they all knew what was to come next, so essentially this is where the stress started.
After they arrived at the slaughterhouse they were generally separated and graded, if not already done so before being loaded onto the trucks. Next step was on to the assembly line, and conveyer belts (depending on animals and size). This is where the biggest stresses happened: they knew exactly what was to come next, as they can hear and feel the animals up ahead being sent into the slaughter.
Depending on the slaughterhouse/company, most animals were stunned/incapacitated as to not feel the physical killing. This did not always work: big bulls/beef would not always go down without a fight, and would be stunned and then escape down the belt all groggy and stressed, fearing for their life. This is where the broken limbs and bruising generally happened as they would jump off the conveyer belt and attempt to break free, whereupon they were then chased by a slaughterman to wrangle them and re-stun to be able to get them back in line for the killing.
The other method mainly used on Pigs and the cows was what is known as a Captive Bolt Pistol (If you have seen the movie No Country for Old Men, the killer in this movie used a modified version in his fire extinguisher.) Basically the simple and most commonly used form of the pistol was a metal canister that fits in the palm of your hand, which when slammed with force into the temporal lobe of the animals and a thick rod would fire out at tremendous speeds directly into the skull, fracturing and penetrating the brain and instantly killing the animal. (It did not always instantly kill).
The next phase was down the conveyer belt to the ‘slaughterman’ who is ready and raring to slice a gaping wound in the animals throat. (Remember some were only stunned at this point, not all animals were killed first using the Captive Bolt Pistol). Then the animal is left to bleed out from its throat while it makes its way down to the next stage, which is generally where the beast was picked up and hooked to a machine that would skin the animal while still warm—otherwise it would tear the meat from the animal if they were cold. They were literally hung from their feet; a slice was cut deep enough for the skin to be released and then it is torn off top to bottom by a machine.
Now think about all of that, and how stressed the animals were during this whole time. Many of them, as I mentioned, were suffering one, if not several of the following: multiple haemorrhaging, bruising, and broken limbs—and that’s all before they are slaughtered. The agony these animals went through is gruelling and the cries for help is what made the animals farther back in the line lose the plot and get worked up causing them to rattle about and break their limbs also.
Did I mention that on the odd occasion when after an electrocuted/stunned animal had its throat sliced they would spring back to life as the wounds were not always deep enough to kill them instantly while they bled out? And sometimes (not often) these animals would jump off the belts with their heads hanging half off, blood pouring out until they died shortly after breaking a leg jumping off, and finishing the bleed out.
I could go on about how the butchers treated the carcasses in the shop, when they got to our stage of the process to be chopped into steaks and put on display for sale to the public. But that’s another story if anyone would like to hear. Let Brendan know and I will do my best to put that in words. It’s not as gruelling as the slaughter side of the story, but as butchers we did some pretty nasty stuff to cold carcasses ready to be boned and sliced into steaks, because they were a perfect medium to release our stress and anger of the everyday life of an unknown but willing slave. L.O., July 9th, 2014
Twenty-two days after sending me the above missive, our ex-butcher friend informed me that he had, six days earlier, finally ditched all meat and moved to a vegetarian diet (and wanted some additional guidance on nutrition). Full credit to him for not letting a cold, soulless system prevent him from reaching that spark of compassion all of us carry in our hearts, allowing us to connect with our sentient non-speaking brethren on this planet.
At the screening of Cowspiracy, I connected with a very grounded, recent vegan convert who greeted the movie enthusiastically and shared his thoughts on his journey with me this week. Now, I’m not necessarily a fan of labels, but sometimes I use them for convenience, so I will say that I am a “nutritarian”: I eat based on evidence, and that means I rely nearly exclusively on plants for nutrition. I technically am not a vegan, because I do eat raw, organic honey, and bee pollen too—two incredible boons offered by the amazing bees who are so crucial to our collective survival. Organic bee farmers are people who generally have incredible, sometimes almost “supernatural” bonds with their bees, and look after them well. With that said, I applaud the courage and conviction of my new vegan friend, and can only encourage others to ignite their inner resources (the fire inside!) and consider a radically different and far more peaceful way of being in the world. Please enjoy.
“Revelations” by Ben Barber
As a voracious meat eater for most of my life, I know there is nothing more infuriating than another fucking leaf-munching, animal-loving, tree-hugging hippie questioning our habits and Aussie BBQ way of life. Can’t they just accept our decision to eat meat, goddammit?! Well, unfortunately the way things are headed we can’t afford to go on living with our heads in the sand any longer. People think they are doing this for what they see as ‘survival’. This is part of the problem. We have been fooled, (by very successful marketing by the meat and dairy industries) into believing that we NEED them. We “need” meat for protein, iron, zinc, and omegas. We “need” dairy for calcium, probiotics, blah blah blah, the list goes on. I believed it once. They’ve done such a good job at spreading these myths that most doctors will tell you the same thing. But the evidence is out there now. And cancer and heart disease are now commonplace… Why? Largely due to the meat and dairy industries. I can provide plenty of links to support this.
Health aside, as Brendan mentioned, animal agriculture, is the leading cause of [“greenhouse gas” emissions], water depletion, (1kg of meat requires between 5,000 & 20,000 litres of water!), species extinction, deforestation, and ocean ‘dead zones’. We will see the results of this in our lifetimes, and it has everything to do with our way of life. I don’t think there is anything ‘ideologically fluffy’ about that. This is getting serious folks. Today, the majority of the world’s crops feed livestock! And how many people are starving in the world today? And we are yet to even mention whether it is fair to enslave entire species of animals for our taste-buds’ satisfaction.
The way I see it, if we can’t wield the knife or gun ourselves and look that being in the eyes and acknowledge who it is we are taking life from, we have serious thinking to do. And we are kidding ourselves if we think these animals cannot feel, or create bonds, friendships and social groups. We know they can. We know they feel fear and understand what it is to suffer. One way or another, I don’t think ‘Nature’ has an opinion. There are simply consequences. Consequences for our health, and consequences for our planet and ALL her inhabitants. We are not immune. The best thing we can do in this life, and the most rewarding, is be VEGAN. And as an ex-meat eater, who was once completely addicted to meat and dairy, I can honestly say it’s the best fucking decision I ever made. Ben Barber, August, 8th, 2014
Call to Action
It’s time to reconnect with the land, our animals, our compassion, and our “street-smart” inner cynics who are willing to look beyond the status quo and spin from the vested interests. Our state of disconnection has allowed the flourishing of completely unsustainable and even barbaric agricultural practises, the grotesque consequences of which are already reverberating dissonantly around us, not least of all in our devastated oceans, and minerally bereft soils.
It’s time to put the undies on the outside and activate your inner superhero. Go check out Cowspiracy and make every mouthful a conscious, informed choice—and enjoy the journey.
I will leave you with a quote from Mad Cowboy, a shocking expose by Howard Lyman, fourth generation (ex-)cattle rancher (now a vocal vegan advocate):
“Meat kills. It kills us just as dead as tobacco kills us, but far more frequently. Even as early as 1961, believe it or not, the Journal of the American Medical Association announced: ‘A vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of our coronary occlusions.’”
See the Cowspiracy film trailer here: http://cowspiracy.com/