A short note on the Cowspiracy documentary


Overall the movie hits a critical subject that should be addressed to a greater degree. I do however want to comment a bit on it:

If you want to quote the movie while arguing for vegetarian/vegan diet, do not use the numbers given in this movie. Most numbers are accurate, but a few are misleading. The agricultural sector is not bigger than the energy sector.

Facts and flaws in the Cowspiracy documentary

Facts and flaws in the Cowspiracy documentary

The movie had a few scenes where one sided arguments and opinions weight heavier than facts. For instance, I find his critic of Allan Savory very biased, and misleading. Yes, Savory did order the termination of thousands elephants, for conservational purposes, but openly admits to the mistake (Note, Savory’s method has met a lot of criticism from peer reviewed researcher). But the method of diminishing his expertise in the movie is one I find unprofessional, and borders on ‘Emotional Porn’, with no scientific reference.

As a lot of other environmental documentaries it points the gun in the wrong direction. At the end user. At you. Eat vegan, take short showers, drive a bike, shop local, turn of the lights, recycle you waste.

The movie establishes that big corporations are an issues, and that they govern laws and regulations. And then the movie turns to the consumer. What is key in most, if not all, environmental issues is, that we get the biggest impact, if we start at the top of the food chain (pun intended): Politics and big corporations.

Besides from cutting meat consumption, the best thing you can do, is go into politic. Get active in whatever way you can. Maybe this means setting up a petition that you sent your government. Maybe it means campaigning. Maybe it means running for office.

The point is, end of pipe is not where you change the world –it’s where you uphold the status quo, and a high comfort level.

That being said here’s a short summery of…

What Cowspiracy got right.

Yes, agriculture is a major contributor to global warming, runoffs, desertification, hypoxia, rainforest destruction, and the list goes on.


Ocean depletion

Yes, the world’s oceans have far passed their threshold for sustainable fishing. I was surprised that the movie did not mention the fact, that most fish caught are being used to feed other animals for meat production.

Yes, a handful of companies have a tremendous amount of power and political influence, and this should be address to a much larger degree.

Yes, adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet will do loads for the environment, and I strongly suggest you do so. Or at least just cut down on meat consumption. But read op on the production methods! Almond production has an insane amount of water usage, and contributes to Colony Collapse Disorder, because of the heavy usages of neonicotinoids, pesticides, where bees die in millions.

I know, it’s a complicated world, and there’s much to think about. But if you really want to do something, if you really want to point that gun, then point it in the right direction. Get political.

2 replies
  1. Iwona
    Iwona says:

    Thank you, Mona, you touch and picture a lot of things people don’t realize, lack of information, misleading information, and as u say: complexity. I just didn’t get this sentence: “end of pipe is not where you change the world –it’s where you uphold the status quo, and a high comfort level.”?

    • Mona Jensen
      Mona Jensen says:

      Thank you for commenting!

      End of pipe is a term used often in environmental science. It’s like the last link in the food chain. In the energy sector end of pipe savings is when you, as a consumer, turn of the lights. Yes, it helps. But it would help even more to change our energy sector and convert from fossil fuels o renewable resources.
      Turning of the light gives us a feeling of acting, of changing something. And yes, it is better than nothing, and yes you should turn off your appliances- their also really expensive in energy.

      But it would be more efficient to change the sector and our energy demands, than to turn of the light.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *