Climate change is in our hands: ‘Cowspiracy’ review


"Cowspiracy" promo. Photo credit: The Pageant Theatre

Over the weekend, Chico’s intimate local theater, the Pageant, played one of the most exhilarating and frightening movies I’ve ever seen. “Cowspiracy” was similar to 2006’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” but it also criticizes Al Gore’s presentation of global warming.

“An Inconvenient Truth,” as previously referenced, consists mostly of multimedia presented by Gore about climate change. There are many interviews and voice-overs dispersed in that film about his stance on global warming— a difficult topic to tackle.

Gore ends his film stating that the effects of global warming can be decreased if we simply lower our CO2 levels, plant more trees and vegetation, bike instead of drive, take shorter showers, change light bulbs and so on.

Kip Andersen, the co-director of “Cowspiracy,” began living as Gore suggested as a way to reduce greenhouse gases. Once he discovered the hidden secret, that the leading source of greenhouse gases is animal agriculture, he wanted to know why the environmentalist groups he was following had failed to mention it.

Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network, Oceana and Amazon Watch, had failed to mention the extensive influence of agriculture on climate change.

The film includes interviews with the directors of these top environmental organizations. It showed that they were hesitant to answer questions about this dark secret. Interviews with experts in the environmental movement, such as Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Will Potter, Michael Pollan and many others, provide the audience with animated statistical facts to maintain focus and interest throughout the film.

This film opened my eyes to an industry that I usually try to ignore. Being a meat eater myself, it was difficult to learn that a one-pound beef patty is equal to 650 gallons of water spent on that animal.

This documentary makes you question the way you are living your life and the impact of your carbon footprint. “Cowspiracy” stresses how we can help slow climate change simply by changing our diets.

The main takeaway from the film is that all environmental issues are important. Every little bit that a person does for the environment is crucial and the impact of agribusiness on the environment deserves more consideration.

Watch “Cowspiracy” online here.

Dana Muensterman can be reached at [email protected] or @daaaynuh on Twitter.