While environmentalists tend to bang the drum of hybrid cars and recycling, there's not a lot of talk about another major contributor to climate change: moo cows.
As it turns out, the factory farming of cattle is a biggie when it comes to screwing up the big, green globe we live on. In fact, according to the folks behind the new documentary Cowspiracy, it is the industry doing more damage to our planet than any other. Think leading cause of deforestation, ocean "dead zones," water shortages, species extinction, and more. Scary stuff.
To educate meat eaters and herbivores alike on the issue, screenings of the flick are scheduled for September 3 and 4 in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.
The film has been described as a game-changer (à la Blackfish). Basically, it investigates the massive destructiveness of the cattle industry -- and why environmental organizations are too scared to talk about it.
"Back in 2006, the United Nations released a report about livestock's long shadow. This report put a spotlight on the meat industry for being the most significant cause of the most serious environmental problems such as deforestation, climate change, water shortages, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity," says vegan activist and Fort Lauderdale screening organizer Jennifer Mennuti.
"It stated that urgent action was needed to remedy the situation. Fast-forward eight years and reflect on how many times you've heard the pleas to reduce meat consumption to help the environment and you'll probably realize that you haven't heard this message much at all."
"Given the data and the credibility of the sources, it would seem logical that the top environmental organizations would be educating their members about meat consumption problems and guiding them on their paths to vegetarianism and veganism, but it still isn't happening. Even Al Gore's popular documentary An Inconvenient Truth overlooked the mooing elephants in the room and encouraged things like shorter showers and light-bulb changes to help the planet," Mennuti adds.
"The great thing about Cowspiracy is that environmental facts and data are presented in an easy-to-understand and entertaining way, and the viewers take the journey alongside a man who is brave enough to confront these environmental organizations as well as the animal agricultural industry."
Two screenings are scheduled, but the catch is that enough people have to buy tickets in advance (before August 26) for the shows to go on.
After the Fort Lauderdale screening, there'll be a Q&A and afterparty with free (vegan!) food samples, information, a silent auction to benefit Compassion Over Killing, and giveaways. The theater is also a bar, so adult beverages will be available for purchase.
So scoop up some tickets and show support for your bovine friends and Mother Nature to boot.
The screenings are scheduled for Wednesday, September 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Cinemark Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road in Boca Raton (purchase tickets here for $12 each) and Thursday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale Art House Theater, 503 SE Sixth St. (purchase tickets here for $11 each).