Documentary Film, Meat The Truth
FARM ANIMALS & LIVESTOCK = Livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, trains, boats and planes added together, and is the single largest contributor to global warming and climate change.
The important, timely and intelligent documentary film, Meat The Truth exposes the largest contributing factor to climate change and the greatest single cause of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions: livestock and industrial animal agriculture. The documentary shines a glaring light on the link between livestock farming and animal agriculture and climate change by highlighting the many scientific research studies and reports that have been published by leading institutions including World Watch Institute, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Institute for Environmental Studies in Amsterdam and numerous other authoritative sources. The conclusion of these reports reveals the enormous and destructive environmental impact caused by raising animals for food.
The film addresses not only the greatest source of global warming—animal agriculture—but also the consequences of our eating meat and dairy. One of the first major scientific reports linking animal agriculture as a leading cause of climate change, was published in 2006, by Dr. Steinfeld with the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization. The findings reveal the livestock sector impacting climate change at every level from local to global, including carbon and methane emissions, land degradation and erosion, deforestation and rainforest destruction, air and water pollution, water shortages and depletion, wildlife and biodiversity loss and endangerment, famine and starvation among the poor.
What Can You Do?
The power lies with the consumer. The film makes it clear that the consumer can make a big impact on global warming by changing our diet and restricting our meat and dairy consumption. Since eating meat and dairy is the number one cause of global warming, we can eat less of it and transition instead to a plant-based diet. The political willingness to make the agriculture industry more sustainable—has been absent. And advertisers and food producers have been highly effective at indoctrinating consumers into thinking meat and milk are healthy and necessary for us. But the film makes it clear that in fact, not only do they cause disease, obesity, cancer and chronic illnesses—but food producers and corporations benefit and profit from selling us deceptive marketing. Consumers have been bombarded for decades by misleading and outright false advertising and marketing campaigns produced by the meat and dairy industry to manipulate us into thinking their products are somehow good for us. Yet they are just another constituent group that profits and gains from keeping the truth silent.
What’s the Answer?
Each of us can reduce our consumption of meat, dairy and animal products, and increase our consumption of plant-based products. Besides making you healthier, it will have the greatest impact on the environment and the animals.
Here’s How it Will Help:
- Reduces biodiversity loss
- Saves rainforests in South America from being cut down for cattle
- Reduces carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses from warming our oceans and atmosphere
- Reduces wildlife loss and habitat loss due to cattle grazing
- Reduces total global deforestation
- Reduces animal cruelty and suffering on factory farms – fewer animals will suffer and be slaughtered
- Reduces the destruction and erosion of top soil
- Reduces water pollution from factory farm run-off of manure and toxins – contaminating our waterways, water systems, rivers, lakes and oceans
- Reduces ocean acidification and warming caused by industrial animal agriculture manure runoff
- Reduces water depletion and the effects of drought – animal agriculture consumes and uses 60-70% of all the water in the U.S., and is by far the greatest water consumer
- Reduces feed crops for livestock (soy, corn and grains) and gives more soy, corn and grain to the poor and the starving around the world – 50% of soy and 60% of corn go to livestock
- FAO statistics show from 1950-2000, the world’s population grew from 2.6 billion to 6 billion, but meat production increased five fold. And it’s possible that meat production will double by 2050.
- The 10 hottest years ever measured and recorded have all occurred in the last 14 years.
- 18 percent of greenhouse gasses come from farm animals and livestock, higher than cars, airplanes, power plants or any other single source.
- The average European devours 1800 animals in a lifetime. If every person on the planet did the same thing we would need to slaughter 142 billion animals every year.
- China has the biggest increase in meat consumption, and is doubling every 10 years, pigs and chicken consumption are doubling every 10 years.
- If every American replaced chicken with vegetables for just one or two meals per week, it would be the equivalent in CO2 emissions—of taking 500,000 cars off U.S. roads.
Some Quotes From the Film
“You can’t be a meat eater and be an environmentalist.”
“Farm animals produce more GHG than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.”
“The animals are the direct victims of our excesses.”
“Farm animals place a heavier burden on the environment than many other sectors combined.”
“Should we be eating animals? When you stop and consider it, it’s so straightforward. Absolutely not! Do we need them for protein? Absolutely not! Are they good for us? Absolutely not! Do they enjoy us eating them? Absolutely not! People don’t want to believe that someone inside the industry could say this. What I understand is that what we’re doing is wrong, it’s not good for us, it’s not good for the animals, it’s not good for the planet. The sooner we stop raising animals for food, the better off we’ll be.” ~ Howard Lyman
“The world is heating up fast and we only have ourselves to blame.”
“Colon cancer is directly linked to meat consumption.”
“Factory farmed animals are mutilated, diseased, sick and suffering, given unnatural food they cannot digest, are stressed, confined into unnatural confinement where they cannot move—they are no longer treated as living beings—that’s when I stopped eating animals.”
“The average American eats 85 animals per year. I don’t believe we can continue to have a good situation for the animals or the environment, if we continue to eat as much meat as we are eating.”
“Ask yourself, how many days a week are you willing to not eat meat in order to save the environment and reduce climate change?”
“Eating meat is the number one most environmentally destructive behavior, not cars, planes and power plants.”
“Communities near factory farms suffer from high levels of sicknesses. Factory farms have destroyed small family farms that are disappearing from our landscape.”
“Cows have a complex digestive tract, they can only digest plant fiber because they’re ruminant animals, causing them to emit or release methane gas. Methane is 21x more potent than other greenhouse gasses. Each dairy cow will produce 500-700 liters of methane per day, which is the equivalent of a vehicle that drives 50,000 miles per year.”
“People don’t think twice about eating meat. People don’t think twice about how their meat is manufactured. People don’t think twice about those factory farm animals and practices – because it’s not as close to them. We need to start thinking very carefully about what we eat, how we eat, when we eat, and where our food comes from – and do the research!” ~ Actress Debra Skelton
If all Americans would go vegan or vegetarian, how much carbon savings could be made?
- Going Vegetarian for 7 days – Would save 700 megatons of GHG emissions, same as taking every single car off the road in the U.S.
- Going Vegetarian for 6 days – Would be the same as eliminating all the electricity use of every house in the U.S.
- Going Vegetarian for 5 days – Would be the same as planting 13 billion trees or 43 trees for every American for 10 years.
- Going Vegetarian for 4 days – Would half the domestic use of all electricity, gas, oil petroleum and kerosene in the U.S.
- Going Vegetarian for 3 days – Would save 300 megatons of GHG emissions.
- Going Vegetarian for 2 days – Would be the same as replacing all household electrical appliances in every household in the U.S. with energy efficient ones.
- Going Vegetarian for 1 day – Would be the same as saving 90 million plane tickets from LA to NY or from NY to LA.
Film Length: 73 Minutes
World Premier: December 10, 2007 in Amsterdam. The international version of the film premiered May 2008 in London.
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More about Meat The Truth
Narrator: Marianne Thieme, Member of the Party For the Animals in the Dutch Parliament
Director: Gertjan Zwanikken
Producer: Monique van Dijk
Producer and Writer: Claudine Everaert
Supported by: Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation
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