|Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret|
|Directed by||Kip Andersen|
|Produced by||Kip Andersen|
|Edited by||Kip Andersen|
First Spark Media
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a 2014 American documentary film produced and directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. The film explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment—examining such environmental concerns as climate change, water use, deforestation, and ocean dead zones—and investigates the policies of several environmental organizations on the issue.
Cowspiracy has been criticized for falsely asserting that animal agriculture is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental destruction, with other sources assessing the impact as being less than is stated in the film. The film won the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 South African Eco Film Festival and the Best Foreign Film Award at the 12th annual Festival de films de Portneuf sur l'environnement.
The documentary was directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, and explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of environmental organizations on this issue. Environmental organizations investigated in the film include Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, and Oceana.
The film was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, with 1,449 contributors giving $117,092. This funding was 217% of their goal, and it allowed them to dub the film into Spanish and German and subtitle it into more than 10 other languages, including Chinese and Russian. Screenings are licensed through the distributor, as well as through the now-defunct Tugg Inc. website.
An updated version of the documentary, executive-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, premiered globally on Netflix on September 15, 2015.
The 2017 documentary What the Health was written, produced, and directed by the same production team (Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn) as Cowspiracy.
The following individuals were featured in the film:
Cowspiracy won the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 South African Eco Film Festival, as well as the Best Foreign Film Award at the 12th annual Festival de films de Portneuf sur l'environnement. It was also nominated for Cinema Politica's 2015 Audience Choice Award.
Cowspiracy has been criticized for falsely claiming that animal agriculture is the primary source of both greenhouse gases and associated environmental destruction. Scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have consistently reached the consensus that the leading cause of anthropogenic warming is the combustion of fossil fuels accounting for about two-thirds of emissions, not animal agriculture.
Doug Boucher, reviewing the film for the Union of Concerned Scientists, disputed the film's assertion that 51% of global greenhouse gases are caused by animal agriculture. He described the 51% figure as being sourced from a 2009 Worldwatch Institute report by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang not from a peer-reviewed scientific paper. He claimed to have observed methodological flaws in Goodland and Anhang's logic, and said that the scientific community formed a consensus that global warming is primarily caused by humanity's burning of fossil fuels. He stated that the scientific consensus is that livestock contribute 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, far lower than the 51% stated by the film and the source article. A 2018 peer-reviewed meta-analysis found that a "no animal products" scenario would deliver a 28% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy—lower than the film's assertion of 51%, but higher than Boucher's claim of 15%.