Thursday, December 15, 2016



Emma Samuelson Popular Guest Blogger Emma Samuelson is back with a hot topic - Animal Agriculture and Sustainability!

Emma is a recent college graduate from California who writes her own songs, sings and plays guitar. Check out the excellent music and ASL videos on her YouTube channel! In Emma's own words, "I am a spiritual person and I love music, listening to it, creating it, and everything about it." Her love of music is obvious in her videos!

Please use this link to see a list of ALL guest blog posts by Emma Samuelson.

Emma just started getting involved in the world of Sustainable Permaculture this year. Please read her Permaculture article! What about eating animals? Is it sustainable? How are these animals raised and slaughtered? What affect does production of animals for human consumption affect the environment of the Earth? The Cowspiracy documentary talks about these issues and Emma talks about how she found this documentary, below!

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

As a young adult in a changing society, I find it important to stay informed of local and global events, keeping up with the national news as well as the issues we face as a species. I often watch documentaries and series that shed light on phenomena that aren’t in the spotlight or aren’t discussed enough in the mass media. Some of the most incredible documentaries I’ve seen include Inside Job about the 2008 financial crisis and Inhabit about the permaculture movement. Although I love learning about many different topics, I can’t help but be drawn to documentaries about permaculture, the environment, agriculture and the food industry. There are many amazing documentaries in this arena: Super Size Me, Food Matters, An Inconvenient Truth, Planet Earth, Cooked, and Food, Inc to name a few.

I usually feel inspired or challenged to change my ways when I watch these films, but I recently watched a documentary that completely turned my perception upside down… it’s called Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Available on Netflix and their website, this film explores and delves into the “true number one cause” of climate change, global warming, deforestation and pollution: animal agriculture. Since the industrial revolution, farming and agriculture have become a mass industry that works to feed the world as cheaply as possible. With this cheaper process, comes less care for the animals, the land, the soil and the atmosphere. Raising livestock for consumption is responsible for thirty percent of the world’s water usage and forty-five percent of the world’s land usage. It takes thirty-two trillion gallons of water a year to raise livestock on a global scale, which is largely factory farming.

This inspiring film was made by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn, both hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to making this film, Anderson was already hyper conscious of his carbon footprint: giving up driving for biking, limiting his water and electric usage as well as recycling and composting. After watching An Inconvenient Truth from former Vice President Al Gore, Anderson felt called to look deeper into how he could contribute to global health and environmental justice… he discovered just how much damage modern animal agriculture has done to the world and started to approach environmental organizations about the issue. Not a single major environmental organization was willing to have a conversation about animal agriculture and quickly dismissed it as a major cause of environmental devastation.

Together, Anderson and Kuhn connected with many experts that were willing to talk about this issue including Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Dr. Richard Oppenlander (author of Food Choice and Sustainability), and Dr. Will Tuttle (author of The World Peace Diet). Eventually, after the first release, Leonardo DiCaprio executive produced the newest cut of the film and released it on Netflix in 2015. This film changed the way I thought about meat, farming and agriculture. After watching this film, I research where my meat and fish come from, I pay attention to how I contribute to the environment, and I am much more conscious of my carbon footprint. I highly encourage everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, to watch this documentary and get educated. I would especially encourage meat lovers to take a hard look at the reality of consuming animals and how the world is being affected by continuing to order steak for dinner.

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Again, awesome blog!

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