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Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary “Cowspiracy”

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A new documentary entitled, "Cowspiracy," paints the beef business in a very negative light, citing cattle as the sole reason we have sustainability issues on our planet. Ranchers will need to"beef" up on their beef production facts to help balance out the conversation about sustainability and animal agriculture.

I haven’t seen the documentary “Cowspiracy” yet, but after viewing the trailer and reading some of the publicity for it, I’m sure it won’t be one any cattle producer will enjoy watching. The trailer points to a dark “sustainability secret” which is the “one single industry destroying the planet more than any other.” According to the trailer, this industry is responsible for global warming, water shortages, methane emissions, species extinction, and the ocean dead zones. “Cowspiracy” places the blame on livestock production.

In the trailer, the creators insinuate they are taking a big personal risk, even endangering their lives, by making this film. In fact, they claim that the livestock industry is so nefarious, so powerful, that the major established environmental organizations are afraid to take it on. But the film’s creators don’t have any problem painting ranching as the world’s worst environmental villain in the first 10 seconds, and it only gets worse from there.

Of course, Cowspiracy just appears to be regurgitating the common myths the beef industry has worked hard to correct over the years. For example, the Cowspiracy website claims it takes 660 gals. of water to make one hamburger, or the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers.

However, according to Facts About Beef, “In reality, it takes 441 gals. of water to produce 1 lb. of boneless beef. Farmers and ranchers are committed to water conservation and have reduced the amount of water used to raise beef by 12% compared to 30 years ago. In comparison, 441 gals. of water is a fraction of what is used to produce other everyday items. It takes over 713 gals. of water to produce one cotton t-shirt; 39,090 gals. to manufacture a new car; and 36 million gals./day is leaked from the New York City water supply system.”

So if we really care about water conservation, we should stop wearing clothes, driving cars and using water altogether in our homes and businesses.

An inflated estimate of water use in beef production is just one of the myths being perpetuated by this film. It’s clear the film’s producers are anti-meat and anti-food animal. The documentary debuts this summer, and I’m sure it will make more than a few viewers feel guilty about consuming their beloved cheeseburger. That’s why it’s up to us to share the factual information about beef production and the environment.

I encourage everyone to visit reference sites like FactsAboutBeef.com or check out our Earth Day page for resources on this topic.

Will you go view Cowspiracy? Do you think the documentary is something ranchers should worry about? How would you respond to being painted a villain by a couple of guys with a video camera? How can we show our consumers how the beef industry has decreased its use of natural resources while producing more beef? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 88

Miriam Wells (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

I don't really get how the everyday items you chose to relate to in regard to water consumption during production make for a good comparison. Well, at least not in favor for beef producers. A single cotton T-shirt will be worn in a time frame during which quite a lot of cheeseburgers can and will be consumed by the average Joe. Going nude clearly has less impact than cutting out one or two burgers each week. Although the water consumption needed to produce a car seems huge it is still not as much as what you need for only 90 pounds of beef.
If you are trying to convince me you have to do better than that.

Dusty (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Did you miss the gorilla in the room or what? 36 million gallons per day LEAKED from New York City alone? That doesn't count what was flushed in toilets, used for hand and body washing, or actually consumed.

on Jul 22, 2014

The ELEPHANT in the room are the cows. I have watched rainforests with my own eyes being teared down to feed cows, I have seen the places where the killing takes place, the sea dead zones are caused by cattle manouver, cancer, obesity (ask any obese if they are vegetarian), animals crying, forests which are the lung of the earth being teared down. My family had a couple of ranches with cattle, but once we found out and looked into it, we realized we couldn't go on, we couldn't live knowing all the suffering we were causing to animals and human beings as well, who get sick by having our diet..

Anonymous1 (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

Troll much?

Kami (not verified)
on Aug 3, 2014

@Dusty Are you kidding me? there are 9 millions people living in NYC and you think a 36 million gallon/ day for the whole city is the elephant in the room? Can't you do simple math. That's only 4 gallon per person and you think that's more than than the 441 gallons per pounds cited by the article?

Heck even the 441 gallons per pounds figure is pure bs. 441 gallons per pounds is about 3673 l/kg, per comparisons what are the numbers cited by actual scientific studies:
Chapagain & Hoekstra (2003) -> 15977 l/kg
Zimmer& Renault(2003) -> 13500 l/kg
Oki et al.(2003)-> 20700 l/kg
Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2010)->15400 l/kg

Yeah this article is full of shit.

YukkyMeat (not verified)
on Aug 9, 2014

Why are you only looking at water consumption?

The writer of this article, Amanda, is clearly uneducated about this important issue.

Amanda, you fail to also include:

* MASSIVE deforestation to house the cows you eat
* The disgusting ways cattle (and all animals that are eaten) are treated
* The HUGE amounts of methane produced by these animals farting all day
* The mounting evidence that meat consumption is a major cause of heart disease and cancer
AND
* The fact that these cattle are fed grains and soy which should be used to FEED THE MILLIONS OF STARVING PEOPLE WORDWIDE.

So the huge amounts of water to raise these poor creatures is only the tip of the iceberg.

Get your facts straight Amanda, as I am sure you are one of the many who waste water everyday.

Stop trying to justify something that is causing all of the problems, health wise and environment wise.

There is no brainwashing going on here...its called education. People who don't eat meat are not like an extreme religious group; we are showing people the facts, not something that you can't see.

ShowMe_TheTruth (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2014

Thank you Yukky Meat!! Makes me laugh when people like Amanda twist a story and try to portray facts in their favor to play down what is reality in an ever growing issue. As many have said, water usage in meat production is just skimming the surface of much deeper issues. We need to stop twisting the facts so that uneducated people don't easily grab on to a story or argument that doesn't paint the whole picture. Everyone deserves to know.

Michelle N (not verified)
on Sep 27, 2014

PLEASE feel free to take my share of grains & soy. SERIOUSLY? Grains & soy are the most unhealthy crops, they're more than 85% GMO and deplete the soil more than any other. Not to mention what it has done to the economies and employment of small countries. But you all keep dreaming that dream. You're not saving anything. You're destroying more forests for soy & grain production than cattle production. There is no need for any more land for cattle production, so there is no further destruction, that is an absolute MYTH/LIE, however that myth is being perpetuated while HIDING the FACT that deforestation is happening by the millions of HECTARES to increase production of SOY & GRAINS that are unhealthy & causing serious health & illness issues for people worldwide.

Hello...they use grains to fatten cattle???? What do you think it's going to do to humans?

http://www.usmarc.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/66570000/Manuscripts/1995/...

http://www.grain.org/article/entries/588-gm-soybean-latin-america-s-new-...

Andrea (not verified)
on Sep 27, 2014

Very well stated! I just got home from watching the documentary. It was fantastically done! The producers did a phenomenal job of bringing forth the facts, and EDUCATING those of us that unfortunately have been very blind to this epidemic. Knowledge can bring change, so I highly recommend viewing this film. It will change your life, as well as those of our future generations!

Cowspiracy (not verified)
on Sep 7, 2014

Those stats come from/and are funded by the Beef Checkoff. Lets see what they support https://www.beefboard.org/about/faq_aboutcheckoff.asp

1) What is the beef checkoff?

The Beef Checkoff Program is a producer-funded marketing and research program designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef. This can be done through promotion, research and new product development, and a variety of other marketing tools. The Cattlemen's Beef Board and USDA oversee the collection and spending of checkoff funds.

2) How can checkoff dollars be used?

As mandated by law, checkoff dollars must be invested in programs to increase consumer demand for beef and create opportunities to enhance producer profitability. The Beef Act defines six program categories: promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. It’s important to note here that the law does not allow beef checkoff dollars to be invested in production research that it not aimed at improving the end beef product.

3) Who benefits from the beef checkoff?

The fundamental goal of every checkoff program is to increase commodity demand, thereby increasing the potential long-term economic growth of all sectors of the industry. The overwhelming majority of beef and dairy producers say their beef checkoff has value for them in many ways:[1]
78 percent of producers currently approve of the Beef Checkoff Program -- the highest level in 21 years.
80 percent of producers continue to believe that the checkoff has contributed to a positive trend in consumer demand for beef.
71 percent believe that the checkoff has, over the year, contributed to the profitability of their cattle operation.
79 percent of producers believe the Beef Checkoff Program does a good job of representing their interests.
65 percent believe the Beef Checkoff Program is being managed well.
4) What would the Beef Board do with the money if the amount were to be increased?

Should producers agree to an increase after more than two decades – and producers would have to vote on this change – producers who represent us on the Beef Board or state beef councils would carefully analyze where it could have the biggest impact and produce the most benefit to the industry. They may consider putting the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” message back on television, increasing our foreign market development efforts and stepping up our consumer education efforts, among others.

No agenda there, not at all.

jrf (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

something important is that the water used to be recycle.

Kamal (not verified)
on Jul 25, 2014

Thanks Miriam. Those were my thought exactly.

As far as the water leaked is concerned, again, compare that with the daily animal foods water footprint of the millions of New York residents. The amount of water leaked pales in comparison.

Jed (not verified)
on Sep 20, 2014

not sure why they used the tee shirt comparison (though the tee shirt really represents a quantity of cotton) either when the article could have used other food stuffs like the following:

-a pound of chocolate 3,170 gallons of water
-a gallon of wine 1,008 gallons of water
-a pound of rice 449 gallons of water
-a gallon of coffee 880 gallons of water
-a pound of millet 660 gallons of water

most of the water for a hamburger actually goes to growing the feed (corn, soy, alfalfa)

Source: Water Footprint Network

on Jul 21, 2014

Drunken with the success of decimating the dog breeders animal rights people hone in on the real targets. You. Remember facts will not balance emotion when trying to change the dialog. Also facts have nothing to do with the issues. This is stage one of Saul Alinskey's Rules for Radicals 101 - First: Tell the big lie. Repeat it over and over till it is believed. Bringing in facts is like taking a knife to a gun fight. You must bring emotions too to counter emotions. When I am emotional I can't be logical. And the other thing is you can never give up. It will drag on through generations as long as you have vegan fruitloops.

Ilovecows (not verified)
on Aug 3, 2014

Theres only emotion involved because theres tragedy involved, people who care about animals do feel emotion but the facts are subjective because beef farmers don't care about any facts aside from what affects them- which is why you are all disputing the water/pollution facts because that affects you and other humans- you dont care about any facts regarding respect towards the animals for THEIR sake

Mike V (not verified)
on Aug 30, 2014

Too bad you had to spoil your nice discussion about facts with derogatory phrase "vegan fruitloops." There is extreme narrowsightedness on both sides of the issue and labeling people with derogatory terms doesn't help. It would in fact be productive to have a "respectful" and factual discussion. To gain credibility requires honestly, realism and respect.

on Jul 21, 2014

One other point, the way vegan animal rights people have been able to continue so well is they are taking their message to kindergarteners, schools and universities.

Lily Taylor (not verified)
on Jul 23, 2014

Yes, we have, and we're stepping it up too. Be afraid, be very afraid.

chenhalljr (not verified)
on Jul 23, 2014

Yes Maggie they start the brain washing at a very young age and here we are trying to teach our children not to lie and thats most of what the vegan messages are , LIES.

WAKEUPMEATZOMBIES (not verified)
on Sep 27, 2014

i went vegan at 35...my mother went vegan at 65...neither of us were brainwashed at a young age (or any age)...we just broke out of the bubble and accepted the truth regarding animal agriculture/exploitation....you are a weak minded meat zombie...this post has seriously backfired on you and your beef magazine.com friends...you are clearly outnumbered here...and this is supposed to be a pro-meat site??? ha...so you make erroneous claims in your time of desperation...i feel sorry for you, but it's never too late to wake up. you're the one being lied to, but your too reluctant to aknowledge your capacity to show compassion, empathy, and sensibility so you get defensive and start spewing judgements on the educated people. it feels good to educate oneself...you should try it some time.

JK (not verified)
on Aug 25, 2014

Right, and that makes them so evil -- teaching kids the importance of being kind to others no matter who they are, what species they are, or how different they are from us. And by the way, guess who else is taking their message to kingergarteners, schools, and universities? The meat, dairy, and egg industries. How else do you think the whole bs "food pyramid" came about? Do they really expect us to believe that it was unbiased health experts who claimed that a healthy meal consists of "meat and alternatives" and "dairy" as two main components?

JCB (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Sustainability.... What a crock of s!@t! 99% of the people using this term have absolutely no clue what it means in the context they're using it. If asked what exactly they mean when they use the term "sustainability" you'll probably get a blank stare and a bunch of stammering around. Most producers are still confused about its use as well. They've been caring for the land for generations and now they're told they aren't "sustainable." They're definition and the liberal definition are worlds apart.This is just the latest scheme concocted by the limp wrist liberals to screw gullible people out of money, no different than "global warming" or PETA. I continue to be amazed at the apparent stupidity of some people in this country, who apparently think they're food and fiber just materializes out of thin air. They won't like the consequences if this country becomes an importer of food instead of a producer, and food prices sky rocket. But hey maybe they'll enjoy being hungry....

KCC (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Dead on!

on Jul 21, 2014

"But hey maybe they'll enjoy being hungry...."
They will be the last to go hungry. Those votes have long been bought and paid for.

The Truth (not verified)
on Jul 23, 2014

I wonder if anyone's done a documentary on city lawn fertilization and the effects it has on the water supply. You know I could never figure that one out. People who have very little understanding of fertilizers or vegetation going out to make they're lawn look the best by over fertilizing then watering it in right away or washing it down the gutters. Whatever. I guess a concentrated amount of people over fertilizing and washing it into the water system has no effect on things like that. Silly me.

Fred (not verified)
on Aug 16, 2014

Just off the top of my head, what sustainability means to me is the ability to keep doing what you're doing far into the future, and hopefully do it with "good" rather than "bad" consequences. The only point you made to suggest that beef raising is sustainable is that ranchers have "been caring for the land for generations." Maybe so, but 150 years is not all that long a period, and, if you look at all the changes that have taken place in recent generations, with water and land shortages, pollution and huge population growth, a phrase like "taking care of the land" rings a little hollow in these days. And what is your idea, anyway, of what "limp wrist liberals" mean by "sustainable"? And as far as thinking that "food and fiber just materializes out of thin air" goes, I think one point of the film is that we would do much better to directly consume the food grown rather than the wasteful process of passing it through cattle and other animals.

Beefeater (not verified)
on Sep 18, 2014

So Fred, who is going to grow that food??? What are we going to do with the cattle that aren't being fed anymore....let them roam the Plains.....where crops need to be planted for food consumption??? Do you think cattle will just stop eating, drinking, and shutting just because we won't have them in feedyards anymore? What about all the other animals and humans doing the same thing......?

on Jul 21, 2014

We are going to have to start bringing our A game to this debate. It starts in elementary school, kids are being indoctrinated that beef is bad. Telling farm and ranch kids that is a crock is not nearly as important as getting into the city schools, from what I've observed often we mostly preach to the choir. I also think we have to split ranks with pork and chicken, cows spend their lives on the range, I can't see how a system can get much more sustainable than that, it has to be more sustainable than confinement chicken and pork operations. The idea the lefties favor chicken over beef is mind boggling to me.

I watched Ron White yesterday on TV, he says he's doing his best to combat climate change caused by cattle, he's eating the cow, but he is only one man!

JCB (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

The chicken and pork industries will always be confinement based. We had some neighbors who thought they'd get into "free range" farming chicken and hogs.... What a disaster! They rotated the hogs much like a rotational grazing system for cattle but after a few rounds the fields looked like you'd went through them with a turn plow. Most of the day the hogs could be found "hiding" from the sun in two foot deep pools of their own feces, urine, and rainwater that they busily constructed as they went through their rotations. And as for the poultry, the only ones that got fat off that deal was the local wildlife. If someone would have stayed out there 24/7 they would have still been decimated as they were by the hawks, foxes, coyotes and God only knows what other carnivores looking for an easy meal. The only time they were safe was when they were "confined" to their roost pens at night, and even then there were some break ins!

Paul S. (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Cows spend their lives on the range? You may want to research that one so we don't start telling lies too. Some do, most don't.

Larry Deen (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

I don't understand what you mean, unless you are talking about dairy farmers?

JB (not verified)
on Aug 13, 2014

I think Paul might be referring to feedlots.

MSc Ag from Canada (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

There are always going to be 'facts' which have been manhandled by animal rights and other activism groups. If we try to chase the incorrect facts with correct ones, trying to correct the errors, we will always be chasing the issue and always behind, reacting instead of being proactive.
The problem with many urbanites is that they are unable/have not been taught how to think CRITICALLY about agriculture/environmental issues. Producers need to spread the wealth of education, by asking the important questions: i.e., "440 gallons of water for one burger? Is that a lot? Compared to the amount of water for one head of lettuce?" Etc. etc.
When we question the average city dweller on issues and definitions (such as one person already mentioned, the definition of 'sustainability'), we will help people see several things, including: 1. many people do not have enough education on these issues, to be able to accurately judge; and 2. many myths and lies are spread by the activist groups in attempts to fuel the emotion part of the debate.
I recall an ad for the amount of protein in beef vs broccoli, which was exposed by Amanda Radke, I believe (thanks for that article). The ad claimed that the SAME amount of protein was supplied by these 2 different foods. If any of my urban relatives were to throw that at me, I would be quick to ask if the really believe that MEAT (the tangible 'definition' of protein, in my book) really has the same amount of protein as vegetable matter, which we're all being told we should eat because of the fibre content. And, as the article pointed out, you 'could' get the same amount of protein IF you ate many many pounds of broccoli compared to one steak (for example).
I think you may see what I'm getting at. Fight the emotional fire with cool education thru calm questioning. People don't, at heart, want to make themselves look stupid.

on Jul 21, 2014

Quote from the Daily Californian:
"a slice of truth flayed open on the big screen"?

I doubt that. I'm reserving judgement until I've viewed the film but it looks like another activist backed, agenda driven, ideologically based play on the emotions of an uninformed public to promote the pseudo-science ideology of anti animal anything.

Melissa (not verified)
on Aug 19, 2014

"Im reserving my judgement until ive viewed the film" *goes on to make negative assumptions about the film* HA

texvawan (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2014

But youve just done exactly that: judged. The film appeared genuine and confronting - solid answers on tough subjects rarely come easy. Regards Len

on Jul 21, 2014

This 60 minute documentary called ‘Cereal Killers’ is available for free online through the end of July 2014. It puts across a strong message for meat, eggs, natural butter—things so-called “food experts” wring their hands over. What this documentary shows is the “experts” are dead-assed wrong. This documentary is backed up by personal experimentation and science, and documents that eating a higher fat and lower carbohydrate diet that includes daily portions of meat is extremely beneficial to your health. Start here and begin to assemble your offense against the ‘no-meaters.’ Get a copy of this study. Work up your platform and public programs. If you feel the documentary is worthy, use it with your platform. The producer I’m sure would work with you.

Cereal Killer – A Documentary (Documentary is at the top)
http://www.trilogybootcamp.com/category/fat

Source
http://vimeo.com/99446016

WilliamC (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Don't plants and animals contain abut the same amount of water on a cellular level? I guess their food uses allot of water to.

1776 (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

It's a rigged economy by the Democrats, it's designed to wipe out the ranchers and this is just one of them!! Prepare!! I love sustainability but cattle is not the problem, sorry environmentalist and global warming is a fraud!!

CalfDoc (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

I went to a one room country school in the 50's. I remember being taught the water cycle back then. Water is not used up, it is part of a cycle. When even have this discussion we give creditability to the pseudo scientists of the world. Lets remember this has nothing to do with water this to do with a group of people who want to destroy animal agriculture.

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

Amen, CalfDoc. That is general science for beginners.
However, when knowledge and belief conflict, belief will prevail.
johndykersmd@dykers.com

MarjiB (not verified)
on Jul 21, 2014

Your statistics are a bit misleading.

I did the maths. In the US, about 26 BILLION pounds of beef are produced for retail sale. Using YOUR math, that's 1.1466e+13 (that is, add 13 zeroes to that number) gallons of water. The US cotton industry produces 1.2 million pounds of cotton and uses 855 million gallons of water. Even New York can't compete, "wasting" 13140000000 gallons of water. In 2011, the US produced 2.9 million cars, so that used about 87 billion gallons of water.

So just in the United States alone, the production of beef uses far more water than New York, cotton, car production...by a lot.

To sum:
Beef production in the US: 114,660,000,000,000,000
Cotton water use: 855,000,000
New York use: 13140000000
Car production in US: 87,000,000,000

So perhaps you might reconsider your statement that cotton, New York city, and new cars are more water intensive than beef production.

bh (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

Hey, "maths" genius. First off, 1.1466E+13 does not mean to add 13 zeros to the end of the number, your calculation is actually off by about 114.648 quadrillion gallons. Second, I'm not sure about you, but I don't own very many t-shirts that weigh 1 pound. And lastly, the amount of beef that the US produces feeds far more people than just the ones who live in New York City. So to say that US beef production uses more water than New York City wastes is like saying Saudi Arabia produces more oil than my truck leaks out.

MarjiB (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

My bad!

You are right. The correct amount is 1,146,600,000,000 gallons of water wasted annually to produce 26 billion pounds of beef. Which is still more than cotton, car production, and water leaking out of NY city's system.

I am unclear why the weight of a cotton shirt matters (I get it, most weigh 1/3 of a pound). I pointed out how many millions pounds of cotton are produced in the US. It is still less water wasteful than beef production in the United States. Arguably only a certain percentage of that cotton is used for cotton t-shirt production but I was unable to find information on the exact percentage of cotton used for, say, cattle feed, and the amount used for, say, jeans or cotton shirts. You are welcome to hunt that info down and offer a correction!

Again, unclear what point you are trying to convey regarding NY city water leakage and US beef production. *I* am not the one who claimed that beef production in the US uses less water than NY city leaks in a given day or year - the author of the article did. And it's simply untrue.

Anonymous1 (not verified)
on Jul 24, 2014

Calculations aside, I think the most relevant point here is to distinguish between the waste and use of water.

The water leaked from the NYC system would be considered a waste since energy and the infrastructure designed to move this water from point A to B is not working at maximum efficiency.

In contrast, the water provided to cattle is used as part of the metabolic process of converting low-quality fiber (cellulose i.e. grass, hay, etc) and starch (mainly corn and corn co-products) into a high-protein food product. The fiber utilized by cattle has little to no nutritional value to humans and the starch, used by humans for the production of glucose and glycogen and typically found in great abundance in the average american diet (oftentimes to the detriment of health), is converted into essential amino acids that can be found in only a handful of other food products. I have trouble categorizing the use of water for this purpose as "waste".

A final point to keep in mind is that water consumed by cattle is not removed from the water-cycle. Much of the water consumed is returned immediately via the production of urine and feces and to a smaller extent through respiration. The water captured at a cellular level through the development of muscle and fat will ultimately be realized in the end-products of beef production and be captured and return to the water-cycle.

TomF (not verified)
on Sep 23, 2014

So, I don't think the problem with water use is whether the water goes back into the water cycle or not. I mean, it's not like the cows are shooting water into space, or splitting it into separate hydrogen and oxygen atoms in vast quantities.

The problem is that they're converting fresh water into waste water. There is an upper limit to the amount of fresh water that's available.. the sun evaporates water from the oceans, and then that rains down. (I guess you could add some more via filtration or whatever, but that seems like a rounding error). There's only a certain amount of ocean surface area, and a certain amount of sun, so we only get a certain amount of rain.

Everything that uses water converts fresh water into waste water. The real question is whether it's worth it or not, and whether fresh water is priced correctly, because as-is people are voting with their wallets, and beef is profitable to produce.

Cathy (not verified)
on Sep 19, 2014

Nice work!

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2014

Cows drink a lot of water, 10-15 gals a day depending on the temperature. They pee a lot too, returning most of that water to the pasture along with their stool, making manure to grow more grass. In the process they turn some of the lowest quality forages into high quality beef protein. (not quite as low quality as goats, and they make a good mixed herd in many pastures if the coyotes are not eating the kids.)
But, when knowledge and belief conflict, belief will prevail. So 'beef is good and good for you. 'Beef, It's what's for dinner'.
johndykersmd@dykers.com

John345 (not verified)
on Jul 23, 2014

Beef protein? what is that?

The essential amino acids only come from plants.. the only reason they are in animal flesh is because you're eating an animal that eats plant materials.

Anonymous15 (not verified)
on Aug 26, 2014

Returning pee and poop to pasture is probably the case where cattle are being grown on the range. However, I would guess the film (and arguments by many people here) are highlighting industrial agriculture where CAFOs are the name of the game and the poop is also concentrated in lagoons to languish and pollute - not reinvigorate the soil. So, the question worth investigating might be - how much of the beef production here is CAFO derived and how much is done on farms that practice the type of ag that could support the cows, the land, and the farmers who farm cattle that way?

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