Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

A movie poster showing a cow with a sunset in the background

Movie Poster for Cowspiracy
Directed by Kip Andersen
Keegan Kuhn
Produced by Kip Andersen
Keegan Kuhn
Starring Kip Andersen
Howard Lyman
Richard Oppenlander
Michael Pollan
Michael Klaper
Will Tuttle
Will Potter
Cinematography Keegan Kuhn
Edited by Kip Andersen
Keegan Kuhn
Distributed by A.U.M. Films
First Spark Media
Release dates
  • June 26, 2014 (2014-06-26) (Los Angeles)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a 2014 documentary film produced and directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. The film 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 many more.[1][2][3][4]

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.[5][6] Screenings are licensed through the distributor as well as on Tugg.[7]

A new cut of the documentary, executive-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, premiered globally on Netflix on September 15, 2015.[8]

Featured individuals


Co-producer/director Keegan Kuhn speaks at the Cowspiracy conference in Berkeley, September 2016.

Cowspiracy won the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 South African Eco Film Festival,[9] as well as the Best Foreign Film Award at the 12th annual Festival de films de Portneuf sur l'environnement.[10] It was also nominated for Cinema Politica’s 2015 Audience Choice Award.[11]


Doug Boucher, reviewing the film for the Union of Concerned Scientists, disputed the film's claim that 51% of global greenhouse gases are caused by animal agriculture. Boucher describes the inflated "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 notes the methodological flaws in Goodland and Anhang's logic, and notes that the scientific community has formed a consensus that global warming is primarily caused by humanity's burning of fossil fuels.[12] Boucher notes that the scientific consensus is that livestock contribute 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions - far lower than the "51%" claimed by the film.[12]

This Union of Concerned Scientists review concludes by acknowledging that livestock does indeed contribute to global warming—albeit at a far lower rate than the film claims—and notes that the film's claim of a scientific 'conspiracy' to suppress knowledge can be refuted by the vast amount of literature published on the topic of livestock's contribution to greenhouse emissions.[12]

See also


  1. Kanner, Ellen (August 4, 2014). "Meatless Monday -- 'Cowspiracy:' The One Thing No One Talks About". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  2. Animal Agriculture: A Neglected Agent of Global Warming? The co-producers of the documentary film "Cowspiracy" discuss the environmental impact of Intensive animal farming - and why mainstream organizations have been silent about it. November 20, 2014, The Real News
  3. "Cowspiracy". Village. February 19, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
  4. "Burgers Are Ending the World, Says Cowspiracy". SF Weekly. Jun 25, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
  5. "Cowspiracy IndieGoGo campaign page".
  6. Alison Homewood. "Beware Cowspiracy – and the spread of the vegan virus -- New Internationalist". New Internationalist.
  7. "Cowspiracy page on Tugg".
  8. "Exclusive: Interview With Directors Of 'Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret' On Netflix, A Controversial New Documentary". Decider. August 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  9. "Cowspiracy Wins Audience Choice Award". The South African Eco Film Festival. April 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  10. "Le FFPE récompense les films gagnants de la 12e édition". Festival de films de Portneuf sur l'environnement. April 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  11. "Vote for the 2015 Audience Choice Award!". Cinema Politica. April 6, 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  12. 1 2 3 Boucher, Doug (10 June 2016). "Movie Review: There's a Vast Cowspiracy about Climate Change". The Equation blog. Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved 12 June 2016.

External links

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