Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has long been a steadfast champion of conservation and sustainability causes. He has donated millions of dollars to environmental protection groups, ocean conservation programs, and organizations who help defend endangered elephants. Last year, he made a hard-hitting speech to the United Nations about climate change AND narrated a sustainability-themed video called Carbon for Green World Rising. He also saves tigers in his spare time … y’know, whenever he can catch a break from being so fabulous.
It now looks as though DiCaprio has proven his fabulousness once more, by helping take Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret to Netflix for global release on Sept. 15th.
This is not DiCaprio’s first time being involved with a hard-hitting documentary with Netflix. Last year, he teamed up with the streaming service to make Virunga, an anti-poaching exposé which detailed the efforts made by rangers at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park to keep the animals under their care safe.
“Cowspiracy” is set to be no less of an eye-opener, as it subjects the animal agriculture industry to searing scrutiny and ultimately concludes that this, more than any other single industry on Earth, is “primarily to blame” for “global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction, and ocean dead zones.
In an interview with film review website Decider, directors Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn were unapologetic about their stance on “sustainably produced” animal products, with Andersen saying: “Some people think they know what the film is going to be before they watch it. Because it has the word ‘cow’ in it, it might be some film where you’re going to see some gruesome things about animals. But our focus was really to skip beyond the things such as factory farms, which most people know about, and to focus really on the most ‘sustainable’ farming – the grass-fed and the organic farms – and to show that what’s happening on the factory farm level is essentially happening on those, too. It doesn’t matter if it is organic or grass-fed beef.”
Despite the somewhat grim picture “Cowspiracy” might appear to paint, Kuhn added that he is hopeful about the possibility of humans changing our ways before it is too late: “I absolutely believe real change is possible and is possible today. A shift in diet is one of those revolutionary steps that we can take that will have immediate impact on the planet and its ecosystems. Driving less is great and important, but we won’t see an impact to climate change for one hundred years even if everybody stopped using fossil fuels. Whereas if everybody stopped supporting animal agriculture, we would see immediate impacts, and within ten to fifteen years, the planet would start to regulate itself again with everything: water use, deforestation, soil, forest erosion, ocean dead zones. All of these things could stop immediately if we all chose to stop supporting this industry. Virtually no other lifestyle change has that sort of impact.”
This idea is perfectly echoed in One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign. As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future.
“The real war against climate is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make,” says Nil Zacharias, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet, ”one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and our species is that we are knowingly eating ourselves into extinction, and doing very little about it.”
By choosing to eat more plant-based foods you can drastically cut your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock. With the wealth of available plant-based options available, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind.
To find out more about how you, too, can move towards this important lifestyle change, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign. And be sure to keep an eye out for Cowspiracy when it launches on Netflix, Sep. 15! A DVD version can also be ordered from the documentary’s official website.