animal agriculture

The federal government leases some of its lands to private ranchers. So anything else on the land — horses, burros, and wildlife such as wolves and bears — must be removed. Horses and burros are rounded up (shown above) and then moved to permanent holding facilities. Note the cowboy at right, flailing a stick with a white rag. About 50,000 horses and burros are in federal holding facilities, according to Cowspiracy. / Screen grab from Cowspiracy

5 animal agriculture facts from the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, and their sources

Richard Oppenlander, environmental consultant and author: 91 percent of the Amazon rain forest that has been destroyed has been due to clearing for livestock.

Susan Hartland, administrative director, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: “Over 23 billion animals were pulled out of the ocean” in 2014.

Kip Andersen, narrator and co-director of CowspiracyGrass-fed beef is less sustainable than factory farming. A grain-fed cow takes 15 months to reach slaughter stage; a grass-fed cow takes 23 months.


Leila Salazar Lopez, program director for Amazon Watch: “There are many, many ‘drivers’ of deforestation … oil and gas pipelines … mining projects … mega-dam projects.”

Emily Meredith, vice president of communications and membership for the Animal Agriculture Alliance: “We’ve used technology to make advancements in how we raise crops and raise animals. We’re not going to feed the world by going back to how it was 100 years ago, when animals were pasture-fed.”