'Cowspiracy' Movie Screening at Lumos, Chandigarh

Cowspiracy, a documentary film about the evils of the livestock industry and the true secret to sustainability, was screened by Earthr.org at Lumos, Chandigarh on July 14th. The screening was followed by an exchange of views, myths, facts and tips between the spectators, animal activists and environmentalists.

A 90-minute documentary film produced and directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, Cowspiracy shows how livestock farming is among the most destructive industries in the world today and are the principal cause for habitat loss, species extinction, ocean dead zones and water pollution. Livestock and their by-products account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and are therefore key factors for global warming. A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk. We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people, and yet close to 800 million people don’t have enough food to lead a healthy life. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. "I thought I wasn’t harming animals by being a vegetarian. And the idea of giving up some food was never convincing. But this movie revealed the industry and its impact, which completely changed my perception. I would not want to consume animal products for personal benefits,” Prachi Kishore, one of the viewers, expressed her shock.

The film also investigates why the world's leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. In Brazil alone, 1,100 Land activists who showed resistance against cutting down of their rainforests have been killed in the past 20 years. 1-2 acres of rainforests are cleared every second - this was what they were fighting.

A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food. "Veganism is at our doorstep as the only sustainable solution to the immediate hazards our environment faced worldwide. It's time to open our minds and imbibe it into our lives," said Inder Sandhu, a veteran animal activist leading the Vegans in Chandigarh group.

Dairy also takes a toll on your health. Everything in a cow’s milk - the hormones, the proteins, the lipids, the growth factors, the IGF - is for transforming a 65-pound calf into a 400-pound cow. Dairy consumption may lead to breast lumps, bigger uteruses, getting fibroids and may also give guys man-boobs. After babies are weaned from breast milk or formula, they do not need any type of milk to be healthy. Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain dietary cholesterol. it’s 'baby calf growth fluid’, it’s not meant for humans or our pets. "The science of Ayurveda teaches us the healing power of plants, which can be applied to humans and pets, alike,” quoted Geet Rao, a Clinical Pet Nutritionist. All the nutrients that we require for our body are easily available from plant-based sources.

No animal offers us their milk, eggs, meat, fur or wool. It is forcefully taken from them. Dairy animals are raped, tortured, intensely confined, genetically manipulated and treated as machines. Human bodies fight cow’s milk; it is the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Namita Satija, founder of PLAPP, urged to understand one’s instincts, “If you wouldn’t go to the source to get it, you should probably not consume it.”

Lumos is a forward-thinking restaurant/coworking space is one of the first places of the new wave of the Indian alternative culture movement that places emphasis on the ideas of sustainability, organic living and veganism. Shruti Rao Rathore, who helped design the vegan menu at Lumos, said, "We are ever-evolving beings. We have given up many destructive patterns that were once practised by our ancestors because we are intelligent enough to know we must do better. I have full faith in the intelligent humans, veganism is the way forward.”

Earthr.org is a nonprofit foundation that brings sustainability issues, ideas to solve them, individuals who can work on these ideas, and investments to scale those ideas to businesses for mass impact, together on one platform. Within a month of its launch, people from across the world have posted 70 challenges and 170 ideas around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Movie Screenings and outreaches are a part of their offline community sensitisation. Kunal Nandwani, founder of Earthr.org, stressed on the need to transform ideas from small discussion forums into social businesses which can create scalable impact.

Puneet Goyal pledged an immediate transition towards veganism, "It was a very powerful experience and eye-opening information about how unaware we are of our sources of food and the way they are treated and bred. Broke a lot of myths and also triggered deeper awareness on animal foods, their actual need and impact on our lives.”