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Parents' Guide to

Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental and Ethical Case for Better Meat

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Informative docu about improving farming practices.

Movie NR 2021 80 minutes
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This documentary is thick with information, history, criticism, education, and hope for the future. For many, Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental and Ethical Case for Better Meat will be essential viewing that yields vital information about what we really should be worried about (it isn't eating red meat), what we can do to better the lives and deaths of animals, and how we can better our farming practices across both agricultural and livestock farming industries. For some, however, Sacred Cow might be difficult viewing as it historicizes veganism and anti-meat lifestyles, argues for essential health benefits of eating meat and health dangers for not, and largely works to dismantle many of the myths involved in the vilification of meat over the last 40 years. For example, the documentary points out that eating faux meat is arguably worse for the environment and for your health, and many animals were still involved and required in its making. It also points out that trying to live on a diet that entirely consists of food that has no animal involvement is actually incredibly difficult and nearly impossible unless you grow everything yourself, and even then, you'll end up having to kill something, whether it be slugs, rabbits, or other invaders.

Industrial cropping is also a problem as it kills the soil and environment and eventually renders the earth obsolete. Once-plains can turn into deserts in a mere 60 years, like the Chihuahuan Desert that covers parts of southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Soil that can retain and hold water turns into depleted soil that cannot. And we absolutely need animals for this. They graze, stomp, fart, poop, and fertilize, and ultimately work as an ecological management tool. To demonstrate all this, many farmers around the United States are profiled and given lots of screen time as they show how they changed their farms around using regenerative farming. Sacred Cow convincingly argues for regenerative farming and bettering our understanding about food, meat, and animals, and it's presented with science, historical analyses, and vital criticisms of the modern commercial farming industries that rely heavily on chemicals, caged animals, and the separation of crops from livestock farming.

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