Sacred Cow – Movie Review
Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental, and Ethical Case for Better Meat
This film is a companion piece to the book “Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet” by Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf.
There couldn’t be a more timely and necessary film. Since the 1980s, our national (and global) health has been declining at a rapid rate. The rapid increase of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes… are all somehow a “mystery” to science.
“Fat” has long been the enemy, and by association, meat. Specifically red meat. In recent years, red meat has been vilified as “the” main culprit in causing cancer, making people fat, giving people heart attacks, and destroying the planet.
But the glaring question remains: how has red meat suddenly become our greatest villain despite the fact that we’ve been eating meat for 2.6 million years?
As the Paleo and “whole foods” movements emerged in the 2000s (and their later offsprings Keto and Carnivore), Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf start asking some very straightforward questions in their various writings, speaking engagements, and podcasts: is meat the villain we’ve all been indoctrinated to believe it is? Does it really cause cancer? Does it really cause heart disease? Does it really contribute to climate change? Are we all just murderers of sentient beings?
These are not easy questions to answer… but there are answers.
It’s not the “cow,” it’s the “how.”
In this film, Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf dispel the myths of meat (specifically red meat). It does not cause cancer or heart attacks. It is not the driver of global warming. On the contrary, properly raise beef (and other ruminants) are actually a key antidote to our modern woes.
That sounds almost heretical to say, doesn’t it? That everything we “know” about meat is almost exactly the opposite of what the facts are? It’s a challenging concept to accept, but Rodgers and Wolf tell a compelling story as to why meat is not only innocent of the charges against it, but is actually crucial to how we produce food, restore our health, and address climate change all at the same time.
Remember, this film is meant to be a companion piece to the book. One truly needs to read the book in conjunction with the film to get the full picture. That’s not a knock against the film, it’s simply a fact: the scope of examining human nutrition, environmental impacts, and animal ethics is simply too big for any film. It’s impossible to convey combined decades of work into 1 hour and 20 min of screen time.
While the book is a methodical, fully-referenced argumentation as to why meat is not only good for you, but good for the planet, the film takes us on a journey through the eyes of those who experience what it means to raise and consume better meat than the conventional “factory farmed” meat the majority of people eat.
A film (and book) like this was desperately needed to counter the prevailing, false narrative that meat is bad; bad for you, bad for the planet, bad for the animal. It doesn’t have be a choice between meat or no meat. There is a third option: better meat.