In this 60-minute documentary, Monbiot explains how the biggest threat to our planet is not industrial emissions, cars, flying, or even plastic - but how we use land to rear animals to feed ourselves.
George Monbiot says: “The kinder we are to animals, the crueler we are to the planet. This is because free-range farming requires far more land than intensive farming. We need to urgently rethink how we feed ourselves. This film is about revolutionary ideas that could do away with agriculture as we know it, but still feed ten billion people and bring the natural world back from the point of collapse, to create something extraordinary.’
In Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed The Planet, Monbiot explores the disaster that is animal grazing - a process where humans cut down trees that suck in atmospheric carbon only to replace them with animals responsible for generating vast quantities of greenhouse gases - and challenges the audience to rethink how they see landscapes which have been turned over to animals. Monbiot believes there is room for optimism. He looks at alternative food sources and investigates how freeing grazing land will allow re-wilding – with forests that will capture carbon.
Nick Metcalfe, Executive Producer, Arrow Pictures, says: “George Monbiot is one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners with a powerful, provocative insight. Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed The Planet is George’s personal perspective, designed to get everyone thinking more about the enormous issue we face. This is just the kind of film which Arrow Pictures is about - bringing talented voices and big stories alive in the most impactful way. It just so happens that, on this occasion, the real story is about the future of the human race.”
George Monbiot spent six years working as an investigative journalist in West Papua, Brazil and East Africa. Today, he is an author, columnist and environmental campaigner. Among his books and projects are Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life; The Age of Consent; Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning; and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis. He has made a number of viral videos. One of them, How Wolves Change Rivers, based on an extract from his TED Talk, has been watched 40 million times on YouTube.
Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed The Planet is broadcast on Channel 4 on Wednesday 8 January 2020.