** August 11, 2019 update – please visit www.sacredcow.info for all current film-related information. We are just finishing up production and will move into post production this fall. The film is expected to release next summer (2020). – Diana
It’s been an exciting year working on the film project. The first big news I have is that it’s evolved into a docuseries. The reason for this is that this is a REALLY complicated story to tell in one feature film. Just the nutrition piece alone could be a full-length feature film, and wouldn’t have allowed us to dive into the nuance needed to explain the environmental and ethical case for better meat. Docuseries are also a more “digestible” way of “consuming” media. (See what I did there?)
The working title has also changed from Kale vs. Cow to Sacred Cow. We listened to some feedback that the original title sounded like I was against vegetables, which of course is not the case. The definition of Sacred Cow is “an idea that is often unreasonably immune from criticism or opposition.” This shift reflects our focus on how regeneratively raised cattle are actually a solution to our health and planetary crises even though beef is often the most vilified as the MOST unhealthy, and WORST food to eat from a sustainability perspective.
Not many people are pushing back against this idea, and now we’re seeing city councils adopting vegan lunch days, and there’s even a movement to force restaurants to offer vegan entrees. Does the evidence really support the propaganda pushed by organizations looking to ban meat? Could there be another side to the story?
We spent a large part of the spring following nutrition-related stories. I believe that in order to understand the ethics of eating meat, you need to get the environmental case. But the environmental case only makes sense financially if there is a market to use cattle and other animals. We can’t have ranchers just raising cattle to live out their lives to an old age on pasture and “die naturally.” Food system solutions need to be financially, environmentally, and nutritionally sound.
To be concerned about our dietary impact is as important as our environmental impact. The connection between nutrition and sustainability is starting to make some headway into mainstream media. Everyone is trying to figure out how to feed the world in the most sustainable way and healthy way. However, we’ve allowed corporate interest, big food, flawed science, click-bait media and naïve celebrities to steer us away from what a truly nutrient-dense, ethical and sustainable, and regenerative food system really is. These views influence how we’re training dietitians, our dietary guidelines, school lunch policies, and funding for nutrition-related research.
As we become more globalized the entire world is now pushing towards the “heart healthy” American diet. There’s still so much confusion surrounding what’s causing our modern, nutrition-related diseases and many are blaming red meat. Worldwide, traditional, healthy foods like meat and traditional fats are being abandoned in favor of processed seed oils, wheat, corn and soy. In the process, we’re destroying entire ecosystems and our health.
In Sacred Cow, I’m going to be asking some critical questions that nobody else seems to be addressing. Does the science really support the claims that animal-based proteins increase obesity rates, type-2 diabetes, and cancer? Does it make sense to be irrigating vast fields of almonds in towns where drinking water has to arrive in plastic bottles? Is the best solution to the future of protein one where we are growing food in labs? Is red meat really the villain it’s made out to be? Do we really need to be looking to more tofu, soylent, and lab-grown meat as our solution? Will technology or nature save us?
I’ve made it my goal in life to help people realize the value of well-raised animals in our food system–-both as nutrient-dense food and a resource to help save the planet. As it turns out, the foods that are healthiest for our bodies are also the best for the planet, and I believe, the most ethical options.
We’ve filmed some incredible interviews with experts like Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. David Unwin, Dr. Aseem Malhotra and Dr. Sarah Hallberg, and have also been tracking some patient cases through a clinic that is reversing type-2 diabetes through diet. We’re eager to raise more funding to interview our long list of experts in nutrition, environment, ethics and food culture.
Robb Wolf, a long time supporter of the concept behind this film, has come on as co-executive producer, and we’re now working on securing the funding to complete the project. We’ve been talking to a mix of corporate sponsors, private investors and philanthropic foundations to make this happen.
This project is needed now more than ever.
We’re seeing city governments now mandating meat-free meals at city council meetings, a proposal to force restaurants and entertainment venues to provide vegan entrees, and even more special interest groups spreading propaganda vilifying all animal products. Nobody is pushing back in a major way.
I need more help to make sure there’s a more balanced narrative showing that the elimination of animals from our food system could cause more harm than good.
I’m accepting public donations through this link, and all contributions are tax-deductible (letters provided upon request).
To execute a project like this in the right way takes a lot of help, and I’d really appreciate yours today.
Our successful crowd funding campaign raised over $200,000, which has brought us through development and into the first stage of production. I’d like to make a special shout out to Justin Nault of Clovis Nutrition, Applegate, and my friends Paul and Pascale Edelman as our most significant contributors so far.
OUR EARLY MAJOR DONORS INCLUDE:
Sarah Ballantyne, Antony & Emily Bartlett, Jacob Cantele, Kristin Canty, John Durant, Mike Geary, Randy Hartnell, Melissa Hartwig, Heather Jurgensen, Chris Kresser, Michelle Tam, and Robb Wolf
CORPORATE SUPPORTERS INCLUDE:
Applegate, Belcampo Meat, ButcherBox, Central Grazing Company, EPIC Provisions, Farrier Leather, The Good Kitchen, Otto’s Cassava Flour, Paleo(f)x, PaleoValley, Thrive Market, Tribali Foods and US Wellness Meats
NON-PROFIT PARTNERS INCLUDE:
Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand, Animal Welfare Approved, Food Tank, GrassFed Exchange, Healthy Fats Coalition, Holistic Management International, Les Dames d’Escoffier New England, Nutritional Therapy Association, Savory Institute, Soil 4 Climate, and Weston A. Price Foundation
And special thanks to Kristin Canty, Nicolette Hahn Niman, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, Michael Wentz, John Durant, Michael Matheson-Miller, Russ Conser, Heather Jurgenson, Jacob Cantele and James Connelly for your ongoing support and advice!
Thanks also to Dream Machine Marketing for all of your hard work!
Check out this video of Joel Salatin endorsing the project here:
Here’s a few shots from the footage we’ve captured so far:
The project has also attracted some great early media attention! Here are a few of my favorite interviews/blog posts and podcasts:
Kale vs Cow (interview with Liz Wolfe on the Balanced Bites Podcast)
Kale vs Cow: The Case for Better Meat (Podcast on Nourish Balance Thrive)
Why I Give a Sh*t About Sustainability, Robbwolf.com
Diana Rodgers – Eating Meat and Sustainability, The Paleo Solution Podcast
‘Kale vs. Cow’ documentary makes a case for meat, Meat & Poultry
Interview with Diana Rodgers, The Paleo View Podcast
Facebook Live Interview with Michelle Norris of Paleo f(x)
Kale vs. Cow feature on Epic Provisions blog
The Story Behind Kale vs. Cow: Wise Traditions Podcast
Just hearing about this now, here’s how you can help!
- Make a donation to the film here. Any amount helps!
- Share with your friends and/or online community.
- Join my special Facebook Group, where we discuss the nutritional, environmental and ethical research supporting better meat.