about the project

The Case for Better Meat

At our grocery stores and dinner tables, even the most thoughtful consumers are overwhelmed
 by the number of considerations to weigh when choosing what to eat—especially when it comes to meat. Guided by the noble principle of least harm, many responsible citizens resolve the ethical, environmental and nutritional conundrum by quitting meat entirely. But can a healthy, resilient and conscientious food system exist without animals?

Sacred Cow probes the fundamental moral, environmental and nutritional quandaries we face in raising and eating animals. In this project, we focus our lens on the largest and perhaps most maligned of farmed animals, the cow.


  • Red meat causes cancer, obesity and heart disease. 

  • We’re eating too much meat.

  • Humans don’t need to consume animal products to be healthy. 

  • Raising livestock is bad for the environment.

  • It’s unethical to eat animals. 

  • If we can produce meat in labs, then why should we eat animals? 

The connection between nutrition and ecosystem health is starting to make some headway into mainstream media. Everyone is trying to figure out how to feed the world in the most sustainable 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. The mantra that “all meat is bad” influences how we're training dietitians, shaping our dietary guidelines, designing school lunch policies, and funding for nutrition-related research.

As we’ve become more globalized, the entire world is now pushing towards the "heart healthy" (and highly processed) Western diet. In the process, we're destroying entire ecosystems and human health through industrial, ultra-processed food.

Sacred Cow comes at a critical point in the nutrition and sustainability story. A meat tax is a very real possibility. Well intended yet highly misguided, The EAT Lancet Global Dietary Guidelines are calling for less than 1/2 an ounce of red meat per day, for human and planetary health.

Meat is being vilified as causing cancer, heart disease and diabetes, yet there are no solid studies to back this up. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley has invested millions in highly processed meat alternatives, with the assumption that engineering our proteins in factories will be a better alternative to something nature has already figured out: grazing animals, restoring land while converting cellulose into protein.

The solution is regenerative agriculture.

The truth is, well-managed cattle are the unlikely heroes of this story. We can increase biodiversity, improve soil health, increase the water holding capacity of the land and raise high quality, nutrient-dense protein, while preserving family farming communities. Removing these animals from our food system could cause more harm than good.

It’s not the cow, it’s the how.

 Who’s Involved

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Diana Rodgers

Producer, Director
Diana Rodgers, RD, is a “real food” nutritionist and writer living on a working organic farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts. She runs a clinical nutrition practice, hosts the Sustainable Dish Podcast, and speaks internationally about human nutrition, sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. She’s written two books and helped to produce the short film, Soft Slaughter, which won a real food media award. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Edible Boston and To Market.


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James Connolly

James Connolly is an artist, chef, non-profit founder and documentary film producer. He co-founded The Bubble Foundation, a non-profit focused on issues of wellness and food insecurity in inner-city public schools. The documentary film production team at Archer Gray Productions has produced films from Transmilitary, a film that explores equal opportunity and discrimination for the over fifteen thousand active duty transgender soldiers serving in the military to Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Where to Invade Next, where Moore explores issues like mass incarceration, school food, criminal justice and student debt.


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Abby Fuller

Abby Fuller is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes four seasons on the Emmy nominated series Chef’s Table and the award winning feature film, Do You Dream in Color? She is a member of the D&AD Impact Council, and the recipient of the NYWIFT Loreen Arbus activist filmmaker award. She directs films for clients such as: Disney, Apple, NatGeo, Starbucks, Amazon, Google/YouTube, MTV & Netflix. Additionally, she is the co-founder of APD Farm, a Virginia based cattle operation focused on biodiversity, water infiltration and soil health.



Ryland Aldrich

Consulting Producer
Ryland Aldrich is an independent film producer and founder of Point+Drop Productions. His numerous feature films, both narrative and documentary, have premiered at such notable film festivals as Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca and have been released both theatrically and on major streaming networks. Ryland has served on numerous film festival juries, panels, and advisory boards and also is the film festivals editor for popular film website Screen Anarchy.



Robb Wolf

Co-Executive Producer
Robb Wolf is the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat. He’s passionate about the nutrition and environmental impacts that better meat can have, and has been an invaluable consultant to the content of the project.

Robb and Diana are co-authoring the film’s companion book, Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat, launching in June 2020.



Lauren Manning

Web Content Editor
Lauren Manning, Esq., LL.M., is an attorney and professor of agriculture law at the University of Arkansas School of Law where she teaches courses in farm animal welfare, farm succession planning, food safety law, and agricultural cooperatives. As a journalist, she has covered the food and agriculture space for four years with an emphasis on agriculture technology and venture capital investment, changing consumer preferences, livestock production, and regenerative agriculture. As a first-generation farmer, Lauren raises and direct markets grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, lamb, and goat meat in Northwest Arkansas. Follow Lauren on Instagram @WhiteHoofAcres



James Cooper

James Cooper is a graphic designer, brand strategist and owner of ONIC Design. Much of his work focusses around sustainability; assisting clients from small businesses, all the way to large NGO organisations. Currently based in Tasmania, James has a keen interest in using design to help educate others on topics such as regenerative animal agriculture and human nutrition.



Film Advisory Team

Kristin Canty, John Durant, Chris Kresser, Mike Geary, Michael Matheson Miller, Andrew Rodgers, Nelson Walker and Michael Wentz