It has become very evident that our modern-day society is greatly polarized in all areas, from how we think to how we conduct business. On the one hand, we have greed, corruption, irresponsibility, and manipulation practices that are destroying our health, our environment, and the foundations of favorable social structures. On the other hand, we have altruism, empathy, responsibility, and transparency working to create solutions and healing for us, our world, and our Earth.
Many of us understand that we cannot continue the way we have been going without causing irreparable damage to ourselves and putting at risk the entire survival of future generations. The more each one of us grows in awareness and chooses to change our thoughts and actions, the more effective our combined efforts will be. There is an increasing number of humans on Earth who are choosing to stand up, speak up, and speak out against the many present injustices to mobilize people into affirmative action. Some educate, some inspire, some empower, and some silently lead by example. One of these people is the late Peter Proctor whose transformational work in the field of organic farming is featured in the documentary film One Man, One Cow, One Planet. In this article review, I will share with you some information about this film and why I feel that everyone can benefit from watching it, even if they are not directly doing any gardening or farming themselves.
About the Film: One Man, One Cow, One Planet
One Man, One Cow, One Planet is a documentary film that was released in 2008 and was written, created, and produced by Barbara and Thomas Burstyn. The film features the late Peter Proctor and his story of how he transformed food production methods through biodynamic farming, which is a more advanced form of organic agriculture. Peter is from New Zealand and has relocated to India to educate and help the farmers there save their livelihoods and, in turn, benefit the Earth as a whole. He comes to be known as The Father of Modern Biodynamic Agriculture. The film is about one hour in length and presented in a traditional documentary fashion with supporting footage, expert interviews, and narration.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet begins with a sobering message on how modern agriculture is a war on our Earth, and more importantly our farming and our food. It brings immediate awareness to the dire situation of our current farming methods, which are based on the application of thousands of harmful chemicals on our food, into our soils, water, and air. It then introduces Peter Proctor, showing some of his biodynamic practices and how these could be a possible solution to ensure food safety and availability for our large and growing human population.
You can watch this introductory clip from the film below:
The film is poised to raise awareness about the damage and destruction being done to the Earth not only by the chemical companies who produce synthetic pesticides and fertilizers but also by biotech companies like Monsanto. The film explicitly educates the viewer about how unsustainable our modern farming methods are and why they will not be able to feed the world, given how much waste they produce and natural resources they destroy. It proceeds to explain what biodynamic farming is and how a biodynamic farm is entirely self-sufficient, self-contained, and dedicated to providing good food for the benefit of humankind. It also explains what it takes to have a good farm and farming methods, such as compost.
Compost is the only way to increase the humus content of the soil. Without humus, soil is lifeless.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet
Another integral component that the film introduces is the cow pat pit, and the narrator explains what this is and how it is involved in biodynamic farming. The film also focuses on the quality of water that is used for biodynamic farming, how pest control works, as well as preparations and planting according to nature’s cycles.
Throughout the film Peter’s message is clear: The health of the plant comes from the health of the soil. Unfortunately, today, we have destroyed and continue to deplete the Earth’s soils due to monoculture farming, overfarming, and the application of numerous chemicals, which deplete soil fertility and make soils unable to sustain healthy plant growth. As Peter explains, the reality is that there is no comparison between biodynamic and conventional farming because biodynamic farming nourishes the soil having it last forever. In contrast, conventional farming destroys its soils within 10 to 30 years.
Healthy soil makes healthy plants, makes healthy people.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet
My Thoughts About the Film
I learned about this film thanks to a recommendation from a friend who is passionate about permaculture gardening, and given that I do some food growing myself, I was very interested in watching it. Upon viewing this film, I found it to be incredibly inspiring and empowering. There is no denying how sad and overwhelming it is to think about what we have done to this Earth and how we continue to produce most of our food. The past 50 years specifically have seen us destroying our Earth’s resources at unprecedented levels. The positive news is that today so many people are working to educate others and heal our environment back to health and balance.
I found the film to be excellent at bringing together numerous sustainability practices that can be implemented not only by those in India but also in other parts of the world, including the typical home gardener. It shares facts, figures, comparisons, and solutions that clearly illustrate its message. It is awareness-raising not just for environmental reasons, but also for human justice reasons. It educates the viewer about the state of farming in India, the destruction of health, and even suicide rates, which are linked to conventional farming methods. It highlights how the gene revolution is destroying today’s plant variety. It even incorporates the application of quantum energy ideas and sacred geometry and explains how biodynamic farming integrates those.
I loved how the film beautifully brings to light the necessary balance of nature that is needed in all that we do, from how we deal with pests to how we harvest our foods. For example, where you have balanced soils, you don’t have insect attacks because the plants are balanced. Many people are completely unaware of this and have the conditioned belief that insects always attack plants, and some form of chemical intervention is always needed. However, this is not so at all. Plants function similarly to how our body and its immune system operates. When we are properly nourished, and in balance, we are able to ward off all foreign invaders and not get sick. Likewise, plants that are properly nourished and balanced have their own defense systems to ward off any invader attacks effectively.
I was really pleased to be acquainted with the work of Peter Proctor, as he is a highly inspirational being. It was beautiful to hear that he lives by Gandhi’s timeless words of being the change we wish to see. This resonates with me so much, as I strive to follow the same path in my life through all that I do. As mentioned earlier, I know that it is not easy to look out at our world today and see how we are poisoning our Earth, our food, and ourselves. This is all the more reason why Peter’s approach is honorable and uplifting, and something we can each practice: focus on the solution, rather than the problem. Peter is not naive about what is happening and how powerful the biotech and chemical companies are. However, he is choosing action over apathy to be part of the solution, rather than doing nothing and focusing on the problem. Peter has continued to teach groups and individuals in-person well into his 80s. He has focused on travel throughout India to spread his highly valuable biodynamic farming methods and wisdom to as many as he can to change the landscape of India’s farming. It was excellent to see, too, how Peter’s work is not only about sustainability to help the Earth but also about reaching the human being on a deeper level to support their journey of self-realization and self-determination.
Sustainable agriculture, farming that is not controlled by corporate agendas, is the key to a harmonious society.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet
In conclusion, we definitely have our work cut out for us if we are going to turn things around, prevent further destruction, and begin to heal our Earth. However, it is clear that biodynamic farming is one of the best solutions to achieve this and provides immediate short-term and long-term benefits. What makes it such a powerful solution is that it takes into account everything, including environmental quality, consistently high yields of food production, human health, and human freedom. It is an outstanding film for our times and very much needed as more and more people awaken to the necessity of becoming self-sustainable and helping our world at the same time.
This film, therefore, is a valuable asset to the field of organic farming, as it educates people about the potential of sustainable and organic food production without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. The film also provides a lot of hope, inspiration, and empowerment as it shows how much positive impact one person can have on the state of things in our world. Too many of us routinely think that it is pointless to change our ways because it will not matter what one person does amid billions of humans on Earth. However, change always starts with one person and ripples outward to inspire and mobilize others. And when we come together as groups and communities of like-minded individuals, it is then that we compound our efforts to bring about change on a larger scale.
Therefore, we must abandon the thinking that we are powerless against the tyranny of mass control systems and connect with our inner conviction to take action. In the end, every single action by every single person makes a difference. The only question that remains is whether our actions are contributing to the problems in our world or the solutions.
The full film is available for viewing on Amazon: