Having been – for more then a thousand year – a sacred animal in Hinduism, the Zebu has it’s own cult in a lively capitalist occidental country, being admired, respected, studied and invested on as one of the most significant commodities of the Brazilian international commerce.
Brought to Brazil in lately 19th century, it has adapted very well to the geography in such a way that in 2012 Brazil overtook the US and became the largest exporter of beef in the world. Behind this important alimentary chain, a very closed and mysterious male conservative society formed by traditional landowners and few urban businessmen attracted to the fortune it promises.
The Brazilian meat market had turned US$ 7,2 billion on 2014 of income over 1,56 million tones of meat exported, a historical record that keeps growing and turns economy during these last years of crises.
To understand the importance of these numbers, we can say that from each five steaks eaten in the world, one is from Brazilian origin. The country has today 22% of the worldwide meat market. The rich farmers and breeders are in constant negotiations with Brazilian Government with the intention to duplicate this number until 2025. The aim is to reach 44,5% of it. This could mean also to duplicate the numbers of animals from 200 millions to 400 millions until that date.
The project aims to make a panorama showing the very starting point of the Brazilian international meat business. Following the Zebu chronological installation in the country, the project begins at Uberaba’s traditional luxury cattle exhibition, the Expozebu, where 1 million dollar animals, raised for the genetic material commerce, are judged and prized, creating the “grandfathers” and “grandmothers” of the slaughtered animals to be. Consequently, the project spread itself, following the important issues that are continuity of the luxury Zebu breeding, like the daily work of rich farmers in their ranches, exploring the importance of genetics in this commerce, and the economic power of slaughterhouses.
Holy Cow is a project about the Power and mystery behind the Brazilian meat industry. And explores the social and cultural environment behind the top of this important international alimentary issue. The documentary aims to understand the characteristics of the Brazilian rural capitalists and the contemporary identity of those who decide the meat we will eat in the world.