How Dairy Devastates the Planet

Posted by on August 20, 2020 | Permalink

If the recent heatwaves in the UK have shown us anything, it’s that the climate crisis is very real – but did you know that dairy is a big part of the problem?

Drinking cows’ milk not only is horrifically cruel to mother cows – who are repeatedly forcibly impregnated and separated from their babies so humans can drink their mammary secretions – but also harms every last one of us.

From greenhouse-gas emissions to water pollution, the dairy industry has a huge environmental footprint. For perspective, producing a glass of cows’ milk requires more than 10 times as much land as it takes to produce a glass of oat milk.

How Does Dairy Fuel the Climate Crisis?

Animals on factory farms, including those used for dairy, produce enormous amounts of methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide, all greenhouse gases. As large ruminant animals, cows cause more of these emissions than any other species exploited on farms. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from animal agriculture are at their highest levels ever recorded, pushing the Earth beyond its environmental limits.

The climate crisis doesn’t discriminate, and it isn’t localised. The choices we make at home have sweeping consequences in the UK and around the globe.

Globally, the 13 biggest dairy companies combined are responsible for the same level of greenhouse-gas emissions as the entirety of the UK. This affects all of us, as the climate crisis creates deadly storms and heatwaves and rising sea levels will displace humans and other animals from their homes.

Did We Mention Water Pollution?

Slurry run-off from dairy farm manure and urine is another major problem. According to an Environment Agency survey, 95% of dairy farms in one area of the UK failed to meet water protection standards and half of them were polluting a nearby river during inspection – eww!

What About Plant Milk?

Now for some good news. Luckily for us and our planet, there are countless eco- and animal-friendly milks for us to enjoy.

According to a University of Oxford study, producing any type of non-dairy milk is more environmentally friendly than producing cows’ milk, resulting in almost three times fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. So whether you opt for oat, rice, almond, or soya milk, you can be confident that keeping cows’ milk out of your morning coffee is the right choice for you, other animals, and the planet.

What You Can Do

Ditch dairy.

Cows are sensitive animals who feel joy, pain, and fear, just like humans do, and mother cows are devoted to their young. Don’t contribute to their misery or to environmental disaster – switch to a delicious non-dairy milk today.