Three reasons to ditch dairy

Posted on the 22nd August 2023

22nd August is World Plant Milk Day! Here are three reasons why you should ditch dairy and drink plant milks instead!

1) For the animals

The dairy industry is undeniably cruel. Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated, have their babies taken away from them and are strapped to milking machines. When their bodies are too worn out from this constant cycle, they are sent to slaughter at around six years old. And when their babies are taken away from them, where do they go? Well, some – mainly the male calves who can’t produce milk – will be killed at birth, or sent abroad to be used in the veal trade. The female calves will usually have to suffer the same fate as their mothers.

2) For the planet

Did you know that recent research from Oxford University found that those following a plant-based diet account for up to 75% less greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat meat? A vegan diet also requires much less land, causes less land degradation, requires less water, and is less harmful to biodiversity.

Dairy farming is devastating for the environment. According to the Environment Agency, dairy farms are responsible for far more water pollution incidents than any other form of farming. Slurry from dairy farms can leak into rivers and streams where it kills fish and spreads disease. As well as polluting water, dairy farms use huge quantities of this precious resource. The amount of fresh water needed to create a litre of British dairy milk is almost twice as much as is needed to make a litre of soya milk. For most other countries, the difference is even bigger. Methane and nitrous oxide are powerful greenhouse gases far stronger than carbon dioxide and are produced in huge quantities by dairy cows and their slurry. The equivalent of around four per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions are thought to come from dairy farming, with the carbon footprint of dairy milk being about twice as large as that of soya milk.

3) For your health

We do not need to eat animals and animal products to be healthy. There is nothing contained in cow’s milk that cannot be obtained from plant-based sources. In fact, every major dietetic association agrees that a well-planned vegan diet contains all the nutrients one needs to live a healthy life, and can also provide health benefits. A study published last year, for example, found that those who consumed dairy products regularly had a significantly greater risk of developing certain types of cancer.

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