Milk: bad for the environment?
While there is no unanimity over the effects—good or bad—of milk on the body, there certainly is over the damage that its production does to our environment. We can say without doubt that the large-scale breeding of these “cash cows” is a calamity for our planet. Not only does our livestock release large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and pollute our land and water tables with its excrement, it is also “guilty” of consuming far more than it produces. It is estimated that at present, no less than 75% of the agricultural land on the planet is given over exclusively to feed for livestock. Not to mention the amount of water they need. To produce its daily yield of 27 liters of milk, a cow needs to drink around 170 liters of water and ruminate no less than 40 to 45 kilos of fodder. A large proportion of this is corn and soya—up to 80% of their intake—which are grown in vast monoculture operations at the expense of human food crops and harming the diversity of our ecosystems. This reality is a far cry from the pastoral image of our queens of the meadow grazing peacefully on the hillsides.