To my environmentally-conscious friends: if you haven’t dropped dairy already, what are you waiting for? Dairy cows produce about 120 pounds of waste each day, the equivalent of 2 dozen people or more. Most of this waste goes untreated.
According to research by Cornell University scientist David Pimentel, it takes about 14 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce one calorie of milk protein on a conventional farm… By comparison, Pimentel’s data suggest that it takes about 0.26 calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of organic soybeans—which are used by most soy milk manufacturers.
Soy protein accounts for about 35 percent of those calories, so let’s say you’ll need to put 0.75 calories of energy into farming soy to produce a calorie of protein. That makes soy protein approximately 13 times more energy-efficient than even organic dairy protein under a best-case scenario.
A single cow may produce up to 1/3 pound of methane every day. Animals raised for food, such as dairy cows, take up 30% of the Earth’s surface, causing soil erosion and desertification in the process. This land is often not our own – native populations are coerced by Western agricultural consumerism to forfeit their homes and eventually even their entire nations… just so you can have a milkshake.
Harvard has already warned against dairy based on health requirements, and it’s almost been THREE YEARS since the UN urged a dairy-free and meat-free shift for environmental purposes. If you’re not yet moved by the massive amount of information available on dairy cruelty (even “humane, organic, free range”), then at least consider how backwards it is to take small actions for the environment (recycled plastics, power-saving appliances, and so on) while so unnecessarily contributing to its destruction.
If you’re going to “be green”, do it right. Dairy is not “eco-friendly” at all.