Environmental Destruction

Large dairy farms have an enormously detrimental effect on the environment. In California, America’s top milk-producing state, manure from dairy farms has poisoned hundreds of square miles of groundwater, rivers, and streams. Each of the more than 1 million cows on the state’s dairy farms excretes 18 gallons of manure daily.(22,23) Overall, factory-farmed animals, including those on dairy farms, produce 1.65 billion tons of manure each year, much of which ends up in waterways and drinking water.(24) The Environmental Protection Agency reports that agricultural runoff is the primary cause of polluted lakes, streams, and rivers. The dairy industry is the primary source of smog-forming pollutants in California; a single cow emits more of these harmful gasses than a car does.(25)

Two-thirds of all agricultural land in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food or to grow grain to feed them.(26) Each cow raised by the dairy industry consumes as much as 40 gallons of water per day.(27)