Carbon- and Water-Intensive Cow's Milk Defies Company's 'Green' Pledge
August 18, 2014
Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382
On the heels of Kellogg’s announcement of its new sustainability commitments, PETA sent a letter to the company this morning asking it to fast-track its water conservation goals and reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by promoting plant-based milks—such as soy, rice, almond, and hemp milks—rather than cow’s milk.
As PETA notes, it takes an estimated 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of cow’s milk but only 50 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of soy milk. In addition, the United Nations has stated that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary in order to combat the worst effects of climate change.
“Going vegan is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make our meals ‘greener,’ and what better place for us all to start than with a bowl of cereal at breakfast?” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Plant-based milks are more popular than ever, and PETA’s suggestion of promoting soy and other plant-based milks would give Kellogg a leg up on the competition in becoming more environmentally sustainable.”
PETA’s letter to Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer, follows.
August 18, 2014
Chief Sustainability Officer
Dear Ms. Holdorf:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters. As an organization that works hard to raise awareness of the devastating impact that the animal-agriculture industry has on our environment, we applaud your efforts to make Kellogg a more sustainable company. To set Kellogg apart as a leader in the industry, I urge you to start promoting soy and nut milks on Kellogg cereal boxes instead of promoting cow’s milk, since cutting out carbon- and resource-intensive cow’s milk is one of the best things that we can all do to protect the planet.
Raising and killing cows for their milk and flesh is simply unsustainable. The United Nations has stated that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary in order to combat the worst effects of climate change. According to a recent study, if people who eat a standard American diet went vegan, they would reduce their food-related carbon footprint by 60 percent—what better place for us all to start than with a bowl of cereal at breakfast?
In addition to cutting down on greenhouse-gas emissions, promoting plant-based milks would help conserve water, a critically important issue as the Southwest continues to battle extreme drought. It takes an estimated 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of cow’s milk but only 50 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of soy milk. Promoting soy milk instead of cow’s milk would be a fast-track way for you to reach your water-conservation goals.
Plant-based milks continue to be the fastest-growing part of the dairy market, so the time is right to start encouraging your customers to eat their favorite Kellogg cereals with eco- and animal- friendly milks. Promoting soy and nut milks would give you a leg up on the competition in becoming more environmentally sustainable. Thank you for your consideration.