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< Back to question Is animal milk healthy? Show more Show less

Milk is a staple of the mammal diet, humans included. However recent studies and debate suggest that drinking milk past childhood is not healthy, and an array of plant-based alternatives have risen in popularity. Is milk healthy?

It doesn't matter, we shouldn't drink milk regardless. Show more Show less

Whether it's healthy or not, there are other reasons we shouldn't drink milk.
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Milk consumption is bad for the environment.

Production of milk and dairy products harms the environment.
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The Argument

Dairy farming has a large environmental impact, contributing to environmental issues and climate change. Dairy cows require land to graze, house, and produce food for them, and this land use is a huge portion of worldwide land use. Land that could alternatively be healthy ecosystems supporting the environment is transformed into grazing fields for cows, and their toll on land use is large. In addition, the land that cows use is grazed and trampled over, making it almost impossible for a healthy ecosystem to thrive there ever again. Land used by cows also contributes to environmental problems such as acidification and eutrophication (leading to low oxygen) of waters surrounding dairy farms. Farming of cows requires enormous amounts of water, so dairy farms are a huge contributor to water use. Water is used primarily for hydrating cows, because milk is primarily water so cows require lots of water to produce it. Water is used in large amounts for cleaning dairy facilities. In addition, producing milk constantly drains cows’ metabolisms, making them require lots of food. Growth of feed (commonly grass, grain, and alfalfa) for dairy cows uses huge amounts of water because cows eat water-intensive crops. Water usage negatively harms the environment by taking freshwater out of freshwater ecosystems where plants and animals thrive, and contributing to water scarcity and drought in regions where water is not abundant. Dairy farming also contributes to climate change through greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming and extreme weather events. Cows produce large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, powerful greenhouse gases which harm the environment.

Counter arguments

-Dairy farming’s impact on the environment is overblown. -Other industries have much larger environmental impacts than dairy does. -Milk’s essential nutrients to humans makes it worth the environmental impact.

Premises

P[1] Milk production is bad for the environment.

Rejecting the premises


References


    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 21:30 UTC

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