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8 Reasons You Should Stop Drinking Milk Now

Milk production ultimately leads to climate change.

The dairy industry is an extension of the beef industry (used-up dairy cows are sent to the slaughterhouse after an average of four years, one-fifth their normal life expectancy) which means it plays a major role in creating climate change. Here's the equation: The dairy industry uses cows before passing them on to be slaughtered by the beef industry which is now recognized as an environmental nightmare. "According to a UN report," writes Brian Merchant, "cows are leading contributors to climate change ... Accounting for putting out 18% of the world's carbon dioxide, cows emit more greenhouse gases than cars, planes, and all other forms of transportation combined." That means the industry of exploiting all cows—including dairy cows—involves destructive practices like deforestation and polluting offshoots like runoff.