Rewind back to the beginning of 2020: Joaquin Phoenix was using his Oscar acceptance speech to denounce dairy farmers. Suddenly, it seemed dairy farmers were Public Enemy No. 1 as Starbucks and other major retailers encouraged plant-based alternatives in the name of "Veganuary," a campaign that aims to get people to adopt a plant-based diets. In reality, dairy’s role in greenhouse gas emissions is today — and has always been — part of a natural cycle that occurs when cows methane emissions are reabsorbed by plants entirely unlike the emissions from cars, factories … or even the planes like that Mr. Joaquin himself undoubtably takes to travel around the globe. Direct emissions from the dairy industry accounts for only 2% of the total greenhouse gas contribution, emitting mainly from rumen digestion and manure — and based largely on a variety of natural processes.
Despite many people’s efforts to go vegan to help the environment Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California-Davis said, “It does not have a huge result. The dairy industry does not only talk big about making improvements. Results from decades of data show words turned into measurable actions. The nation used to have 25 million dairy cows in 1950. Today, there are 9 million. Despite the decrease in herd sizes, farmers are producing 60 percent more milk, which totaled a two-thirds reduction in the carbon footprint”.